One of the most common things I hear from parents in the dojo is that they don`t really know if their child is making true progress. And because of this, many get disappointed, anxious, and even frustrated. This is perfectly understandable if we take into account that most parents are not karatekas and that in many cases the parents cannot stay to watch their child during the class.
The question is: what can we do? The answer is pretty simple, inform the parents periodically of their child`s progress, strengths and weaknesses, just as a regular school does. That`s it.
I´m a firm believer that the feedback in Karate is generally too slow. A parent’s key performance indicators (KPI) is the belt test and a competition. The time between belts varies from style to style, but in most cases is between 3 to 9 months. This is way too long!
Now, I`m not saying that we should speed up the tests or competitions, I`m just saying that communicating with the parents is fundamental for a child`s education. The Instructor can be many things, but one of them is definitely not a magician. If a child is not behaving properly, or has a special condition, or maybe even has a low self esteem, these things should be addressed beyond the dojo, and the only way we can achieve that is by working as a team with the parents.
Parents are used to this system because schools generally work this way. That means that this is the bar we should be comparing ourselves with. A short and simple feedback will have a huge impact in the service that is being provided, and in the long run it will add a very strong value to the dojo.
Whenever you start hearing from a mother or father that their child is not participating in an activity because they were not aware of it or the information was sent too late, then that raises a red flag. A dojo needs happy parents, because a happy parent will participate more actively in their child`s martial arts education.
This type of customer service is not seen often in martials arts schools, so differentiate yourself. Dare to give a better service by improving the feedback!