Lack of communication/responsiveness to emails and inquiries
All participants are provided with an email and phone number for both the on-site pro, as well as the program administrator. If the pro is not able to respond (as often happens, because they are on court), the administrator will be able to respond within 24 hours to all email inquiries. If a member has a concern or issue that is time-sensitive, then they will have the phone number of both the pro and the administrator to reach them in that case. By having an administrator who is not an on-court tennis pro, we make sure that there is a designated person to respond to the questions and needs of all members, this frees up the coaches to do more coaching, and makes sure the members’ needs are taken care of!
LACK OF MEMBERS-FIRST MINDSET
TennisDNA offers a member-oriented program, more so than any other tennis coaching company. Every aspect of our program, from our administrator, to our online court system use, to our easy online booking, is designed to make it easy and stress-free for members to enjoy tennis at their club. As for putting the members first, we open all sign-ups to members two weeks before we open them to non-members. On top of that, we charge higher rates for all types of coaching for members than we do non-members. For Private lessons, non-members will never use more than one court at a time.
No More…Putting The Members Second: Coaching companies are often so caught up in the coaching aspects of the program, that they do not offer a very member-friendly operation. In addition to that, many Swim and Tennis clubs have problems with when can appear to be the prioritization of non- members by coaching companies. Coaches will always have students who are not club members and there will always be players that want to participate in tennis clinics but do not want be a member. This can quickly go from having a few non-members filling the open spots in the program to having no room for the paying club members.
LACK OF/AND OUT-OF-DATE INFORMATION ON CLUB TENNIS PROGRAMS
With set dates for when all information will be released, we make sure that all members are informed early and often of what tennis programs are happening at the club. Our administrator is not a regular pro, and therefore is focusing all of their effort on making sure that information on the website is up-to-date, that flyers are sent out, and that members are informed early and often of important information.
INCONSISTENT LEVEL OF TENNIS CLASS PARTICIPANTS
This is a persistent problem among all tennis programs, large and small. We solve it in a number of ways. One thing we do is make sure to keep a database of which participants are in which groups. This allows us to easily look up a player’s level in our records so that we can properly place them in a class. For new participants, we send a short questionnaire that allows us to gauge their level. If we are still unsure of their level after they have answered the questions, we schedule an evaluation with one of our coaches. Our coaches have specific criteria that they look for when placing participants in each class level, and this helps immensely to make sure that players enter in a group that is right for them. On top of all of this, the first week of each season is an open house week, meaning that players can come to the first class of each season free of charge. This allows the coaches to try the group out and make sure that everyone is a good fit, before having everyone charged for the class. For our adult as well as our junior program, we want to make sure that everyone is challenged and is in a competitive class environment!
LAST MINUTE OR NO NOTICE ON CANCELLED CLASSES AND SCHEDULE CHANGES
One of the most frustrating things for members is showing up for a class and realizing as they arrive that nobody is there. Other times members are notified at the last minute that class is canceled due to weather that could have been predicted far in advance. Other times still, a pro has a last minute change to their schedule and cannot make it to class. All of these things happen due to lack of communication. Our administrator has the sole duty of keeping everything running smoothly. This means that they keep track of potential causes of cancelation and notify any affected members early. Also, by having a team of pros instead of just one coach for the whole club, we make sure that not only is a sub always available, but that the sub is another great coach from our staff. There is often nothing we or anyone can do if it starts raining right before or during class, but we stay ahead of the problem in the most affective way possible.
DISORGANIZED/UNCLEAR PROFIT STATEMENTS FROM THE TENNIS PROGRAM
One major cause for concern for many clubs is not having a clear idea of exactly how much money is earned each year by the tennis program. With cash/check payments, refunds and cancelations, it is often tough for even the pro to track exactly how much they make each season. We eliminate this problem with good administration. By taking sign-ups electronically, and keeping all sign ups in our database, we know exactly how many participants there are for each class as well as how many classes are running each season (private lessons included). While cash and check payments are accepted, the fact that we have online payment options makes sure that most of the transaction records are easily found in one place. To maintain transparency with the club, we give earnings statements at the end of each season so that they can make sure they got their part
INCONSISTENT ADVICE FROM COACHES
In tennis, it is extremely common for a student to have one coach give one piece of advice, and another coach give completely different advice on the same topic. This can be frustrating and confusing for both junior and adult players. One of the core focuses of our junior program is to solve this very problem. The players in our program do not have to experience this frustration because we use a set curriculum for each class in the program. All of our pros have been trained on how to deliver our specific instruction to the members. This makes sure that players are getting the same reinforcement from every coach that they take a class with.
UNCLEAR CRITERIA FOR ENTRY INTO CLASSES
Everyone wants to be challenged, and players are often annoyed and discouraged because they feel that they are not in a class that is competitive enough for them. This frustration is compounded by the fact that they often have no idea why they were placed in that class and why they can’t move to a different class.
How we solve it:
We make sure that players are on the same page as the coaches by providing written criteria that players should meet in order to participate in each listed class. When performing evaluations, coaches will always have the criteria in mind and will be able to tell a player or parent exactly why a certain class is best for them or their child.
UNCLEAR REFUND AND CANCELLATION POLICY
A common issue with any sports program is the issue of makeups and missed classes. Programs often have unclear or misleading refund policies or are simply not responsive when members seek a refund or makeup. We make a concerted effort to stay ahead of this issue. We have found that the best way to solve this is to be very clear and up-front about refund and makeup policies BEORE any sign ups are taken. By sending our refund and cancelation policy to all prospective participants before they sign up for any classes we ensure that we get committed sign-ups each season. This alone drastically reduces any problems regarding the commonly sought refund due to low attendance by a person who signed up for the whole season. When a prospective student knows the refund policy before signing up, they often plan better and think twice before signing up for the whole season. Being properly staffed and keeping our promised ratio is of the utmost importance to us, and in order to do this we need to know that all sign ups are made by committed players. That being said, we understand that conflicts happen, and illness or injury are also common issues when it comes to playing sports. By giving two makeups/refunds per season, we give attendees a fair amount of missed classes due to the inevitable commitment conflicts, and we offer larger refunds to any missed classes due to injury or health issues.
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