If you run a music lesson studio you’ve got a missed lesson policy. Students miss lessons and when they do, parents need to know what to do.
Certainly, there are options — refunds, live makeups, group makeups, no makeups, video makeups… whatever your policy, the key is to make sure that it doesn’t become a liability for your program and doesn’t create more issues than it solves.
Here are the 5 things things your policy needs to be -
1. Easy to explain
You’ve got to be able to explain your policy in full within 1 or 2 short sentences. Complicated policies are, well, complicated. Complicated policies don’t get followed and will lead to stressed staff and frustrated parents. A simple policy shows you’ve thought something through, you care about how it is perceived by your families and you’re confident about it as a solution.
A makeup policy has to be able to grow with your program. What works with 100 students might not work for 250 students. It’s much easier to implement a new policy that will not be affected by growth than change policies mid stream. Also, I guarantee any makeup policy that will be eventually unmanageable with larger student numbers is taking too much effort right now.
3. Refund free
Your policy should never involve refunds due to student misses. Never. Your policy doesn’t even have to explicitly mention refunds to lead to regular refunds. Refunds can mean you are compensating when things aren’t clear or your policy is simply getting pushback from parents. A steady stream of refunds, intentional or not can really add up over time.
The biggest issue with most makeup policies is that they require too much admin time and manual attention. Scheduling makeups, group or private and scheduling teachers to teach them can be a serious hassle. When we automate, we guarantee things happen the same way every time. No mistakes and no time wasted. Every system we can automate in our studio, we should.
We all want something for money spent. Missing lessons without anything in return can be sticky for parents. Assuring parents that they will get something of value every week, even when their child misses, is a gesture of goodwill that will help studio morale and retention.
Is your makeup policy the most important part of your school? Probably not. But it will affect the daily life of your program. Allow makeup policy to be easy so you can focus on all the important stuff that really defines your music lesson business.