It’s safe to say that pretty much everyone has an opinion about one thing or another. It’s also something we can often overlook due to ‘opinion overload’ from people or our own opinions being completely different. Regardless of whether or not you agree with other people’s opinions, they can act as useful feedback, especially for your martial arts business. So much so, you should actively ask for people’s feedback every once in a while.
Opinions that matter
It’s important to know which people’s opinions you really need to listen to and pay attention to, as I said before, everyone has one so you need to filter out the key ones and pay attention to any emerging trends you might notice. A great place to start is with your students, as these are the people that make up the core of your business; using your services on a daily basis. Having their feedback really helps you understand your business through their eyes, letting you get a good idea of what is and isn’t working well.
Remember, opinions should be used to help you improve your business, try to approach them objectively. You could receive some very encouraging feedback to let you know what you are doing is working, helping you to better understand what your students engage with. If your students are loving a new class you have just started because of ‘x’, you could then use this feedback to help shape additional classes.
Ways of getting feedback
When asking for people’s opinions, you not only have to be prepared for them say absolutely anything but also be ready for potential silence. Much like the moment at the end of a seminar when you are asked “does anyone have any questions?” and there is usually silence, people often need encouragement to speak. Providing a group ‘feedback’ session gives the opportunity for students or even parents with similar opinions to feel confident enough to speak.
This type of approach will help your students to hopefully feel part of the team and promote communication not only during the session, but within classes as well. Although you may wish to take along some additional instructors or a pen and paper, if there is a lot of feedback you may struggle to keep track of it all.
Sometimes the ‘safety in numbers’ approach might not work, this could be for a number of reasons so it’s useful to provide alternate methods for feedback. The easiest way to do this is to offer an anonymous feedback box that all students, parents and guests have access to. Consider placing this in an easily accessible place, but somewhere that is out of a busy area to help further promote anonymity.
So you’ve been getting feedback from your students and as useful as it may be, you’re not getting some of the feedback you would like. This is where conducting a survey can really help to cover those areas that may lack vital feedback. Because surveys can often take some time to complete, consider how often you would want to send these out, a good starting point for this would be every quarter. You also need to think about how you are going to send these surveys out to your students, this could be as simple as providing a link to it through a myMA email, text message or a Facebook link, rather than posting it.
Make sure to remind people at the end of an event, class or trial lesson about the survey just in case they have forgotten. It’s also advisable not to force people to take the survey, as this promotes a more friendly approach and helps create a more positive ‘customer experience’ as we spoke about in last week’s blog.
One of the more useful surveys you may wish to consider having, is an ‘exit survey’. This will allow you the opportunity for feedback on why a student has opted to leave or trial lesson booking has opted to not to sign up. This information can then be used to help prevent similar outcomes in the future.
Some final thoughts
So you have had your students share their opinions, feedback has been dropped into your suggestion box and people have filled out your survey forms… now what? Now you need to take all that information and use it to help adapt aspects of your business or customers’ experience.
If for example you had some feedback from several students suggesting that a class you run wasn’t quite long enough for them, take this on board and think about how this could be resolved. A simple suggestion for something such as this could be to offer an additional class either straight after the original, or later during the week.
If you happen to get some feedback on your website regarding difficulty finding some information, consider speaking with the Marketing Team at NEST who can help advise you on how to resolve it.
If you need would like any additional advice, don’t hesitate to contact the team here at NEST who will be happy to answer your questions. You can call us 0115 945 5030 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org