Retention in your swim school
Maintaining and growing the number of swimmers in your program is essential for effective business operations. The number of weekly lessons and comparing them from term to term, block to block or season to season, is a hot topic for discussion during swim school management meetings. How to generate more weekly lessons is usually the main focus but the easiest way to grow your swim school is to keep the customers you’ve already got. According to www.marketingwizdom.com the average business loses 20% of its customers annually by failing to attend to customer relationships. Do you know how your retention rate stacks up?
Customer retention starts with the first interaction you have with a potential client and continues as you build a relationship with them. Some swim schools are great when it comes to the initial sign up of a customer but drop the ball in building an ongoing relationship with the swimmer and their parent. This type of situation means that the swim school is always trying to chase more business and find new customers. So maybe it’s time to change the topic at management meetings to; how are we building relationships at our swim school?
Communication is the key in building good relationships. Planning a calendar of communication to your families is a great idea and mixing up the way you communicate to maintain engagement is important. Your swim school can utilise newsletters, phone calls, emails, social media, notice boards and text messages just to name a few. During your communication you can educate and excite your swimmers and their parents on upcoming events, special offers, magic moments like swimmers of the month, achievements, staff profiles and customer feedback. When you are communicating with your customers you are trying to reinforce why they are doing business with you. Learning swimming and water safety skills will take a long time so building good customer relationships is essential. Make sure that parents understand the social, emotional and physical benefits of learning to swim. Learning to swim is a gift that will last a lifetime.
Customer retention is about more than just providing good customer service but exceptional customer service. If you build a good reputation and develop relationships with your customers they will become advocates for your swim school. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It feels so good when you get a phone call at the office from a referral because one of your existing clients has recommended your swim school and the teachers.
There are some key points for swim schools to remember.
- Customer retention has a direct impact of profitability
- The quality of the service you provide leads to satisfaction which in turn leads to customer loyalty
- Keeping swimmers in your program is essential for water safety education and skill development
As a swim school you should also look at managing relationships. Ask yourself these questions. How do we manage feedback from swimmers and families? How do we support swimmers and their families? The goal of managing relationships is to turn all our customers into long term clients. Because long term clients are less included to switch competitors, less price sensitive, purchase other products or services and like we said above initiate free word of mouth.
Relationship management is not just about managing relationship with your customers but with your staff as well. Everyone in your team has to be on the same page. The good news is that not only is customer retention good for business but it is good for staff moral as well. Customer retention gives employees more job satisfaction and makes their job easier. So get started today and switch the focus to swim school retention. Because happy employees and happy customers makes a happy and profitable loop!