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Industry Insights

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Have you ever stopped to think about why you go to the same corner market each morning? Or repeatedly order from a retailer across the country? Often, it’s because of a great product and outstanding customer service. In fact, surveys show that clients who experience positive customer support are more likely to be loyal to that company in the future. 

 

As consumers’ options continue to grow, so do their standards and expectations. That’s why the customer service experience should be as carefully curated as your studio’s dance season. After all, we all want five-star service. The question for business owners is, how do you provide it?

 

We asked our vendors to share what steps they take to ensure the kind of exceptional service that builds strong relationships and leads to sales. We hope their insight will reinforce your own successful practices, or perhaps inspire a new approach to your business model.

 

Anicia Gutierrez

Customer service director

KNKMiami

 

“We pride ourselves on our speedy and personalized customer service. We don’t depend on chatbots to answer our customers’ queries; instead, we provide tailored responses within 24 hours (including weekends). If we are unable to meet our target response time, we will provide the customer with an explanation including when they can expect our call or email. Most importantly, we enjoy connecting with our customers and wholeheartedly believe that it is the most rewarding part of our jobs. I believe the customer understands our commitment and values our attentiveness.”

 

Melise Harris

Senior travel planner

42nd Street Tours

  

“We take pride in our attention to detail. Travel can be stressful. We aim to provide 100 percent support, and shoulder all the burden, so you can focus on the most important thing—your performance!”

 

Mandy Yip

Owner

Acrobatic Arts Inc.

     

“Acrobatic Arts is built on word of mouth. Over 80 percent of the teachers who purchase products and services from us learn about Acrobatic Arts from a friend. We prioritize active listening, prompt responses, expert advice, and friendly staff to ensure a five-star experience. We exceed expectations by offering convenient options along with personalized support.” 

 

Paul Friedwald

President

EAP Dance Photography & Video

 

“At EAP Dance Photography & Video, we pride ourselves on great customer service. Every studio owner we work with is assigned a personal sales representative. From the time a studio calls to work with us to the time we complete production of sales, a representative is there to guide you through the process.”

 

Robyn McLean

Vice president

Dance World Bazaar

 

“We believe that the customer experience should always be as simple and streamlined as possible. Communication and integrity are the keys to five-star service. Quick responses to emails or phone calls, with the correct information, is the first step. Each customer has direct communication with a dedicated artist for their project. Integrity is meeting or exceeding customer expectations for quality, value, and speed.”  

 

Suzanne Blake Gerety

Director of customer experience and channel marketing

Revolution Dancewear LLC

 

“At Revolution, we are constantly thinking of ways to improve our communication and connections, to be the best partner in dance for our customers. We believe open communication leads to trust. Trust leads to long-term relationships that benefit both our studios and our business. Our teams serving customers lead with an approach of ‘putting ourselves in your shoes’ and anticipating your needs. Ultimately, our goal is to provide value with beautiful costumes and dancewear, while also supporting your studio’s entire business.”  

Tricia Gomez

Global director

Rhythm Works and Intellidance (Inspire-Create-Educate, Inc.)

 

“Our goal is to provide value before we ever engage in a sales transaction. We make it a habit to engage with educators on social media when they are struggling with classroom management or learner/behavioral challenges. Providing possible solutions, and the why behind the what, helps educators see their role and their impact when it comes to the learning process. Often, we open their eyes to things they may have never considered, or even known to consider. This leads to a trusting relationship where we become their go-to source when they are ready to take the next steps in their professional development.”

 

Julie Tyree Bohl

Customer sales rep

Specialty Mail & Services

 

“For years, I watched owner Tanya Kirchner deliver above and beyond service to our dance and music customers. I try to remember that every day and continue to improve. Her motto was, ‘Always follow-up. And follow-up again.’ Rest in peace, Tanya. What a friend!”

 

Tanya Kirchner, founder of Specialty Mail & Services, died September 9, 2022. The company is now led by Jack Quinn.

 

Eva Jeanne Tanenbaum

Vice president of strategic development

A Wish Come True

 

“Our customer service includes discount offers based on yearly order dates and volume. We also have a loyalty program called Star Club; studios are automatically enrolled in this upon meeting a minimum annual sales purchase. Perks include a personal sales rep to ensure your experience is seamless.”

 

Randy Swartz

Managing director

Stagestep

 

“We do not focus on selling products but providing solutions. Offering in-depth information allows our clients to make informed decisions. During the past 50 years, we have listened and responded to the needs of the dance community and have developed products that meet those needs. Trust, experience, and value pricing are the cornerstone of our company policy.”

Joshua Olson

CEO

Dance Recital Ticketing

 

“DRT ‘s mission is to always do right by our clients. We work with integrity and take pride in building our team so that each member values our clients and provides excellent client experiences before, during, and after ticketing. This ultimately grows our referrals and positive social ‘press’ on social media platforms. 

 

“It is important to us to understand who we are partnering with so that we can tailor our level of service for more measurable outcomes. We find that even in this tech-driven world, by putting people at the center of everything we do, we attract more people and great sales happen as a result.”

Laila H. Hardman

Studio management consultant

NRG danceProject

 

“We are a convention/competition that concentrates first and foremost on our existing clients before trying to increase sales. We provide prompt customer service that is positive, accommodating, and mindful of each studio’s needs. We have a studio management consultant who is always available to our clients, on and off season, for advice, support, and best business practices. We offer amazing loyalty incentives to our returning studios. 

 

“Based on our low turnover rate, we know that focusing on our existing clients by building long term relationships grounded in five-star service is smart sales.”

 

Tracey Wozny

Executive director

Taking Shape

 

“Great service leads to successful sales through developing trust on the front side of all relationships. In our organizations, we are committed to consistently raising the bar in personalized service for every one of our clients. We work hard to exceed the normal expectations and provide extraordinary experiences. 

 

“When we continue to provide five-star customer care, it provides a strong foundation of trust, which in turn brings in referrals to our businesses. Referrals are the number one way we increase sales.”

 

Joe Naftal

CEO

Penny Prima and Check In Pointe

 

“At my companies, our sales strategy is to be a great partner to our studios. Our first goal is to help our partner studios increase revenue, efficiency, organization, and value. If our customers grow and flourish, they’ll continue to support us and succeed along with us.”

 

Jennifer Randall

Founder

Attract. Enroll.

 

“Great service for us starts with a simple welcome gift and an onboarding call so we can learn about your studio and what makes it special. It is also a chance for the studio owner to get familiar with us and learn how to get the most out of our services. One of the best things we offer owners is a dedicated help desk system where they can find all their emails, projects, and tasks in one place so nothing ever gets ‘lost’ in email or all the other places where things can slip through the cracks. 

 

“By supporting our owners in a way that makes them feel safe and secure with their social media and marketing, it creates a strong relationship that they can’t wait to share with other owners.”

 

Lisa Giuriceo

National sales manager

Laylas Dance Costumes

 

“Laylas is a family-owned company, and we truly value our partnerships with our dance studio clients. We pride ourselves on providing excellent personal service to all clients by ensuring that each phone call and inquiry is responded to in a timely manner.  We do whatever we can to fulfill an emergency dance costume order to assist our clients and make sure that their dancers sparkle on stage.  We have a policy of open and honest communication with our clients. As a result of our responsive customer service, our account base continues to grow and that has led to growth in our sales and expansion of our product assortment.”

 

Carrie Bintz

CEO

Plié Promotions

 

“I come from the dance world as a student first, then teacher, now dance mom, so I have a great feel for what dance studios want. My customers always come first and I’ve enjoyed the connections I’ve made with them. They keep coming back year after year to order their logo wear or recital plush animals. The past two years, I’ve sent my customers a Christmas card. This year I was delighted to be on some of their personal Christmas card lists as well!”

 

Jeffrey Olson

Vice president of customer experience

The Studio Director

 

“The Studio Director team is committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences that create a high level of trust, which leads to customer loyalty and advocacy for our brand. Customers share memorable service experiences with friends, family, colleagues, and peers in their industry. This provides an opportunity for referrals where we can help other dance studios grow their business with our software solution. The strong relationship we maintain with our customers is a key strategy in revenue protection and in ultimately creating customers for life.”

 

Molly Stroud

Head of growth marketing

Jackrabbit Dance

 

“At Jackrabbit Dance, we are adamant that great customer service leads to even greater sales, and we have the data to prove it. How do we create that experience for our customers? We have a set of core values that each of our employees embodies and acts on, whether interacting with each other or one of our many clients. We’re so proud to have an exceptional team that personifies our values and helps create a stellar experience for our users, which, in turn, leads to great word of mouth and even more sales.”

 

Tim Physick

Head of customer relations

Dance Cirque

 

“At Dance Cirque, we anticipate your potential problems and have developed our systems and training programs to suit. 

 

“When a new client signs up, they are automatically dropped into our onboarding process. This includes several short videos on what to expect from our company in the coming days, how to access our training portal, a personalized video from our global director, and a warm welcome email from our head of customer relations. 

 

“Here is a summary of the key, non-negotiable principles that Dance Cirque uses as a framework for customer service: respond quickly and positively, be empathetic, communicate clearly and consistently, add value, be knowledgeable, lead with authenticity, express appreciation, continuously improve, and go the extra mile.”

 

Richard D. Leber Jr.

President

Educational Travel Tours Inc.

 

“We are a family-owned and operated business that began in 1982. Our continued high level of success in retaining customers is achieved by providing an unparalleled level of commitment and dedication to students, teachers, administrators, parents, and tour participants. Our great service increases loyalty and satisfaction, which in turn improves word-of-mouth recommendations. This helps to greatly reduce marketing costs, which leads to lower pricing for our clients. We make sure we follow up and use any feedback we receive regarding their experience with our company.” 

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