Most student and gym parent problems and issues arise from two things – miscommunication or lack of communication. By setting information systems in place at your school, you can educate your students on any situation, new programs, events or changes that may be occurring at your gym. Often, just being informed about what is going on is enough to keep parents and gymnasts happy.
Establish Communication Systems
In order to communicate quickly and effectively, it is necessary to have previously established systems to communicate with your current students and prospects. Computer, cell phone and digital technology have made this a far easier process than before. There are numerous communication avenues that did not even exist previously – gym web sites, gym FaceBook pages, tweets on Twitter, emails, text messages – all of which can be integrated, automated and utilized together and/or separately to communicate any message at any time to a gym’s gymnastics customers.
Use the Old Standards, as Well
Standard communication systems that should be implemented at your gymnastics gym should also include newsletters (in printed and electronic formats, phone systems and procedures and a well-designed gymnastics gym website. One priority should be to collect all your prospect’s and customer’s e-mail addresses. This list will be invaluable for the most inexpensive method of advertising special offers. Note that new spam laws require you to have their permission to be added to an email subscription mailing list and that you should make it very easy for anyone to unsubscribe at any time they wish.
Automate Communications, Where Possible
Promotional materials should be available to educate parents and prospects to the benefits of gymnastics, in general, and to your gym in particular. Prospects should automatically receive electronic brochures, flyers, schedules and other information.
Find Efficient Guerrilla Marketing Tools
Free lesson business cards are one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods of letting prospects find out what your gym is all about. You should easily find numerous opportunities for distribution. Inexpensive, effective marketing methods that bring in customers should be your first investment. The profits from those can finance more expensive marketing.
Communication tools your gym should use for student retention include things like awards, certificates, birthday cards, get well cards, thank you notes, and gymnastics report cards. These can all be automated to some extent and distributed over the Internet at little to no additional expense.
Communications with Coaches
It is equally important that you set-up strong communication systems with your staff and coaches. Everything from scheduling changes to online training can be managed using the internet, cell phones, texts, emails and computers. Make sure you are effectively using the technology to keep your coaches and staff up to date.
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