4 Ways to Grow Your Tennis Programs Faster
By Lille Krukrubo
Like most businesses, tennis programs want to grow to almost full capacity. Assuming that you have the right staff, infrastructure and teaching philosophy, it all comes down to making your existing clients very happy and they will spread the word for you.
Here are 4 tips that can help you grow your programs faster than ever.
1. Show parents a Return on Investment by using Evaluations
Most of us like to see progress, especially parents who invest thousands of dollars in tennis programs for their children. Finding tangible ways to show progress is critical in a world of ever increasing instant gratification. Here are ways to do it:
Define progress levels and criteria. You can set milestones such as Advanced Pee Wee, Satellite Ready, D1 College, etc… You can be creative or just use standard and established systems such as the Grips Program (www.gripsprogram.com)
Communicating predefined levels will allow you to set goals for your children, motivate them to get to the next level, and will also show parents that you are serious about their children’s improvement and that you want to communicate that progress with them on a regular basis. This practice will keep your programs focused and organized, will increase your client loyalty and from that a lot of word of mouth will be generated.
Evaluate at least once every session. Sending a formal report to parents and students summarizing the progress they have made and the gap between where they are and where they want to be will make everyone feel better about their investment in time and money.
Use certificates or tokens as tangible symbols of the success your clients have earned. Some clubs use grip colors while other use T-shirts, hats and more. Tangible rewards for improvement will help your students feel proud about their tennis and will encourage them to share it with their friends, thus promoting your programs.
2. Retain and promote by using Scholarships and Loyalty Programs
Scholarships are equated with athletic or academic achievement and potential, so parents have a certain level of pride when their kids earn them. Scholarships are also a great way to acknowledge student’s improvement.
So why not surprise your clients with scholarships instead of the usual discounts? They’ll most likely be grateful for it and when it comes time to register, they will simply think of making up the difference to provide their kids the great tennis education they deserve.
Loyalty Programs have been around for a long time simply because they work. Consider starting a reward program to give away free classes, private lessons or semi-private lessons when students stick around for a while. Not all your clients will participate in those programs, but this will reward and retain a lot of them.
3. Stay Top of Mind by connecting with your clients on social media
Facebook is clearly now the Number 1 social network on the planet, so engaging your clients on it is key to staying top of mind when they think about tennis. Some studies show 76% of Facebook users log in daily and the average user spends 8.3 hours a month on the social network(source:techcrunch). Here are 3 easy things you can do to be relevant
More is less: A study found that keeping your posts below 80 characters gets 66% more engagement than you might otherwise see with longer posts (source: kissmetrics). Try to keep your posts to announcement, congratulations, useful tips and the like.
Timing is everything: Engagement rates tend to be better between Thursday -Sunday versus earlier in the week. Sunday specifically tends to be good for sports brands. (source:buddymedia)
Be careful what you ask for: Questions get more comments but fewer likes and shares(source: hubspot.com),so be careful on which outcome you want: Likes, shares or comments? your call
4. Use Events to build deeper connections
Before Facebook was around, people were still communicating pretty well. Other ways to keep connecting with your audience include:
Hosting social events such as an end of the season party, U.S open party, Beach days, Margarita nights, etc. These are great ways to connect with your audience on a deeper level than just tennis. Bonding with them and caring for them as people, not just clients, will increase their loyalty to you and your programs. This is a powerful way to generate word of mouth.
Attending their social events: when you are invited to your clients birthday, Christmas or graduation parties, if you can, you should attend. Attending those event will show your clients that you care about them as friends, not just clients. If you can’t attend, send them a little gift with a personal note. This will build stronger relationships with your clients. Also, simply going to watch kids play at tournaments can be a really good ways to connect to people and promote your programs.
That’s it! Good luck with Your Programs, we’re rooting for you at www.TrackmyTennis.com
Picture 3: http://www.drivingretention.com/yes-loyalty-programs-worth-effort/