How To Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Regulars

Here are simple ways for you to make a huge difference in customer satisfaction and ensure that your regulars get the VIP treatment they deserve.

Here's How To Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Regulars

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Punchpass Webinar Introduction
My name is Victoria. I'm the customer success specialist with Punchpass. Just so you know, we're going to be sending you this recording when we're done.  If you need to come back to anything or if you need to jump out for any reason, we will be sending you the recording; so don't worry about it. We'll also be taking questions in the chat we’ll be doing at the end.  If you need to add anything, you can add whenever you want, but we'll be dealing with questions at the end.  If we might not cover anything that you're looking for, feel free to message about that. We’ll also be doing a survey at the end.  When you do the survey when we end the webinar, we're asking you to add your request for topic. If there's something you'd like to see us cover in one of our webinar series, that's what we'll be doing then. If that's everyone, we're going to get started. 

Treating Customers Like VIPs and Customer Retention
This webinar is about treating your customers like VIPs (rolling out the red carpet for them; making them feel welcome; making them feel like this is a home in a community for them). The biggest question you might have about some of the features we cover today is that something extra that I have to do and isn't Punchpass all about automating things for me?  (That's true). We do a lot of work to make things really automatic, really easy for you to take the workload off your shoulders, but there potentially is an opportunity here when it comes to customer retention. If you're looking to have more people stick around for longer (build up your monthly memberships and build up your regular customers who show up every week to the same classes), there might be a bit of a trade-off in terms of automated admin work and doing a little extra, giving them a little extra, and doing something special for them. There is a little bit of potential work here, but it's all in the name of keeping your customers happy and making them want to stick around and keep coming back to your classes. 

You don't have to take everything here. Definitely take a look at some of the features that we're going to show off, but it's all about ways that you can use Punchpass and some ideas that we've heard from other people in order to keep those customers coming back; make them regulars;  keep them around for a while. 

Policies and Procedures that Help Reward Loyalty
Some of the features we're going to talk about are our policies and procedures that help reward loyalty (people who keep coming back for more; people who've been with you from the beginning; anyone who's been around and has been through your Zoom class and has been through the transition). Maybe they're doing hybrid classes with you and stuck it out. They've been there from the beginning. These are the kind of people that we want to reward. We want to do something special for them so hopefully they talk about it and get people interested and excited to do more with you.

Another thing that we can do here that's important is prioritizing the customer comfort (the things that you can do to make life easy for them, reduce hassle, and anything to make them feel comfortable about coming back, signing up, and continuing with you) and also some policies that you can add to your business and onto the way that you do things that are going to support them, things that  really help them out in the long run; really prioritize their interests and making life easy for them. So let's take a look at some features, and we'll get into it. 

Waitlist Feature
The first feature we're going to talk about today is the waitlist feature.  The wait list feature is really great, especially when you're having some popular classes. Some people might be interested in booking into that special workshop or the particular class that you've run that's really popular. Maybe it's a certain time or maybe it's a certain instructor, but you might be having those certain classes that get a lot of people excited, and the waitlist feature gives them an opportunity to potentially get in even if they can't get into the first level.  It also helps alleviate some frustration over class sizes. We know that due to the situation with a COVID-19, there are a lot of restrictions.  Obviously, it depends on what state you're in, what country you're in, but you might not be able to have the big size classes that you had previously. And that might be a frustration for some of your customers, some of your regulars.  The wait list is a great opportunity for them to say, “Okay, I might not get in right away, but there's an opportunity. There's a potential for me to be able to take this class.”
 The waitlist feature kind of helps mitigate that potential frustration and make them feel like there's an opportunity for them to get in. It's also about equal opportunity for your clients. The way that the Punchpass waitlist works is when a spot opens up, your customers (all, everyone on the waitlist) get an email notification to let them know that the spot is available. There's a reason why we do this. We really want to prioritize you having a full class, especially if you have to limit your class sizes. We want you to have a full class. 

The other thing the wait list helps eliminate is if we automatically added a customer right away to the waitlist and just emailed them, and said, “You got in.”, there's potential for them to not realize that they got into the class. Then that conversation becomes an uncomfortable conversation for you and your client. “Hey, you charged me for a no-show. I don't understand.   I was on the waitlist.”  “Well, you got into the class.” “Well, I didn't know I got into the class.” It's not a comfortable conversation. We don't really want to have that with our clients. By making sure that they have to be proactive in claiming this spot, we know that they've agreed, and they've seen it. They want to be in that class, and they're ready to be in that class. So that's how the wait list feature can be beneficial to both you and your clients, especially if you're offering limited class sizes.

Late Cancel Feature
Another feature that's great and works really well with the waitlist feature, is our late cancel feature. One might say they go together like peanut butter and jelly. They're a really great combination in order to make things easier for your clients and give them the opportunity to do some things, and help you with some of your policies. With the late cancel feature in Punchpass, you get to set your cancellation window of  how many hours before class are you allowing people to cancel. With our late cancel feature you can allow customers to cancel after that window has elapsed because they recognize and they accept that a credit is going to be debited from their pass.  The reason this is good for everybody is one it incentivizes your cancellation policy. It made sure that people think, “I really need to cancel beforehand and know if I'm going to be able to make it or not.”   So, there's a benefit to canceling on time. 

Another big reason is that it really helps the customer out because things they might not want to do or get on the phone with you and say, “Hey something came up and now I really have to cancel and I'm so sorry.”, and that conversation isn't fun for anybody. I don't think a lot of people like picking up the call for that.  So, what might happen is they just no show because they want to avoid that confrontation.  A better situation is to give them the option to cancel recognizing that they know they're going to lose a credit, but it's better than a no show.  It gives the opportunity for someone on the waitlist to join. The reason these work together really well is that your customers will be familiar with being on the waitlist. They know that even if they have to cancel, it opens up a spot for somebody else, and it's being accountable.  They know that that has probably helped them or will help them down the road. So, it's something that they can do without having to call you or talk to you about it, and that way, it's going to really help out with   interaction with your clients.  We now have a video to kind of show you how to set that up and how that works from both the admin side as well as the customer side.

If I go up to manage settings, and I'm going to go ahead and go into our online reservation feature, here I'm going to turn on our late cancel feature. We have pretty strict cancellation policies. There's a lot of time in here for someone to be able to book if late cancellation opens up a spot, especially if someone's on the waitlist.  We go ahead and save that, and then just to show you where the wait list gets setup, that's under manage classes. Under each class, you're able to determine whether you allow customers to sign up for waitlist. You'll see here my waitlist is enabled.  If  I go to edit, I can show you how you set that up, and that's under your class reservation settings.  Here we set the limit, and then we also allow customers to sign up for the wait list.  If I go to my schedule and we take a look at one of our classes, what you're going to see in our class today is that we have a full class, but there's someone on the waitlist. 

So, this is a nice opportunity to show off these features all together. If I go into a customer account who has a reservation for this class, and say we've passed the reservation or the cancellation window, we're going to see the option to cancel the reservation. What's going to happen is we're going to let you know about the cancellation policy and the fact that this is a late cancel, and a class is going to be deducted. So this allows the customer to do that, and accept that that's going to be the case, and then we'll see that if we go ahead and refresh here that a customer has already late cancelled. So that's going to debit the pass. And we will see that we've already sent an email to our waitlisted person here. What that looks like from their email is that they're alerted to a spot being opened up, which is great and then they can quickly click to accept the spot.

This is how we can accept and get on the list for the spot that's been opened up. What that means is that you're making access more available to your customers. It's going to incentivize canceling early so that they don't get penalized for a late cancel, but it's also going to allow you to access more revenue for your classes.  So, that was the wait list and late cancellation feature and how those two work together, and how that works for your customers. 

Bulk Standing Reservation Feature
Next I'll talk to you about our bulk and standing reservation feature.  One of the features that we offer in Punchpass is an option to allow you to (as the admin) give customers an ongoing reservation, a standing reservation action for a specific class date and time. If you have a regular customer who always comes to the 5:30 class on Fridays, you could be very kind and set them up to always have a reservation for that class. Now some Punchpass users do offer this to everybody, and they say, “ Hey,  anyone who wants to set up a standing reservation can do that with me.  Just reach out to me, and we'll set that up, but we also have a lot of users who make that a special membership feature.  

If you're an unlimited member with your studio, you might give them the option to set up a standing reservation as a sort of VIP exclusive feature for their membership. So that's something that you might want to do on a limited basis or maybe open it up to more customers. Basically, what you're doing is you're rewarding their loyalty with class access, especially for these  restricted classes with limited people.  If you have people that have been with you from the beginning or who you know have really stuck it out with you and you want to reward them for continuing to work with you, and they're doing the work, it's a little extra work on your part to set up this reservation for them, but it gives them that feeling of, “ I don't have to sign up. I'm already signed up.” We're all good as there is no hassle and no stress on their part. So a little bit of work, but it's a nice feature that you're offering to them, and you're doing something special for them as a reward for what they've done for you.  
What's great about the standing reservation is that we also email them and let them know if a class is coming up so that they have the opportunity to cancel. For instance, if  they're there in this ongoing class, but something comes up, they’re able to be reminded about it and then make the cancellation they need to and that'll open up the spot, but again, it's a nice feature that you're able to offer your customers. 

We're about to go into how to set up the standing reservations and also to show you how to set up a bulk reservation. If you have instead of an ongoing and a long-term reservation, it's just maybe for a certain number of classes or a certain number of months, let's walk through setting up a standing reservation from your reports page. We have a standing reservations report, and this is where you'll see you can access your list of current standing reservations, but you can also create this new standing reservation here.  So we can search for the customer name. We can also do the same thing for the class if we know exactly which class this is going to be, and then we can set the start date for the standing reservation. Perhaps it's today. Maybe we're going to set it for the first of the month and then we can also set up an end date for standing reservation. If we're not going to be ending this, we want it to be ongoing. We just go ahead and leave this blank or you can set it for a specific time, perhaps the end of their membership, but we'll go ahead and click create standing reservation.  That's going to add them to our standing reservations report right here, but we can also click into the customer to see that on their page under reservations and upcoming classes here we have this standing reservation. If we click into the class what we'll see is an icon to identify that this is a standing reservation for that customer. 

Another thing that you might want to do is set up a bulk reservation for a customer. Maybe this isn't an ongoing event, but maybe it's something that you want to give them (maybe a couple weeks) and set that up for them (they're going to be available). They want to be in that class. When we go to click and add a reservation for a customer (you can do that from their page) and this way we can really grab a lot of classes and do this in bulk. 
You can certainly scroll through your list, but what you might also want to do is use the search bar to pull up this particular type of class. You can do that by adding things like the time.  You can use multiple features to do that, but here we could select all or we could simply select a number of classes we know they're going to be attending.  Perhaps we know they're going to be in all the classes for October is the enough.  We'll add that and we won't confirm that we're adding these reservations to their account.  And then we'll see that in their upcoming reservations.

So that is how to set up a standing reservation or bulk reservation for your customers. And again, it's a little bit of admin work on your end, but it's giving them a lot of less hassle. You're doing something special for them. It's definitely a nice feature for your customers that you want to keep around; that you want to make them feel really special and you're doing something for them to make them feel really tied to you and what you're offering. That's a really nice option.

Trusted Access Level
Another feature that we offer that is a great way to make people feel like VIPs is giving them the trusted access level for their reservations. The way that trusted access works is you are able to set up a level of reservation access for people that you really trust.  We call this your inner circle (the friends, the customers who feel like family, who you trust and you know that they're good for it).  They're not constantly flaking out by not paying and not showing up. They’re people that you can rely on. This is what we want to offer them because what it does is it allows them to book without some of your reservation restrictions. It won't prevent them from booking if they don't have an active pass.  They can book beyond how much time limits you set on people being able to book and allow them to book for as many waitlist spots as they want. It gives them a lot of access for reservations. Again, you want to make sure you're giving this to the right people. When you're giving it to the right people, it's going to be a big impact for them because it eliminates a lot of reservation hassles for the people who are with you and have done this for a long time. It means that they can basically click on their classes and book and not get any of those messages, “Hey, you don't have enough credits.”, or  if that were to come up, that would be something that they weren't going to see.

 Now a couple people might say we want to make sure people pay in order to book, and absolutely, you can set that and make that a rule. (No problem). But when you have a membership where you know they're always paying and it's unlimited, in order to eliminate some of those reservation hassles, it might be nice to give that to those people when you take attendance in Punchpass.  Every time, we are always checking for a pass. We are always making sure that everyone has paid.  If you have people you trust and you care about, you want to give them access (don't worry)  Punchpass is still going to check and make sure that they paid.  So, when you're taking attendance, you'll always see that.  And again, it's a little bit of work on your end because you're seeing that they have to pay, and it's not forcing them to do that without you, but it's something that you might want to give to your special customers and also expand wait list access.  

If you do limit your reservations by the number of active credits that they have that includes waitlist spots (if you have some people who are your regulars, you might be feeling a little frustrated by the amount of spots available) it might be nice to give them the option to be able to book on as many wait lists as they like.  This is really great if you're dealing with any family accounts or couple accounts where you have two people who are using the same account. They use the same pass all the time. It makes it a lot easier. They don't have to constantly be worried. Maybe they have a five pack and they're booking for two people, and it doesn't add up.  It ends up being kind of like, “Oh, I know I have to buy one credit.”  It's something where you can make life a little bit easier for these customers. And again, it's not for everybody. We don't want you to put everybody on this, but for your special people (for your inner circle) this is a really nice feature to make them feel special. 

The way to do that in Punchpass is to go to the customer account and into their info tab. We have a drop down which gives you the option to say enable trusted access.   Once you do that, you'll see there's a nice little star and a flag next to their name, which is awesome. So they're highlighted and easy for you to see.  Then there's also under your customers tab different lists that you can look at, and it creates a list that's called trusted access customers. If you just want to see who I have on this, you can easily click on that and see everyone who's a trusted access customer and if for whatever reason maybe you're only doing this for people with memberships or maybe you're only doing this for certain people and then someone starts to be a little flaky then you can always turn off this feature.  You go back to the info tab under more and you have the option to remove the trusted reservation access. 

One of the things that's important to note is again during attendance, Punchpass is always checking for a pass.  (That's really important to us). We know you want to get paid. We know you want to make sure that everyone's paying for the classes that they take, but sometimes you might have some people who are staff members or just family or someone really like the inner circle, then you might also want to look at maybe not forcing them to have a pass. So if people are able to take classes without a pass, we're still checking for payment. You'll still see that needs a pass flag on their account, but what you could do, and another feature you could offer is a totally unlimited zero price, a never expire pass. Of course, we would not set this up to sell online and give access to everybody, but it's something you could create and assign it to those special customers in your account. So that's something that you can always do.  We see that a lot for people who offer free classes for all their staff.   That's something that you can also consider to make people feel again like a VIP. And again, these are for very special people in your business, but we wanted to make sure you knew that.
Another feature that is a way to be a little bit more personal, a way to reach out and connect with customers, is checking in about renewing passes and memberships. When you set up a pass in Punchpass, you have the option to send an automatic reminder when a pass is running low. What that means is, every time that a pass has either one week left on it or two credits left on it and automated emails are going to go out to them, let them know that the pass is ending.  (And that's awesome. So that's automated. That's great. No worries. Nothing you need to do about that).  

What you could do is also be a little proactive.  If you want be a little bit more proactive with certain customers, maybe because you're looking at people who purchase certain passes, like people who purchase your first month trial pass or customers who are constantly buying punch cards and maybe could be looking at going more up to the unlimited membership level. It's a way to just be a little bit more personal, a little bit more proactive in terms of getting them to purchase a new pass or make a change in terms of what kind of passes they're purchasing.  And that's where promoting your memberships is a great option. So, passes are running low. They are expiring soon. This is a great way to say, “ Did you know we offer an auto renewal membership?”  One of the benefits of auto renewals is that you get that stress-free booking.  Your audit, you are expected to pay.  It’s automatic, and it goes through. You can do unlimited. 

We also have the option to do punch card memberships, but it's really nice for customers to not have to worry about it and not to be constantly being like, “How many classes do I have left? What am I doing?  I certainly do this at a studio where I attend.  I really liked not having to worry about it.   It's stress-free when I go to book.”  Another thing about memberships is that this is where you can really promote some of those additional features that you offer. So, if you're doing standing reservations for memberships; if you're doing trusted reservation access for unlimited members; if you're offering perhaps full access to your recorded videos in your content library for memberships, that's something that you can promote by reaching out and using some of our reports to contact your customers at certain key times. It's an opportunity not just to keep up with them and make sure they feel like they're being communicated with and they know what to do. It's also an opportunity to promote something that you are offering to make their lives a little bit easier as well.  Let's take a look at how we can use a reports to filter our customers, find certain customers and send them the emails in a different way.

Protection of Your Punchpass Account. We have two different reports to help you stay proactive about reaching out to customers who have passes that are low or running out soon. The first report we're going to take a look at is our three punches or less report. This will be ideal for your passes that are punch cards and will give you an idea of how many they have left.   This is where we can really easily select all to e-mail or we can select certain people who are who are running low, and then email. This is where we can get really nice and creative. One of the things that we recommend is including a link. This is where you could maybe direct them right to their passes.  Or if you're offering something special or want to promote something like a membership program, this is another place where you can add some of that information and really get them going and excited about purchasing a new pass. It's a personal touch. It's something that is a little bit different from the automated email by directly adding some more information that we think could help get your customers to purchase or maybe move them to a different pricing level.
What we also have in our reports is the passes expiring soon. If you have expiration dates on your passes, this will give you an idea of any passes expiring in the next 30 days. So we have two that are expiring within the next month.  We might want to select all or toggle and select each one. And then again, we can email select customers. You might want to paste the same information, but you might want to say something more like expiring soon instead of running low. So there's different ways that you can approach this. We recommend being as personal as you can, making sure they feel welcomed and warm and comfortable but in a way that entices them to purchase a new pass or move up again in that pricing level.  We do have automated emails, but what's really cool about a report is that you can sort for people; you can search for people; and select and really make a more targeted approach to your emails to certain people like their passes are ending soon or if they have certain types of passes.

Getting Involved in Social Media
The next thing I want to talk about is getting involved in social media and what you can do to use social media to really promote your customers; promote what you're offering; and get them involved and build those relationships in a meaningful way.  One thing that is really great to make social connections is posting pictures and videos and including things about your clients. The biggest thing we’ll point out right in the beginning is you want to make sure that you get permission.  If you are going to be posting pictures or videos or talking to people and using social media, make sure that they're comfortable with you doing that. It's always good to check in with them and make sure that's okay. There's a lot of opportunities that you can use this for and highlight them to make them feel special and show off what a community you've provided. One thing you could do is highlight a member-of-the month and that's a really fun thing to get excited and show off your customers, and how you relate to them. You could do something like a special post and say, “This is Janelle.” She's our member-of-the-month for October, and if you ever gone to our Saturday morning Zumba class, Janelle's got the high kicks or give them something personal, something exciting to talk about.  Tag them and highlight them and make them feel special.  You could definitely do this pretty easily. It doesn't have to be monthly, could just be something that you do on a semi-regular basis, but something to say this is a person who's in our community, and we really value them.  It's a way to make them almost an ambassador for what you have to offer because then they post it and share it on their page. It's definitely a nice feature, a way to make people feel special and welcome. 

Another thing you can really go crazy with is using social media for contests.  I'm bringing in a personal example because this is something that I participated in with a studio I attend, but we had a slo-mo contest.  Most phones have a slo-mo feature, and I know Instagram has a slow-mo feature for their videos, but it was really fun to do a slo-mo contest.  Everyone shows us funny slo-mo videos of you doing something. It could be fitness-related or whatever, but it was something where they were offering a five pack pass for  whoever got the most likes for that particular post when they shared it and tagged the studio.  (It was really funny). It made you feel included.  It was something where you got to show off something and be involved by highlighting something about your fitness journey. It was really fun and cool. 

There's a lot of different ways you could do a contest.  We’re going to show you a feature in a moment in Punchpass where you could do a numbers game like whoever attends the most during fall gets a free pass or gets free t-shirt or it's for however many people or how many times they attend.  You can do something like a donation to a charity, like a local food bank. There's so many different opportunities to get involved in contests and allow that to highlight your customers, and get involved with them on social media. It's fun and it's easy, and it doesn't necessarily have to cost you a lot of money, but it could be a great way to raise awareness and highlight your customers, and it was fun so I wanted to share that experience.  

Then the other big thing about social media is just being social and interacting with your clients if you're friends with them and they follow you.  Make sure that that's an ongoing relationship if they post something, cool, like it and comment, like where was that, that looks awesome; you look amazing in that outfit today; whatever you want to post ( just nice things, positive things); you have the cutest cat in the world.  Whatever they're posting feel free to comment, post about it. Ask them if you can share it and just highlight a member of your community if they're doing something cool and posting about it on social media. I think they would really love to have that out in the community, and it's something that you can do and interact with your customers. Definitely think about social media if you haven't been doing it. Instagrams are a great way to get photos and videos out there and highlight those customers who probably have a personal account already. That's something that we think is a way that you can really communicate and connect with your customers. 

I did want to show off that one feature about if you were to do a contest and get the information about how many customers attend over a certain amount of time because that's a really great report on Punchpass, Let's do that now. If you're looking to run a contest for customers who are attending the most during a certain amount of time, it's really easy to calculate that in our customer attendances report.  In this report, you can set a date range. For instance, if we were doing a competition to see who attended the most between June over the summer like June through the end of August we,ll apply that date range and run the report.  That's going to pull everyone who has attended at least once during that time, and you can click the columns to sort. It's great to order the total number so we can see who is the person who attended the most during that time frame.

That was our presentation on some different features and Punchpass that can give you opportunities to promote your customers and talk to your customers. Give them some special features; make them feel the love; and a lot of different ways, and of course, you can always pick and choose some of these features. You don't have to go with all of them. You don't have to do everything right away, but we hope we've given you some ideas about what you might want to do and what you might be interested in.

We are taking questions. So feel free to go ahead and click on the chat and reach out.   Marcy already reached out and just said, “This is great.” So thank you Marcy. We appreciate it. If you have any questions about any of the features that we've covered or anything else that's come to mind, we love to hear it. If you have any feedback for us, feel free to use the chat and let us know. I'll give you a minute or two to kind of get into the chat and reach out about any questions you might have.  It's also okay if you don't have a question. Actually I had a chat with Sharon at Punchpass before we started the meeting, and we did have a conversation about the contest feature in talking about social media. We're hoping to focus on that maybe in a future blog post. So, keep an eye out for that. If you're looking for more tips, blog is where you can find it, and it's a great place for a lot of information similar to this.  Someone reached out with a great question. Is there a way for customers to determine how many punches they have left on their own without contacting me?  It's a great question. 

On some of our Punchpass plans, our Balsam and our Banyan plan, we have the support for customer accounts. The way that customer accounts work is customers are able to create a login and when they log in, they will actually see from their homepage their current passes and how many credits they have left.  If you're using Punchpass, and you're not playing around with customer accounts yet, maybe we can chat offline.  We can talk about some of the ways to set that up. Customer accounts is a great feature that basically gives them the option to log in and see what's going on. They can check their whole class history. They can see all those passes, all their upcoming reservations, which is a great feature. If you don't have that feature turned on or if you don't think your customers are using it very much, definitely we can talk about that for your account, but that's definitely something that we use a lot, and we recommend it, and it makes life a lot easier, especially when customers are constantly, may be asking how many credits do I have left?  It’s definitely easier to let them check that out on their own.

Conclusion of Sep 2020 Webinar
I want to thank everyone for joining us today, and thanks to everyone who's watching this and as a recording.  We know our timing isn't always lining up perfectly around the world with all of our Punchpass users, but if you have any questions for us, please reach out.  I’m going to close out of here, and then everyone is going to be a given that survey question. If you have any topic ideas, anything you'd like to hear us cover on our webinar series, please fill that out. Any feedback is welcome, and thank you so much for joining us. I hope we have given you some great ideas for how to help and treat your customers like VIPs, and make sure that you're keeping them on for the long haul and not just for a couple classes. So reach out and let us know if you have any questions. Thanks so much everyone. Stay safe. Stay healthy, and we'll see you next month.