Most dance studio owners will agree that working with their customers is one of the biggest challenges in running their business. While it isn’t to say that the administrators of the studio don’t love and appreciate the parents of their tiny dancers, it’s also easy to understand how their concerns, comments and complaints could become challenging to handle.
However, the bottom line is that if the parents aren’t happy, they’ll take their children elsewhere. During challenging conversations, it’s important to remember that both you and the parents want exactly the same thing – you want your dancers to grow through praise and engagement. A good dance studio customer service strategy is critical for business and patience is the key to delivering it. If you need some guidance and tips on laying a solid foundation of dance studio support for your students and their parents, you’ll find it all right here.
The Key to Good Customer Service
The key to good customer service for any business is to build good relationships with customers. Happy customers will return often, keeping your business running smoothly. Dance studio customer service means giving parents what they want without sacrificing the quality of classes you offer.
While you certainly know more about dance than the parents at your studio, they know what they want from your business. This is where you need to listen and be positive, helpful and friendly. Seeing things from their perspective allows you to have a fresh take on your business and a chance to improve it a little every day.
It’s also essential to understand the difference between being a good owner and a good listener without getting too friendly. If you become friends with a parent, they might expect you to pay special attention to their child and might even expect to get classes for free or at a discount. It’s best to steer clear of the potential mess and keep your relationships with all parents business-only.
How to Build Good Relationships with Customers
Human interaction and people skills are crucial to the dance studio support you offer your students and their parents. A few basic customer service rules to follow at all times include:
- Greet everyone – even if you’re busy when someone enters your studio, be sure to greet them or have a staff member available to greet them if you’re away or in the middle of a class. This small gesture lets people know you care about them and makes them feel like a priority.
- Communicate often – miscommunication is the root of most problems, especially when dealing with upset customers. Maintain an open channel of communication that keeps parents in the loop and lets them know that you’re always there to hear their feedback and answer questions.
- Always listen – just as miscommunication is the root of most problems, not being a good listener is at the root of most miscommunication. When someone comes to you with a complaint or suggestion, listen to them as if they’re your best friend, a family member or someone special to you. Get outside of your head and open your mind to what they’re trying to tell you.
- Strive for consistency – Setting a schedule, being punctual, keeping your mood in check at all times and creating an environment of acceptance are all ways to remain consistent, which helps put everyone around you at ease.
- Make studio information easily accessible through an app, text, email, social media, and by any other means you can think of that would be convenient for students and parents.
Train Your Staff
Consistency is one of the main elements in providing good customer service. Make sure that everyone on your team understands your customer service expectations so that consistency is kept amongst everyone involved. It’s also important to know that your rules and values are supported by your staff when they deal with customers if you’re not around. One little thing that could turn a potentially simple situation into a mess is for a customer to hear one thing from a staff member and another from you. It displays miscommunication and disorganization, which is very unappealing for any small business.
Handle Complaints Effectively
When a customer comes to you with a complaint, you need to understand how to handle it effectively. Here are some simple steps to remember as you navigate your way through the issue:
- Listen to the customer
- Be empathetic
- Confirm the validity of the complaint
- Figure out a solution that suits both sides
- Be proactive, not reactive
- Review with the staff if necessary to prevent the same type of complaint from happening again
Being patient, authentic and a good listener go a long way in providing good customer service. Remember that even when it feels like you’re butting heads, parents are your greatest allies. Ultimately, you all want the dancers to enjoy themselves while learning, growing and having fun. All it takes to keep everyone balanced is some patience and good customer service skills.
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