COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges to personal lives and businesses; how do you know if your business is truly surviving? iKizmet is diving into 4 of the most important metrics that studio owners should monitor for business success during COVID and beyond.
It goes without saying that clients are one of the most important parts of your business model: you do not have a business without them. Where do YOUR clients come from and how do you bring them into your studio? This question is very important when determining how to bring in future clients and run successful acquisition campaigns.
Start by checking your "Referral by Source" chart under the Marketing tab in your iKizmet software. Here, you can see a clear breakdown of your most successful and fruitful referral sources. This can help you determine where to focus your time and energy when determining your next new client acquisition campaign. If your current clients are bringing in friends, consider running a referral campaign where both your current client and their referred friend get a deal or gift when their friend purchases an intro offer. Does your social media marketing bring in new clients? Continue to focus your efforts on building and beefing up your social media profiles and posts. If your staff have not been tracking this information, now is the time to start and put a system in place!
Don't have iKizmet? Start by pulling Attendance reports from your CRM software (e.g. ClubReady, mindbody, MarianaTek, zingfit, etc.) For some businesses, you may need to pull your roster. Next, you need to determine who is new and who is coming regularly based on frequency of attendance. Once you have segmented your new clients from your returning clients, you will want to build a spreadsheet that shows you those new clients' referral sources. Are they coming in more frequently through social media campaigns? Google ads? Other clients or word of mouth?
The Lead-to-Purchase Journey
For some owners, talking about a "sales funnel" and "sales cycle" can be daunting, but it's really very simple. You're likely tracking parts or all of that process already! Having a handle on your sales funnel and cycle helps you identify issues in your sales process and allows you to more easily determine solutions. If one part of your funnel is not performing well, you can zero in and develop new processes for your staff.
Leads: Who and Where?
How you determine who a lead is may be up to your business model. Generally, a lead is someone who is has shown some interest in your business, such as filling out a form on your website or signing up for a contest you throw. The point is: they are interested and have interacted with your business in some way. It is very important at this stage for you to have a clear way to track from where these leads are coming.
Why? Knowing where they came from can help you sort and later determine which lead or "referral source" was most effective. Knowing your most successful referral source helps you determine where to focus your future marketing efforts to get the highest return on your investment. For example, spending money on Google Ads might not be appropriate if this referral source is more expensive and produces less results. Some savvy business owners further classify these leads between hot, warm, and cool leads; again, this is up to each business model and may not be appropriate or worth the additional time or work to do so.
Appointment: They've Booked!
When a lead has booked an appointment or a class, they are showing further interest in your studio. That's great! Now you just need to get them in the door. During this time, it may serve you to have a bit of warm-up for these leads. Developing an email campaign or having front desk staff contact these leads may be appropriate for your studio. If a lead is showing up to your class for the first time, it might be helpful to have an email campaign developed to let them know what to expect and how to prepare for their first class. This is especially helpful during these times where leads may be wary about COVID and safety precautions.
Additionally, you could set up a sales process to have your front desk make contact with these leads to make sure they're prepared and feel welcome. This is dependent on your business model and what resources you have during these times.
Show: They're Here!
They've made it to your studio: now is your chance to "wow" and dazzle them! Defining this part of your sales process is absolutely crucial and could make the difference between a lead converting to a client and just not coming back to your studio. From the moment they park their car at your studio to the moment they leave through your doors, you want their experience to be phenomenal. Defining the client experience-especially their first time-can be crucial to a lead becoming a client.
A Leads First Visit
Put yourself in a lead's shoes and imagine their experience as they walk through the doors. Ask yourself the questions on this First Visit Checklist.
Converting: They're In!
Your staff and facility have wowed them, how do you get them to make that final leap to purchasing a class pack or membership? Defining a clear sales process and follow-up process for your staff is crucial. Will you have staff waiting for them after their first class to check in on how their experience was? Will that staff member discuss future classes and introductory offers with them? If they haven't purchased an introductory offer or future services, you may opt to have your staff follow up with a telephone call. If you have fewer employee resources during this time, an email campaign might serve your business model well.
Depending on your business model and your individual leads, this process could be as quick as a few hours or as slow as a few weeks. What is most important is that you are tracking the percentages or rates between each step in this process. If you have many leads who attend one class but do not purchase an intro offer, you may need to take a look at your services, staff, or pricing options. Gathering feedback from leads and clients is also crucial to understanding where there might be a breakdown in their experience -or where your staff are really rocking!
Now that you've got them in the door and hooked on your classes or services, how do you keep them engaged? See how in this webinar, Are You Surviving? Measuring Success in the COVID-19 Era.