Within the dance studio, owners and instructors are so passionate about their studio and its offerings that sometimes the obvious answer to a problem can be difficult. We want everyone to love us and be nothing but ecstatic about our programming on a daily basis. After all, for most studios, there are no corporate headquarters, so we are out there, on the front lines, everyday convincing the public that our studio is undoubtedly the right fit for them.
In a perfect world, that would be the case; however, humans are not perfect and, realistically, it is impossible to please everyone. Some people will be looking for something you may not offer, or perhaps they will have unrealistic expectations about their child’s training and progress. Once someone becomes unhappy within your studio, they will continue to find small, petty problems to dislike. When this happens, it is important to remember that the underlying problem is not your studio, it is something having to do with the person’s inner psyche, life circumstance, or a million other possibilities. The worst thing is that unhappy clientele can become toxic, as they will spread their negativity to other clients, because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company”.
At our studio, once a family enters the toxic parent path, we have realized that acknowledging that our studio may not be the best fit for them is the first step in encouraging them to leave our programming. We will offer a refund for anything that we can possibly (and fairly) return and will give them the option to withdraw from the program with no penalty and no advance notice. This puts the client in control of the situation, and we have had incredible success with problematic families removing themselves from the studio.
Weeding through negative clients creates a calm, productive, like-minded environment throughout your business that the bulk of your business will appreciate and respect. It also creates a behavioral standard expectation for other parents. After all, choosing a dance school is a private choice, so people should only be attending a facility that they believe in and enjoy. If you consistently utilize this tactic, you will be impressed and pleased with the overall well-being and atmosphere of your studio.