(A RESPONSE TO CONCERNS ABOUT LOW RE-ENROLMENT NUMBERS)
How many people that previously registered for 2020 have now cancelled their registration? Do you know if they're continuing dance at another studio, or stopping all together? Did they provide any reasons?
It would be good to look for a pattern, to make sure there's not something deterring re-enrolment.
For my numbers at the moment I have approx 25% re-enrolled so far. That's not a very high percentage, but I'm honestly happy with it for right now. It's still Christmas time. I have faith that the enrolments will come.
One thing I do, is I print a list of all the students from the previous year and highlight the names of the students as they re-enrol. This way I can keep perfect track of all those yet to re-enrol, and start reaching out to them if I feel like it might help. Even just 2 to 3 phone calls a day over January helps to make contact with those I hadn't heard from yet. If I'm told that they're not returning for the new year, I like to write the reason on my list next to the name, and cross them off.
There's a finite number of people on the list. And they pretty much exist across the following categories:
1. Customers who are happy and will be returning, but just haven't been bothered to process the enrolment yet, or have forgotten - but will get to it eventually.
2. Customers who are probably returning, but are maybe on the fence and still deciding - or maybe just still deciding what classes they'll do.
3. Customers who have decided not to continue dancing, for whatever reason, and either haven't let you know yet, or won't tell you (either to avoid awkward confrontation, or just because they don't feel like they need to given the system of "re-enrol if you want to sign up for another year". -------- And these customers can be split into two subcategories: > Those quitting dance all together > Those moving to another dance school
For the (1) customers, they just need plenty of gentle reminders. Make the enrolment process as streamlined as possible, nudge them into action with a little bit of scarcity, but also be patient that they'll get to it when they're ready. They are probably still recovering from the year, and it's just not quite on their mind yet.
For the (2) customers, making contact is great. Maybe not quite yet, but I think it's ok to do from the beginning of January. A friendly phone call to ask how their Christmas was, and to offer your help in selecting classes for 2020. A few compliments on their dancer, and some suggestions of classes that you think they'll enjoy.
For the (3) customers, they've pretty much made up their mind and there's not a lot that can be done. Trying to convince them, chasing them and making promises rarely helps. So the only thing to do is to wish them well and find out the honest reasons. Add them to your email marketing mailing list for potential future seasons / or for their siblings one day, and cross them off the list. At least you know.
In a PERFECT WORLD I'd love to be able to contact each and every one of my families over January to chat with them, reconnect, suggest classes, give them positive feedback about their child's progress etc.
I've always thought it was silly how we make our customers "sign up again" each year. The gym industry would crumble in a day if they did this. But to simply MOVE them to their next class (which may be on a different day or time) also doesn't really work. I have heard of some studios that do this, and that would be interesting to hear about. I've tried to come at the problem a few different ways and it's not something I've been able to crack.
Good luck with your re-enrolments, I hope they pick up soon. Do you have a running tally of new enrolments vs re-enrolments for 2020?
My assistant who has been processing our enrolments sends me a weekly update with - Total new enrolments - Total re-enrolments - Total re-enrolments expressed as a percentage of last years - Total enrolments expressed as a percentage of my goal (800)