Ever wonder why high class restaurants charge considerable prices for entrees that are often times smaller than at your average eatery? Maybe it’s because they have better quality ingredients or maybe it’s because their chefs have more skill… or perhaps it’s because they made you feel like you should pay more. From the inception of going to this high class restaurant, you have already begun telling yourself a story about the tremendous level of quality you will experience. Don’t you think you should create those same feelings for your members every time they think of your studio?
The quantity of services and the quality of those services are not the only thing you offer that hold monetary value — it’s also (and maybe more importantly) the experience you are providing. You are their escape from reality, a place for them to be independent and free. The experience you offer gives you the ability to command higher prices. This experience is incredibly important for studios because yoga is highly community based. These people are not customers and transactions, they are members of your tribe and they need to be cared for and respected as such at all times.
One of the best ways to do this is to establish a culture of etiquette in your studio. Allow a brief moment of negativity to consider this scenario… Many of us have been in a public place and happen upon someone with a suffocating amount of perfume/ cologne on. Surely it made you want to get away as quickly as possible and if you were shopping that may have meant a loss of business for that store. Now imagine that store is your studio and the people leaving are your tribe members. Even worse, if they are new students, they may remember this experience and could even blame you, the studio owner, for it. Okay, moment of negativity over. The moral of the story is — while this is not your fault, you do have the power to prevent it and ultimately prevent the loss of business.
Establishing a strong culture of studio etiquette will keep members happier and will validate higher prices. Furthermore, this doesn’t cost you a thing. Simple rules such as
- Check in closes 5 minutes before class starts to avoid distractions
- Remove metal jewelry around your neck, wrists and ankles to prevent noise
- No strong perfume/colognes to respect others’ nostrils.
Give your tribe members that high class dining experience! By removing those outside factors, you can now focus all of your attention on teaching and creating a smooth, blissful experience. This experience will make them feel as though they received value from your studio. As the wise marketer and author Seth Godin taught, “How someone feels about the services they received can be far more valuable than any service ever could.”
Dan Berger is the co-founder and Mr. Personality at fitDEGREE. He can be contacted at dan.berger@fitDEGREE.com.