Running Online Classes? Here's Everything Your Customers Need to Know!

Why it's important to educate your customers on how to access your online classes.

Moving your club into the online space comes with some responsibility in choosing the best platform to help keep your club moving forward during this difficult time. Not only do you need to ensure that the platform you chose provides everything you require - whether its live streaming or pre-recording content - you also need to consider whether it is one that works for parents. In this blog post we will be focusing on 5 ways to educate parents on what they’ll need to do to access your online classes to help make your expedition into the virtual world a success!

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Setting up to go live

Firstly, it’s crucial that you understand the importance and reason behind educating parents. Some may assume that many will know how to access platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube and Zoom but informing parents of the journey they’ll need to take to participate in online lessons makes for a better customer experience. Here’s three reasons why you should focus on educating your customers on the online process:

  1. It shows dedication and passion for your club. During a tricky period, showing parents that you are dedicated to teaching their children is especially important in reminding them why your club is the right choice. Taking the time to inform parents builds a good image of your club and shows that when you implement something, you think of the whole process from start to finish. 
  2. Parents are busy people. By giving them instructions that are clear and concise on where and what they’ll need to access your lessons, you are creating an efficient and well thought out out process. You’ll also create a strong brand for your club which is especially important during this time as when you do return to your physical space, parents will begin to share the positive experience you created.
  3. It shows a willingness to create a high standard of delivery. By researching your chosen platform and educating your customers, you are also showing that your club won’t settle for second best.

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Technology First

Before you begin to educate your customers, you should have already decided which technology platform your club will be using and you should stick to one throughout the time you are hosting classes online. Having more than one online space will only cause parents confusion over where they’re supposed to be. When selecting which platform you’ll be using for your online lessons - whether it is Zoom, YouTube, Facebook and the likes - make sure you understand how to use it and how parents will access your lessons. 

If you are going to be live streaming your classes, it’s likely that Zoom or Facebook Live will be in your top choices. If using Zoom, the main set up process will lie with you as only your club will need an account and parents can access your lessons using the link you issue. Alternatively, Facebook Live may be your preferred choice where you start live streaming to a private group you have created at a certain time and members of the group can join in. If you opt for pre-recorded lessons on a platform like YouTube, then you will need to create the content and send customers the link to be able to access lessons. 

It is important to make sure you pick the platform that is best for your activity type and content but also one you’ll be happy working with. You can learn more about Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube and Skype by visiting our blog.

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Get ready, Go!

Technology platform decided; it's time to think about educating parents. You’ll need to consider carefully what participants will need in order to carry out the activities you have planned and think about how parents may need to adjust to their home space. Time should also be given to what safety precautions should be considered and when classes will take place. To make things easier, we’ve broken education preparation down into 5 key steps you should consider taking to make sure your customers are well informed.

Step 1 - Setting the stage

Think about how your activity type is carried out in your physical spaces and consider the room children have to move freely. Now that many of us are working from home, the amount of space children have may have changed. Therefore you may ask parents to think carefully about the best space in their homes for their children to practice but you may also adapt content to make it more condensed to suit more confined spaces. In doing so, you are creating a sense of inclusivity for all children to be able to participate. For example, dance schools may consider keeping dance routines as minimal by focusing on refining techniques to be inclusive for those with smaller spaces whereas football clubs may focus on setting safe challenges where kids can still practice footwork, drills and take part in challenges the club has sent them from their own homes.

Step 2 - Safety first

We’ve all heard that safety comes first but it is really important to ensure you get this right when it comes to your online classes. Adjusting to the space does come into this but you should also think about what you would normally have children do before lessons begin. You will still want to remind children to ensure they have enough water and they stay hydrated throughout the lesson, ensure warm ups are carried out prior to exercise and any other activity specific practice you would usually carry out. Whatever you may have children do, practising safety within your online classes is crucial. It may be a good idea to include safety practices within your content at the start of each video to interact with the children. 

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Step 3 - Come prepared

If you are live streaming, parents will need to come prepared, so begin to think about what they will need to view your wonderful lessons. If you are opting for a platform like Zoom where you’ll be able to see participants, tell parents what you’ll need to make sure they are following along! The basics to get your customers engaging with your lessons will be access to a device with a camera and microphone such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It will also be important to make sure the sound on their devices are working so that you can be heard in order to lead the class. By informing parents in advance, it allows them time to check their equipment before lessons begin to ensure they are as prepared as they can be. It’s all very well having the facilities to see children participating in your lessons but you’ll also want to ensure that you can see them - so make sure you ask parents to put the device on a steady and height appropriate surface.

Extra tip: If you want to get a bigger picture and see all your stars, providing you have the correct equipment, you can connect content lessons to your TV. If you have devices such as Google Chromecast or Apple TV, you can put your content onto the big screen from your device. Alternatively, you may also have an aux cord or HDMI cable available in your home which can also be used to connect to your TV. 

Step 4 - Getting connected

As simple as this may sound, in order for your club to take lessons into the virtual world, you’ll need to make sure that both you and your customers have a strong internet connection. It is essential to look at this before going live with your online lessons to ensure that streaming is done in the best place to avoid lagging in videos but it also allows you to find the best place in your home for a reliable connection. The aim of doing this is to ensure that your lessons are as efficient as they can be.

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Step 5 - Timing is everything

You should remind your customers that this is new for everyone and that online lessons are an opportunity to provide a sense of routine. To make this process as seamless as possible, you should try and ensure that your lessons are taking place at a similar time every week or day that you will be providing lessons. It may be that you intend to continue hosting classes at the same time children would normally come to keep routine for them, their parents and yourself or you may survey your parents to find out the most popular times. However, keeping the regular time will hopefully mean most if not all children can participate in the class.  

To get classes started promptly, you should ask parents to be online around 5 minutes before the classes begin which will allow them time to overcome any technical difficulties.  You can also invite them to participate in the lessons as this time will allow them to engage with their children and provide some downtime. This will remind parents of the community your club prides itself on and allows you to be able to interact with customers in a different way than you have before. Remember, this time is all about accessing opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to, so use it to the best of your ability.

As this blog post comes to an end, hopefully you now see the importance and benefits of educating parents on how to access your online classes. It's not just a checkbox for your club to complete - it's about focusing on the customer journey and ensuring it is as efficient as possible. By following these 5 steps, you will reassure parents and provide children with a sense of routine and ultimately show them just how adaptable your club is.  

Online Teaching