The success of your martial arts business can often be measured through successful student retention. Not only does retention maintain the students that have already been secured, it also increases the likelihood of referrals and a consistent flow of new students. While student retention might seem driven by luck, here are a few hacks your martial arts business can employ in order to increase student retention over time:
1. Demonstrate Quality
From your first advertisement to the first time someone walks through your door, you need to demonstrate the quality of your classes and instructors. You have to impress in order to secure new students, and your quality is being gauged from the first second a potential student comes into contact with your brand. Every email, every advertisement and every interaction with potential students should reflect your brand and the quality of your classes. Create a brand that you want to be at the forefront of your martial arts business, and ensure it is present in everything you do. Once you have secured students, the best way to continue demonstrating quality is through providing tangible value in your classes.
2. Add Fun
The necessity of adding fun activities to your classes varies with age groups, with fun being especially important with younger students. Ensure your students can find fun in your classes as a way to balance the fact that many young students may have yet to develop a huge passion for martial arts. Fun is particularly important when dealing with students whose parents are likely signing them up as an after-school activity or an introduction to a possible new hobby.
Show off some ‘cool’ moves, play clips from fun movies or give out a small prize at the end of each class. With each new mastered skill, perhaps you have a game the class can play together that incorporates the new moves. Get creative. The secret to fun is a lack of stagnancy coupled with a constant flow of new things.
3. Be Competitive
Be competitive in your market. While pricing and length of classes may not be the only things dictating retention, they can play a role. With great classes and teachers comes the freedom to price your classes a bit higher, however, your pricing still needs to remain competitive. While an extra $20, $50 or even $100 per session may not deter dedicated students, most individuals remain financially conscious. If you price your classes too high, students will hit a point when they can no longer justify attending your classes instead of the ones next door that are significantly cheaper.
You do not have to provide the cheapest classes. Being competitive does not mean you need to match prices or go lower than your competitors. Rather, you have to identify a reasonable price range and stay within it.
Invest in your students. Pursue meaningful interactions that demonstrate that your business cares about the actual students attending classes – not just their checks. A feeling of appreciation and investment from your business can quickly transition into a feeling of loyalty and dedication to your business. Learn students’ and parents’ names, send out personalized emails with special birthday offers and create customized goals. Students are highly influenced by their teachers’ perceptions. Show your students that you’re invested in them by creating short-term and long-term goals.
At the heart of it, show that you care about every individual student. While this can seem like a monumental task, it truly makes a difference in how students and families experience and perceive your business.
5. Provide a Seamless Experience
Ensure that every student’s experience is as seamless as possible. Remove any hassle they might face in scheduling and attending classes, tracking their progress and paying for their memberships. Inefficient payment processing and billing can cause huge headaches for both students and business owners, so investing in something like Affiliated Acceptance can truly make the process more enjoyable for both parties.
Help your martial arts business provide stress relief rather than more stress. Look into tools that can make payments more efficient; invest in online class scheduling tools and ensure customer service is responsive and helpful. A seamless use of tools and conscientious customer service are essential and can ensure students’ experiences are as seamless as possible.
Student retention is the key to growth. Not only does retention reflect a successful program, it can also save you money. In fact, it can cost up to 10 times more to win a new student than to retain a current one. Develop strategies that can help you achieve the retention tricks listed above and watch your student retention grow.
To learn more about AAC’s payment processing and full-service billing services, contact us now.