Capacity Interactive is at it again, sharing insights and tips that arts and culture organizations can use to make sure we don’t keep cycling through the same audience engagement strategies, spinning our wheels as we try to shift gears, and falling flat along the way.
This time, they’re sharing info on SoulCycle, that spinning/cycling studio that “has a cult-like following” despite the high cost per class (approximately $35 each).
So what’s the secret?
It’s all about the welcome. The author details his first trip to SoulCycle and the incredible way in which he was welcomed to their space:
They made it easy for newcomers to find their bikes.
Staff interactions were authentic, friendly, and informative.
They checked in with newbies during their class.
They immediately followed-up after the class with a coupon for next time.
They sent personal emails within an hour of leaving.
In short, it seems SoulCycle has almost mastered the art of engagement and retention. Perhaps the lesson is obvious here, but the team at Capacity Interactive asks it anyway: How are newbies treated at most cultural institutions?
“Do they get a tour? A card? Any acknowledgement of being a first-timer? A personal email afterwards?”
It’s worth a full read, of course, to see just how SoulCycle packed in so many personal touchpoints without crossing the line. And of course, for the added insights into how the data coming from the arts sector suggests we have a serious retention challenge (or opportunity?) on our hands.
Time for the training wheels?
For those of you who need to balance a small staff and limited resources, have no fear—the article also offers some simple and scalable tips for you to consider as you train your staff on how to welcome new attendees at the box office and follow up with them after a performance or visit.
And who knows, perhaps some day this kind of welcoming practice will be just like riding a bicycle.
Spinning class photo by Aberdeen Proving Ground CC BY 2.0