Ensuring a steady stream of clients is an ongoing challenge for most businesses. However, here are five things you can do to attract more customers to your activity club:
Special assembly or competitions involving local schools
The first place to reach out to your potential customers is where they are most likely to frequent. So, if you are running an activity club targeted at school-aged children, there is no better place to start than the local schools in your area.
Many schools would be happy to let you come in for a special assembly. Make the most of the opportunity to give a presentation or a quick demonstration of your club’s activities with your team. You could also request the school to send out an email about your club and pass them a bunch of fliers to display on their notice boards and send home with the children.
Similarly, you could also try a term-time competition involving the different local schools in your area. For example, a logo or badge design contest for the children could be a great way to get the children interested and capture the attention of their parents. If the schools agree, you could also go a step further and create slide shows of the competition to display in the common areas around the schools, for further publicity.
Parents as partners
No marketing channel holds more value than the good ol’ word of mouth referrals from happy customers. Parents who are well engaged and involved in what’s happening at your centre (and obviously satisfied with your services) are more likely turn into your brand advocates who leave you enthusiastic reviews and refer you to their friends.
Moreover, if at all there any issues at your centre, they would be the first ones to come over to you directly to raise any concerns, before talking about it to others. This will give you the all-important time to address the problem and sort it out before it gets out of hand. So, if you have been reluctant to go over and speak to the parents at pick-ups and drop-offs, make sure you take the time out occasionally and go beyond the cursory nod.
Don’t shy away from asking for testimonials
Although people do not need much of a nudge to put out a negative review about a business, it’s not quite the case when it comes to positive reviews. Even if you have a loyal customer base, do not sit back assuming they will always take the trouble to go online and share what they think about your services. Many of them might not even realise the impact a good review can have on your business or are a bit too ‘lazy’ or ‘busy’ to do it on their own initiative. But the good part is, a good many of them would still be more than happy to do it for you if you as much as ‘ask’.
So, depending on the relationship you have with your customer, ask them directly when you meet them or send them an email with a link to the review website or your social media account. And remember to offer them a small discount or gift voucher to say thank you!
Use social media as an additional route for sign up
Make sure you have a good social media presence as most customers start their research by looking up your social media accounts (and website, of course). You can use these platforms to interact and engage with parents, and also leverage them to fast-track your sign-up and booking process. For instance, a customer is more likely to sign up with you if you offer them an option to book/register while they are on your page, compared to leaving them a daytime phone number or your office address to pick up a registration pack later.
So, if you are using a club booking and registration platform, don’t forget to share or pin the registration/bookings link directly on your social media accounts and give them an additional route to sign up with you quickly.
Value their time
With most parents doing a tight-rope walk juggling pick-ups, drop-offs, commute and the demands of work, every little addition that can save time and make their life a little easier can go a long way in winning them over. A free app or online platform to manage their bookings and payments on the go would be a useful addition most parents would appreciate and see as a great value addition to your service. For example, check out how Lily’s after school club in Ireland adds an extra flourish to their services with the Cheqdin app for parents.