The most important defense your business can have right now during the COVID-19 pandemic is a strong student retention rate. A lot of martial arts owners are struggling to keep their doors open and business going, but adding new students is not the primary focus right now. The primary focus right now is to give the best customer service experience possible and to help families across the world by giving them something positive to do while stuck in isolation from others.
Here are three points of student retention that we are seeing repeated within our own academies and actions you can consider taking today.
- Handling Difficult Conversations. You closed your doors from physical training and now you need to call every student you have. It’s important that you check-in on ALL of your families and let them know that you are taking efforts to provide them with the best options moving forward.
Remember, they don’t want to quit, so do not go into those conversations expecting a quit. Start off discussing their options to keep training. Help them setup their home dojo and make sure they have good internet access. You are not closing, you are transitioning.
Yes there will be some who have lost jobs or are unable to keep training, some more serious than most and should be respected, but make sure they understand the value of the training fully before making any move to cancel their memberships or put them on hold.
- Over-communicating. Email, phone, text, social media messenger, etc. Keep reaching out to your students. Not everyone will open their email, not everyone will answer a call. Keep trying to reach out and keep them in the program, and of course, be sure to listen to their needs and concerns.
- Keeping Connected. Once a week Zoom class is not enough. You are replacing human interactions with a virtual world. Encourage your team to reach out with private lessons, social media live events, Facebook group interactions. A community that is present will remain present.
- Holding on to the Value of Your Program. Remember the call where they try to quit? Here’s a reason why not to quit. You are a valuable program right now, you are offering a virtual activity that will keep them and their children busy and fit. What are they going to do otherwise? Plus you are keeping a sense of normalcy for their child. Do not downplay the value you are bringing to them and keep adding more value to help them understand through communication, rapport, and good customer service.
We know you are busy teaching classes and keeping your head above the water. Right now is a time to consider giving your team roles to help you now and later when you open your doors again. Is there someone who wants to help or make their time more valuable in this new environment? Consider giving them the opportunity to become a Program Director to help lead this student retention, and hopefully soon student acquisition movement!
Starting next week we are opening up our Program Director Online Course, the seats are limited and the course takes six months, but the information is priceless and time is what we have right now. Click here to learn more and save $100 on enrollment.
We want to help your school navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.
To gain complimentary access to more materials that will help you run your school right now please set an appointment with our team.