Written by Lori Shecter

SurveysTo survey or NOT to survey,  that is the question! We all want feedback…the only problem is we all want POSITIVE FEEDBACK.  But, having your finger on the pulse of your studio is important to prevent bad talk, mass exodus, revenue loss and much more.  In the end, your studio’s health is at stake—happy clients are good clients, and a studio owner that shows they care can go a long way in managing your client/studio relationship. Because in the end, while you MAY know best, your students  ARE clients. Not family, not friends. But CLIENTS. These tips can help you collect the information you want, NOT the information that creates animosity. 

Getting Started:

Survey Monkey is the FREE service for up to 100 responses and about 10 questions. They also offer the ability to give multiple choice as well as essays.  Here’s an example of our survey for DANCE IN A CAN.

TIP 1: Keep your questions short and multiple choice only
TIP 2: Ask very specific questions that will help you increase enrollment or identify new areas for development:

EXAMPLE 1:We are offering a new ACRO class that will cost $30/month. How likely are you to enroll your child? Very Likely, Likely, Unlikely, Very Unlikely
EXAMPLE 2: Our new unlimited pricing includes 7+ classes per week. Cost is: $250 per month. How likely are you to enroll your child?  Very Likely, Likely, Unlikely, Very Unlikely
EXAMPLE 3:We are considering complete packages that include: Costume, Recital Fee and Tights/Leotard. Cost of class will be $45/month versus $40 per month. Please tell me if you prefer:


EXAMPLE 4: Which classes would you like to see more time periods:

    1. Jazz: yes, no
    2. Tap: Yes, No
    3. Lyrical: Yes, No
    4. Etc: Yes, no                                                    

EXAMPLE 5: Please rate your child’s feelings about DANCE
Loves, likes a lot, neutral, not happy, really unhappy
EXAMPLE 6: We are considering a MASTER CLASS WORKSHOP next year. We are flying in BROADWAY chorographers/agents. Cost will be $175 for a 6 hour event.  How likely is your child to participate in this event:
EXAMPLE 7: We are considering a toddler program.  If you have a toddler, how likely are you to enroll in a $10/week 45 minute class? VERY, SOMEWHAT, NOT LIKELY, NA

 Yes. this IS an ADVERTISEMENTMay $1 Per Month

TIP 3: Provide incentives to ANSWER!  Yes, not giving people  reason to answer will not get you too many responses and will not include contact information.  Possible gifts: Enter to win one week of free classes, free registration, one week of summer class, $10 Starbucks card, Visa Card, etc. this way, you will ENSURE that the parent has to fill out their names and contact information.

TIP 4: Don’t ask open ended questions—i.e. what can we improve upon. Instead, formulate a question in the following way:  


Another way to Collect Data

In my past life as a research and marketing executive with Fortune 500’s (AKA Weightwatchers—yes, I did!) we established a “review board.”  Our review board was a group of trusted “brand advocates”…  people who could be trusted to tell us what they liked, didn’t like and what they felt could use improvement.  These discussions always provided a deep level of information that we might not have otherwise been able to get.  This can be an alternative way to keeping your finger on the pulse of your studio. But you need to feel comfortable with that decision, and be in control of the “focus” group.

In the end, more information can only benefit you.  But remember, clients can be nasty…no matter what industry you are in. And in fact, nasty client comments and reviews are SO pervasive, a clever entrepreneur started this website called: http://www.nastyclient.com/  LOL.  So, if you all WANT  to get retribution, now you have a way to do it!