How customer-service-oriented is your yoga studio?
Since a yoga studio is a service business, I recommend you seek to deliver a very high level of customer service. In fact, you should strive to delight your yoga students. Here are some of the basics to consider:
- What hours will you be open and available (at the class time only or all day and evening)?
- Live telephone reception.
- Pleasant greeting at the door.
- Someone available to assist walk-in traffic.
- Teacher availability to speak with students outside of class.
- Fast e-mail and voicemail response time (i.e. within 24 hours).
- Will you provide mats and accessories (I strongly recommend you do)?
- Will you ask students to clean the mats you provide and put them away (I recommend you don’t – yes, I’ve been to a studio where I had to clean the mat and put it away. I haven’t been back).
- Late class arrival policy (i.e. can’t attend class, or it’s okay to join – depends on the nature of the class you teach. If very spiritual, it’s probably best to insist on timely arrival. If it’s a fitness-oriented class, a late arrival isn’t very disruptive).
- Consider tea service after class – or some brief social-oriented winding down. Don’t herd everyone in and out because your classes are scheduled too closely together.
- Offer free classes/courses (i.e. meditation, Satsang, etc.).
- Client feedback (short surveys, anonymous client feedback on your website using uservoice.com, e-mail your clients, and/or talk to clients).
- If you hire staff, don’t permit bad talk about your clients. You don’t want a negative client service environment because clients sense it.
- Delight your clients – over-deliver your benefits every time.
- When you don’t over-deliver, apologize and offer a gift. Don’t take your clients for granted.
- Discount arrangements with local retailers and health food establishments.
- Give personal service as much as you can – get to know your clients a little and at the very least call them by name.
- Strive to say yes as much as possible – be flexible.
- Treat your employees and teachers well – your customers will notice. There’s nothing so distasteful from a customer’s perspective as unpleasant employers.
Do not do anything that compromises the delivery of your fundamental benefits.
There is no substitute for classy, convenient, and outstanding customer service. These features add up to keep your yoga students coming back as long as you deliver your primary benefit.