You had me at HELLO!
Have you ever heard the expression “first impressions are everything”? The reality is, good first impressions can create meaningful lasting impressions (that was all me by the way). So how can we make sure you wow your clients from day 1 so they become lifelong members and refer you to their friends? Well, their experience starts before they ever even step foot in your club.
5 tips to create a lasting impression:
1- The Expectations
First day jitters are just as real for parents as for kids. While trying to prepare their child their minds are flooded with question marks: What’s the dress code? Do we need to buy any clothing or equipment? Is my child at the same level as the other kids his/her age? Where do we go, what do we need to do on the first day? Ease their minds and let them know what to expect:
- Include details on their registration receipt (dress code, class, equipment).
- Send a reminder email a week before class letting them know what to expect on the first day.
- Hold an open house to meet parents and students, meet prospective students and familiarize them with your facility.
2- The Personalized Tour
Remember when a new school year began and all your classes changed and you had to wander around feeling shy and uncomfortable trying to familiarize yourself with your new routine?. Coming into your club for the first time can be stressful for a child so it’s really important to put both the parents and child at ease on their first day – after all, we want them to look forward to coming back, not worry about getting lost in the wrong uniform! Get rid of those first day jitters by:
- Greeting them at the door
- Giving both parents and students a tour of the facility (changing rooms, bathrooms, administrative offices, parent area and their specific class locations).
- Let them know where to find you and how to reach you– this way, if they need anything they feel comfortable knowing someone is there for them.
3- The Introductions
Sometimes you want to be where everybody knows your name and you’re always glad you came. Isn’t that the truth! Parents and children will be most comfortable at your club if they know your staff so create those relationships right away by making the appropriate introductions and giving them the opportunity to ask questions:
- Introducing new students and parents to their coach.
- Introduce them to any administrative staff they will need to interact with.
- If you hosted an open house, you’re ahead of the game! You can make those introductions before they start classes.
4- The Welcome Package
You get a gift! And you get a gift! Everyone gets a gift! Now, it doesn’t need to be anything grand but a small welcome package as a token of appreciation for choosing your club will not only delight your parents and children but will get them talking about your thoughtfulness! Here’s a few ideas:
- Branded items such as water bottles, t-shirts and tote bags.
- A 1-page calendar with important dates and contact information.
- A personalized thank you card for registering with a discount for their next session.
- If you have a referral program, give them details on how they can benefit from spreading the word.
5- The Follow-up
They made it through their first day, they didn’t get lost, they wore the right uniform and they knew everyone’s name but how did their class go? You want lifetime clients and not one timers so let them know you genuinely care about their experience at your club:
- Make a point to check-in after class with the student as well as parents
- If you can’t connect with them after class, make sure to follow-up by e-mail ask how the first day went
- Have a personalized interaction by asking them what their favourite part was.
- Make them feel like their thoughts are valuable and capture feedback by asking if there are areas you could improve on.
- Newsletters are a great way to keep your parents in the loop all throughout the session. Let them know how the session is progressing and any events, competitions or performances they might be interested in participating in or attending.
Lasting impressions will not only keep your new clients coming back for more but will also entice them to refer your club to their friends. Be sure to train all of your staff on your customer service procedures so the experience is consistent for everyone. Now, not only have you created a great experience for first timers but you have created a positive company culture and atmosphere and as they say - your reputation proceeds you. New clients will know about your club before they interact with you and you will definitely have them at hello.
How does your online impression stack up against your offline impression? Odds are new clients are looking for you or organizations like yours online right now. Interested in ways to improve your first impression online? Amilia specializes in online registration and club management. We can help make your online first impression amazing.