5 reasons why customers choose your ballet school.
Ideally, we all want the customer to seek out our ballet school by the quality we deliver and the professionalism of the teachers and the entire school. But, unfortunately, that is not how it works. By holding interviews with (potential) customers, it turns out that quality and teaching experience are not at all main reasons to choose a school.
It is a bit disappointing for me to hear and read these results. I did my own research with people from different target groups (children’s classes and adult classes) and for 5 locations scattered around the Randstad. I have collected the data by means of an informative conversation in which the customer has to provide more information before coming to class. When they would not come in for a trial class or stop coming to class, I also asked why . They then missed the things listed in this article. And this was then reason enough not to continue. Well, that is too bad.
Luckily, there are some people who go and take the extra mile to follow your classes. And these people often become your hard core fans. Nice to have these inspiring people around you. But usually , a core group is not very large and so you have to have more of the continuous flow of other customers.
Know in any case that, most of the time, you are not to blame if someone stops or does not come to a trial class. Being a ballet teacher is a free profession and if another teacher can confirm all the reasons positively for the customer, then they simply go there. Even though you know for sure that you have excellent classes on your ballet schools schedule.
Let’s look at the main reasons for choosing a ballet school according to the people surveyed. The group consisted of 35 people, who asked for information separately or decided to discontinue their ballet classes. This was over he time span of August 1st to October 20th, 2019. On this basis, I asked how they found the lessons, which was the most important reason for them to come and dance and why they discontinued.
- Reason nr. 1: It is nearby.
People get the idea to start with ballet classes and use their search engine. They prefer to take classes within a radius of 5 kilometers from their home, work or child’s school. The route should be good and easily accessible, without traffic jams, lots of traffic lights or other nuisance. Then the location itself should be with free parking and always space to park.
Here’s an example; I talked to someone who was looking for a ballet school with good quality classes for her little daughter. And she was willing to pay for it. So I mentioned a name of a colleague. But, this school was 20 kilometers away. So, she responded: “No, we are not going to do that. That is too far away.”
- Reason nr. 2: The day and time are convenient.
As a ballet school you not only compete with other ballet schools, but unfortunately also with other sports activities. Zumba on Monday, tennis on Tuesday, Xcore on Wednesday etc. And then they try to fit in ballet class somewhere, which often fails. Or you get to work with customers who can actually only come once per month.
By the way, if you try to accommodate and adapt your schedule to their wishes, they will suddenly have something else to do. And that will literally differ per week. Years ago people would block an hour in their daily schedule for their ballet hobby, but this is no longer the case. Nowadays It should make them feel good. And preferably, they want to check a schedule in the morning of that same day, to see if they want to do a class in the evening.
I have heard remark: “I don’t want to be attached to something”, very often. (The fear of missing out is real!)
- Reason nr. 3: It has, according to them, a good price.
A low price of the course or classes and good location and time, outweighed the quality of the classes for parents in this group. By this I mean that they prefer to pay as little as possible, if the location and day and time were good. They rather have that, then look further into a class that was a little further away , but super good. Adult dancers did show more interest at quality and not mind to pay for it. Provided the day and fits into their schedule. And, again, if it’s not too far away.
It became clear to me that parents and adult dancers are actually not very good in understanding what a good price/quality is for ballet lessons. If they are happy with the price they want to pay, then they are satisfied. At least, they say so. In reality it is sometimes different. Once inside your ballet school, some may develop into customers with unreasonable demands. Because, surely you want me to be your customer? Eh, No. You get what you paid for. If a class is cheap, you get cheap service.
The expectations for ballet education, coming from the customer are a bit skewed. We as ballet school owners and teachers have our work cut out for us in this matter. We need to inform the customers what they all get for the prices we set. Customers are also mainly confused by the many different constructions around ballet classes. And I understand completely.
For example, I am hired to give dance lessons at a primary school. They hired me and the customer paid only 2 euros for 5!!! classes. Well, then you have to explain that you can’t do this at your own dance school. Because the primary school receives subsidy from the municipality and the dance teacher is hired and paid by that fund. At the dance school we pay for the room and the teacher and do not receive a subsidy. So the price of a ballet class is higher.
Another example: an association that runs on volunteers, can also ask for lower prices than a ballet school running to make a profit, because it is a business. I have often had to explain that to the customer. When you come in to a ballet school you pay for the location, the professional teachers, the professional setting (think ballet floor and mirrors) and for the entire experience of taking classes at a ballet studio.
Also, sometimes customers like to compare with the gym where you pay your monthly subscription and may come in when you want. But this is not realistic for a ballet school . I explain that it is possible because the devices are permanently in a room, but you cannot do this with group classes. They must be scheduled and a teacher must be hired. They say they understand it, but it remains tricky.
- Reason nr. 4: They have heard positive messages from friends or family members who are already at your ballet school.
This is the most important medium to convey quality of your classes. Because when you put all your diplomas and experiences in a Facebook or Instagram advertisement, few people are really interested or find it important at all. But if they have had a very positive experience with you and your school, they want to tell them to their family and friends. And nothing is as important and valuable as a reference from someone you know and trust.
By the way, do hang up your diplomas and certificates in your school, where they can see them, this will work.
- Reason nr. 5: There is a click with the dance school and the teachers. The customer may already follow you on social media, and experience a good vibe from your school. The customer comes in and that click will be confirmed.
After finding a ballet school on Google and seeing that the location is okay, the time and day are good and perhaps received a reference from a friend or relative, people come to your to sense the atmosphere and try a class.
And when it feels good, then they will enlist. Although it could be that they find something else interesting next week. The attention span is very short nowadays. But there are people who continue, discover a passion for ballet and become your most loyal fans.
Conclusion: It turns out that very few people (in this focus group) do research and really search for quality or graduate, teachers with a lot of teaching experience.
- Bonus reason: Dance should be fun!
Yes, I absolutely agree with that.
So, have a good look at your website, because if you start with ‘ We teach children the discipline of ballet ‘ then half of the parents unfortunately will not read on, and you lost the already. And they will miss that you do give great fun and inventive classes. And that is a shame, because you have been mistakenly scratched from their list even before they have tried it at all.
Parents have prejudices and their own frame of reference. It is our job to inform and educate them, because they are just unaware.
In addition, it is also very difficult nowadays to poke through all the noise of advertisements and ads. I conclude with a question; What do you do with your marketing? And how does your ballet school, or your brand, come across?
Would you like some help evaluating and changing? Send me a message, and we will do it together!
Also read this article: https://www.balletconsultant.nl/2019/02/05/ideas-for-extra-revenue-for-your-studio/