The Tutu School gives children an introduction to dance that is nurturing, enchanting, and positive. Our classes start for kids as young as 18 months old, up until they’re eight years old. We’re often the first place these children ever have a dance class—let alone any kind of structured activity—so building relationships with their families is a big part of how we get them to feel comfortable with us. We want to build a community for these children, and we knew that the ease of connecting with families through text messaging would help us foster those relationships.
We first integrated texting into our registration process. After parents submit a registration form through our website, we would email them to confirm the date they wanted to try out their class, and then we’d email them again with more follow up information. Now we just text them first. Once they confirm, we continue to send information by both text and email to give them multiple, convenient contact points with us. Everyone gets the up front, need-to-know information to register for classes faster, plus they know they can easily reach us by text going forward.
Our services used to only be based in the studio before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now a lot of classes take place outside and in different locations. We text parents things like last minute weather updates, maps to new locations, and COVID-19 policies. We’ll also send links to Youtube videos of our teachers introducing themselves before every child’s first class, plus livestreams of the class so parents can watch, or links to sign up for makeup classes on the go. All of these things create an immediate connection that embeds these families into our studio.
There’s a lot of creative room for using Text Request. It makes things so much easier for our staff, especially when they use features like the templates. We have templates for everything from an automatic welcome text when people reach out, to booking a trial class, to follow ups after classes. We’ll even turn on an autoresponder during holiday breaks or recital days, so families know classes aren’t happening.
Using Text Request is a no brainer for our studio, and I can’t imagine going back to when we weren’t using it. Creating a direct line of communication through texting makes us more accessible as a community our clients are a part of.