So, in a recent post “9 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Pilates Class Attendance” we looked at how you could increase the attendance in your Pilates classes without much time and in ways that you could repeat for every single class. Now, let’s look at how your manager or mentor may be able to help you.
6 | Take a long, honest look
I truly believe that when someone really enjoys your class, typically they commit with their wallet.
In my experience, if someone loves a class they commit by purchasing a package or signing up for the next week. No need for a big sales pitch. All you have to do is make it easy for them to purchase and signup (i.e. tip #5). If they’re on the fence at all about the class, they do not purchase additional classes on the spot. And once they have walked out the door they may never try again.
And let’s not forget that people are generally nice. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. So they may be telling you what they think you want to hear even though they are not getting what they want from class.
So what should you do if people are not asking to purchase or rebook for your class? Take a good, long, honest look at your teaching. Sure it could be they loved your class but it’s too expensive or the schedule doesn’t work for them regularly or on and on and on. But if you consistently get a low return rate, then you may need to re-evaluate how your teaching or the class format.
Ask a friend, mentor, or even your boss to come observe your class and offer feedback. It really all circles back to knowing your audience (#1) and understanding their needs (#2).
Instead of feeling badly or defensive, just try something new. Experimentation was part of Joseph Pilates’ process, so allow it to be part of yours by testing out small adjustments to your teaching manner and class format.
7 | Survey your class
The only concrete way to find out what people think of your class is to ask them. You can do this with a simple survey through Google Forms, or a free online survey site like Survey Monkey. I think Google Forms is exceptionally easy to use. You can add as many questions as you like. However, experts say you should keep it to less than 10 questions. I think 5 super specific questions is plenty. Here are a few questions to consider asking:
Did you get what you wanted from class?
The pace of the class was:
A) Just right
B) Too slow
C) Too fast, I couldn’t keep up.
The teacher was: A) Engaging B) Confusing C) Boring
And so forth. I’ve heard many teachers say that they have students come up to them after class to tell them how much they loved the class. But, then next week those same people that loved class don’t show up. The teacher is often left wondering why. Surveys can eliminate the guessing and give you real answers.
8 | Follow up with clients that are missing in action
Technology has made it easier and easier to know which clients have disappeared. Every few months run the necessary reports to know who has not returned.
If you use MindBody, there are many useful reports such as Trainer Conversations (shows how many clients made a purchase after their initial purchase), to help you understand who hasn’t returned.
Once you know who hasn’t returned, you can choose to either send them the survey or reach out to them personally. If some came once and said they’d be back but just disappeared, reach out to them. Perhaps there’s an issue outside of their control (work schedule changes, injury, no childcare). If they share with you the reason they are not attending, you may be able to fix it. For instance, if the class were 15 minutes later they could get there from work might compel you to shift the schedule. If they are injured you might encourage them to do a couple private sessions with you until it’s appropriate to come back to class.
9 | Review (and don’t ignore) the data
Scheduling software makes it easy to see the data on your classes and compared your outcomes to other teachers at the studio. Knowing how you stack up to other teachers will help you reflect on ways you can improve.
For example, in MindBody there are many useful reports such as Trainer Conversations (shows how many clients made a purchase after their initial purchase), Clients Per Teacher (shows how many clients each teacher has taught), and Staff Performance (breaks down how many hours taught, with number of clients, and provides a retention factor). The Retention Factor report allows you to compare your teaching with other teachers to see who is retaining the most clients. The more that clients are coming to your classes, the higher the retention rate will be. Additionally, you can also run the report for two different date ranges, allowing you to compare performance over time.
Ultimately, knowing the data will help you to fairly measure how well the your performing. Of course a lot goes into analyzing data but it’s a good place to begin to understand how your doing as a teacher.
Pheeewwwww wee! We made it to the end. Now, let’s recap of all 9 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Pilates Class Attendance.
With a little work you can grow your class attendance without cheesy sales pitches or a hard sells (no one likes to give or to receive them anyways). And when your class numbers increase, it likely means you’re growing as a teacher.
So, get out there and get bodies on those empty Reformers. Good luck!
As always, leave me a comment and let me know if you find this helpful.