A young boy of about 8. A quiet, skinny child, he lacks confidence. Confidence that is further undermined by the cruelty of children of a certain age and the boy’s perceived weakness. A boy that could really have used a martial arts class not only to help defend himself from the physical abuse he suffered at the hands of those bullies, but also the mental and emotional resilience that martial arts can bestow. A community to belong to that would have welcomed him in, not judged him.
I was that boy. I am that boy now.
Joining a martial arts club for the first time can be an exciting and nerve racking experience, especially if you have never been to a martial arts class.
I experienced this recently when I myself was interested in joining a club.
Regardless if you are 8, 18 or *cough* 34, a first day always feels like a first day. Arriving and not knowing exactly what to wear or what to expect. The worry was that I was going to be amongst a group of ‘Bruce Lees’, that I would be the oldest, the most unfit, the fattest and stick out like a sore thumb.
Instead the opposite was true. I was greeted by the head instructor, made to feel welcome and immediately put at ease. I found myself surrounded not by a bunch of ninjas wanting to attack and harm me, but by others like me. People who wanted to learn.
Even though I was joining a group of talented martial artists, I was eased into the routines and training, not made to feel incapable and left out. Everyone was welcoming and friendly.
A few months down the line, and I am still at the club and enjoying every minute of it.
I suppose the main question you need to ask yourselves, especially with new prospective students coming to your club for the first time is:
“How is this customer feeling, walking into my club for the first time?”
They may be stressed, excited, scared or embarrassed. So it’s important to question how you make that first contact count in the customer’s mind. How do you put them at ease, make them feel more relaxed and in a welcoming state of mind? Remember, once you get them on the mats, that is where you really sell your business. But the pre-lesson is just as important.
If a potential student does not feel welcomed or supported, chances are they will go through the trial lesson, wishing the time away to get out of there and they won’t return.
But if you get it right you make a 30 something man and the child he was, feel welcomed and part of a real community, and that’s how you build loyalty in your customers.
If you need any guidance or would like to ask any questions regarding your customer service or new students, why not get in touch with our Customer Service Team either by phone 0115 945 5030 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org