How I Survived My First Bikram Yoga Class…..and Learned a Few Business Lessons in the Process

19 Feb

funny yoga

 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I had to take a break with 15 minutes remaining in my first Bikram Yoga class. As I started to feel dizzy and nauseated, I decided to take a knee. Man down. The 105 degree heat finally beat me down.

However, I was perfectly comfortable taking a knee in a room full of complete strangers. You see, prior to starting my first class, the owner of the studio completed her new customer process with me–a process she automatically completes with every new customer.  Her new customer process included:

1) Greeted me and welcomed me to the studio–gave me a 5 to 10 minute tour of her yoga studio

2) Required me to complete a form, providing all of my contact information for her database (hopefully she uses it for future direct mail and email follow up)

3) Told me what to expect in the room; she explained that many people feel dizzy and nauseated when first starting Bikram Yoga (not something I was excited to hear). I was told to take a knee if this happened (and it did).

4) Introduced me to the class; told the class this was my first ever Bikram Yoga experience, and that she would be watching me closely

Before I even broke into the first move of the day, I already felt comfortable in a room full of strangers. I had an idea of what to expect.

At the conclusion of the class, she asked me how I was feeling and provided me with a free bottle of water. She discussed the different pricing structures for her studio, trying to sell me a 10-visit package for $130.00. While I wasn’t ready to purchase a package from her, I have a tremendous amount of respect for her as an entrepreneur.  She values new customers and even has systems to make them feel comfortable and cross-sell her products and services.

Do you have SYSTEMS (processes) to maximize the customer experience for your new customers? At a minimum, you should gather contact information for follow up purposes; you spend too much money on overhead to simply let fate dictate whether a new customer becomes a repeat customer.

Good luck!

 

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2 Responses to “How I Survived My First Bikram Yoga Class…..and Learned a Few Business Lessons in the Process”

  1. Edmund Amoye February 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    It’s all about the customer experience. That’s all I keep thinking. I’m reading a really good book on the topic. You might think there is no need for customer experience management in publishing, but I was surprised when the author replied to an email I sent him. Not only was he prompt in his reply, he actually answered my question without forcing me to buy something else. I had already decided to buy the book for a couple of my friends, but his management of my experience sealed the deal. I’ll send you a copy if you email me your address.

    • Kurt February 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Agreed, Edmund. It’s vital to a businesses success; that’s why Nordstrom and Ritz-Carlton go “all-in” on customer experience. A small business should take the time to tailor a specific action plan when a new prospect/customer makes initial contact. What happens when a new prospect/customer visits our website? Submits a contact form? Calls the office? Visits the store? This should not be left to chance. It should be tested, tweaked, and implemented. The manager or owner should then be responsible for making sure the system is working properly…I’d love a copy of the book–I’ll email you my address. Thanks!

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