In the corporate world when you sign up a new client you have a process called ‘onboarding’ that is you are getting clients to come on board to your product, which is you.
Small studios and micro businesses need to think about this in the same way. If a client comes for a casual session often as a savvy small business owner we would try to get them to sign up to ongoing packages or passes. We want them to come onboard with us.
So if you ask someone to sign up and come on board your service or studio, then you should respect their decision and keep them posted about what you are doing, where you are going, what is inspiring you and what is happening; maybe some reminders that classes are on today etc. They are ‘onboard’ with you so keep them informed connected and engaged.
If you have to change location of a studio or even change timetables its good manners to tell people what is happening. Think about your onboard client as a friend in your social circle. You may not see them regularly but you want them to feel comfortable and know what is happening with you.
If you had a friend who was coming to visit on a regular basis you would do everything to let them know what is happening, if you had moved house, or your situation had changed. If you just let them know with a status update at the 11th hour they would be pretty annoyed as I think you may well be as well. Particularly if that friend isn’t a regular facebook user.
It is important that you keep your clients informed, without going into detail you can often give them a vague reassurance about the reasoning for the change. If you have to cancel its the same as if it was a friend you were having coffee with, you would apologise and let them know as soon as possible so they could make other plans.
This does happen in the business world as well, we may well all have experienced this and you can’t rely on the good will of your team or your clients to continue if you don’t talk to them. Its much the same with a friend you may have forgotten to share something important with, they tend get annoyed if you leave them in the dark or just swimming in the water or if they find out when they switch on Facebook a week after the event.