Tag Archives: Business Tips

  • Get the Most Out of Your Customer Service Experience

    From costume ordering to costume sizing, and first-time customers to life-long customers. No matter the topic of discussion, you have their full and undivided attention. You may know them as the Customer Service Team, but we prefer to them as the heroes behind the phone!

    Our Customer Service Representatives take the time to help each and every caller. They are happy to chat, well-educated on dance industry trends, and continuously thinking of creative ways to help each customer reach a solution. Even if reaching that resolution takes five minutes or five hours, you will never be rushed!

    We spoke to Vicky, Customer Service Manager, along with Brittni and Angela, Customer Service Representatives, to collect their best kept secrets. Now, we would like to share with you, tips and tricks to getting the most out of your conversation with customer service.CS-telephone

    What is the most efficient way to reach Customer Service?

    Give us a call (1-888-808-0801) or send us an email [email protected]. These options allow the ability to directly reach a customer service representative. Whereas, all other forms of communication, may hold up communication process. For instance, attempts to reach customer service via social media channels, may delay our response time.

    When is the best time of day to chat with Customer Service?

    Morning 9:00 am EST – 11:00 am EST, we seem to get very busy during lunch hours.

    What should customers know when reaching out to Customer Service?

    Introduce yourself! We love talking to our customers!
    Before we can help any customer we must be speaking directly with the studio contact assigned to your account. If your studio contact needs to be updated, no problem, we will help.
    To verify we are speaking to the correct person, we need to know one of the following: customer number, studio name, billing zip code, or studio phone number.
    Knowing the purpose of your call and details of what you need assistance with, is always helpful. For instance, if you have a question regarding a costume, it helps to know the style number, color, and name prior to calling. We will handle the rest!

    What is new for Curtain Call Customer Service?

    Call Back Feature

    No more music! We understand everyone is busy and may not have the time to be waiting on hold listening to our catchy tunes. So to help, we created our Call Back Feature. When we receive your call, you have the option to receive a call back when the line becomes available. We add your call to our queue and alleviate your time spent waiting. More than 50% of our customers are currently utilizing our Call Back Feature and 100% of those customers are able to use their time waiting wisely.

    Extended Hours

    It’s busy season! During the months of January and February 2018, our Customer Service Representatives will be available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am EST – 7:00 pm EST. Come March, we will be available during our regular hours Monday – Friday from 9:00 am EST – 5:30 pm EST.

    There is no right question or right way to ask. Our Customer Service Team is always ready to help in any way, no matter the size or uniqueness of your issue. They are continuously working to do our very best to satisfy our customers. Feel free to call about your little questions. Even if they may seem silly, that’s what we are here for!

  • Y.P.A.D.™ Certification: The Impact

    wordcloudWe asked a few of your favorite Curtain Call Relationship Managers what their thoughts were on the impact of Curtain Call's Y.P.A.D.™ Certification, here's what they had to say:

    How do you believe the YPAD Certification/relationship will impact Curtain Call’s position in the industry?

    I truly believe that the relationship between YPAD and Curtain Call Costumes positions our company to be the standard in the industry. I have already heard from excited customers who now feel empowered to make different, sometimes difficult, choices that will benefit the students and families they serve. Curtain Call was already a leader in our industry, but now, we are the first to step forward and say “we stand behind these values”. It’s a big deal and I know studio owners across the country and beyond will respect our choice. – Ameila Fazio

    Only time will tell, but I truly think this will be a game changer in the costume industry. The safety of children has been and will continue be a top priority in the eyes of a dance teachers and I think they will come to expect this to be a top priority for costume companies as well. – Christine Luca

    It already has! I am proud to announce our partnership with YPAD and my customers are proud to purchase from a company that has a partnership with them. It is giving the voice back to the children in an industry that is run by adults and their bottom line. This partnership is going to have a HUGE impact with Curtain Call’s position! – Cori Callahan

    The YPAD certification positions Curtain Call as a leader in the industry who truly cares about their customer. The certification will give studios peace of mind and assurance that they can trust the products they are purchasing will meet the YPAD standards and values. Curtain Call’s commitment to excellence is reflected in this commitment to certify their employees. – Debbie Carr

    Stay tuned for more insight from your Relationship Managers on Curtain Call's Y.P.A.D.™ Certification in the next segment of our Y.P.A.D.™ Certification series!
  • Y.P.A.D.™ Certification: Special Guest - Katie Gatlin

    We are excited to share insight from YPAD Advisory Panel Member, Katie Gatlin, B.S., M.S.

    katie-galtinOver the summer months, Curtain Call and Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD), joined forces to collaborate on a Body Image and Special Needs Initiative. The Body Image Initiative focused on a dancer’s experience while trying on costumes, while the Special Needs Initiative promoted inclusiveness in dance by providing a photo shoot with a variety of dancers and providing icons (for sensory integration needs) in the costume catalog. Both initiatives were pioneering!

    I have been a dance instructor for 19 years and owned a dance studio for five years. I have my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling/Psychology and work with adolescents with a myriad of special needs and/or mental health disorders. Being a lead on the initiative committees was an inspiring and humbling experience. It is my opinion, that not only are these initiatives important but that Curtain Call has raised the standard for costume companies. Creating icons for costumes that cited a source for compression needs, fidget needs, and which fabrics are not as itchy; (to name a few) not only assists instructors in choosing a costume for individuals who have special needs but also dancers who have sensitivities. It would have been invaluable to have notation regarding a variety of sensory needs when I ordered countless costumes while I owned a studio. The process of developing icons and categorizing the costumes allowed me to truly conceptualize and appreciate the various nuances of costuming that may affect dancers differently.

    The Body Image Initiative was particularly intriguing but also a bit triggering. When in college I was hospitalized for anorexia nervosa and costuming typically triggered me and my disordered eating and body image. A dancer has a multitude of opportunities to scrutinize their bodies. Dancing in front of mirrors, seeing videos and pictures of themselves, and trying on countless costumes. Although many dancers are excited to receive their costumes, some may experience anxiety and/or deflated body image and self esteem. Through a variety of medias, females learn to view their bodies as objects rather than the intricate machines that they are. Media portrays a narrow and strict definition/idea of what a body should look like or what is socially acceptable. Those that do not fit that definition/idea may feel shamed. That is then compounded by adolescence and their perception. It is a slippery slope and one that needs to be acknowledged and discussed. The Body Image Initiative provides a qualitative glimpse of this process and also provides insight and talking points for studio owners and instructors.

    For many, dance is cathartic and a form of release and expression; however, during a variety of experiences (costuming, competition, recital, etc.) dancers’ insecurities can be magnified. Both of these initiatives revealed a plethora of talking points in regards to the costuming aspect of the dance world. Dance is more than just movement and counts, it is a total body experience that requires the mind, body and spirit of the being. Understanding all that encompasses a dancer’s experience will allow us to better serve our dancers and their needs. The popular YPAD hashtag, put the dancer before the dance, is given clarity through these initiatives. Curtain Call leads the industry in this standard and has proven time and again to put the dancer before the dance.

    For more information regarding YPAD, please visit ypad4change.org.

    Read the full Body Image and Costumes Exclusive YPAD Research article.

  • See the Sparkle for Yourself

    At Curtain Call, we understand how important it is for you to be able to see and touch our costumes in person. Even better, being able to experience the flow of a contemporary dress, the shimmer of sequins, and the movement of fringe by having models bring the costumes to life! This season, we strategically placed a number of Curtain Call hosted costume preview shows throughout the country for your convenience.

    Why should you attend a Curtain Call hosted event?CCWelcomesYou-2016
    • Get an exclusive, in-person look at our new 2018 Curtain Call®, Perform®, and NX3® Collections
    • Meet your regional Relationship Manager
    • Learn about our Curtain Call for Class® program and see the latest collection
    • Come alone or bring your whole team for a costume planning event
    • Mix and mingle with fellow dance enthusiasts and dance studio owners
    • Learn about our Curtain Call Rewards program

    NEW this season… if you attend a Curtain Call hosted* event you may be eligible for a 5% Show Bonus! This show bonus, Curtain Call Cash, can be earned on all orders over $1,000 placed by November 27, 2017 and is in addition to any eligible discount! Learn more about this exclusive offer!

    If you’re not able to visit us at one of our hosted shows, stop by and visit us at one of the four UDMA events!

    For details about our Curtain Call hosted shows and to RSVP, view our Upcoming Events!

    We look forward to seeing you soon!

  • Get a Fresh Start: Tips for Cleaning Your Routine

    CC_Blog_CleaningRoutine

    By: Jerica Robinson, Relationship Manager

    Cleaning a dance is one of the most vital steps in preparing a routine. Whether it's for competition season, community showcases, or dance recitals, this process can become extremely stressful. And at this point in the year, our students become complacent. I'm going to share a few techniques you can use to clean a routine, while incorporating some fun! In my experience, three of the most helpful ways to clean a dance are breaking them into sections, video-taping, and something I like to call, adding-on.

    Break It Up

    Breaking your dance into sections will help you understand when and where your students are struggling. I like to break my dance into three different sections, and then two eight-counts at a time. By doing so, they can easily learn each section FULL OUT!! After cleaning each eight-count, we gradually speed up the tempo, before adding the music. Once all three sections have been completed, we will then take our dance in halves, using the same process. Although the process is lengthy, it works wonders.

    Hit Record

    I like to videotape the class twice, once with counts and once with music. By watching each video, I can clearly recognize when a student is delayed or anticipating a movement. You can also view the video in “slow motion” which helps you to see simple mistakes. Using this technique, it also allows the class to see any errors for themselves, while also utilizing constructive peer-editing, rather than hearing critiques from their teacher.

    Add On

    The last technique is where the fun begins, add-ons! Breaking the class into two groups is the best way to approach this technique. Starting with two of your most precise students, instruct them through the routine, critiquing as needed. Slowly, add another group of two, and so on, and so forth. By seeing routine in groups and critiquing in real time, each routine will come out cleaner than the last.

    Each of these techniques has a unique benefit and I hope you find them helpful! I also suggest, if your dancers need a little bit of a break, it's always fun to let them do the routine in groups or with an assigned partner. Like I always say, “sometimes hearing a critique from a peer, is a lot easier than the teacher drilling every week”. Remember, you want to keep things exciting to ensure a positive attitude throughout the class.

  • A Dancer's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

    By: Jordann Smith-Kingston, Curtain Call® Intern and Model

    1M-T4060As a college student majoring in dance, I not only spend a lot of time dancing, but also writing, talking, and thinking about dance. My improvements in dance determine my grades, and with constant new ideas, it can be difficult to stay focused on improving. I often easily forget the reason I love to dance. To gain direction and reset focus, I have found goal setting to be an effective solution. The start of a new year is the perfect time to reset the stage and rework the choreography. Here are my 10 resolutions of 2017:

    1. Dance Anytime, Anywhere!
    I often find the urge to do a grand jete or pirouette unbearable. Though, I always refrain, knowing the strange looks that will follow from bystanders. This year I hope to say, “so what?” to the onlookers and move freely, as I wish. I hope my joy for dance will remind me, life is a performance and I don’t need a barre or a class to justify dancing.

    2. Clean Out That Dance Bag
    My dance bag has everything from old homework and orange peels, to athletic tape and bobby pins. It is easy to quickly cram everything in and decide to deal with it later. But, later, is now. A clean dance bag, is a clear mind… which will help me easily find the things I do need, (like the left shoe that always disappears just before class). Keeping the stinky dance shoe smell away is important, too. I recommend after-use spray for shoes, scent balls made for athletic gear, or small bags of lavender.

    3. Ice, Ice Baby
    Icing can help with treating an injury, coping with an ongoing pain, or even preventing a future injury. For many dancers, including myself, this is often ignored advice. The constant strain our bodies endure from dance and other activities increases our risk of overused joints and shin splints. Icing more frequently will help me approach every class and rehearsal more fully charged.

    4. Eat Healthy
    Our diets play a large role in our attitude, energy levels, skin, digestive patterns, and so much more. For dancers, it’s difficult to balance a healthy diet with rigorous rehearsal schedules. To focus on a well-balanced diet, I have decided to implement a few little tricks. Packing light, energy loaded snacks of almonds, berries, or rice cakes with peanut butter, for long days of rehearsal. Precooking my meals, rather than buying on-the-go, to control portions and regulate healthy ingredients. Controlling indulgences, rather than letting the indulgences control me. And lastly, listening to my body and not overeating.

    5. Cross Train for Cardio
    Stamina is my weakest point of dance. To improve this, work must be done outside of the studio to concentrate on strengthening the heart. For dancers, the most beneficial activities are low-impact: swimming, elliptical, hot-yoga, cycling, or Pilates are some excellent examples. These exercises will also build muscle in areas not always utilized through dance.

    6. Get Back to the Basics
    Continuing to take beginner level classes helps to concentrate on basic technique. It is the perfect opportunity to remove the complexity of phrases or movements, and focus on small details, like muscle initiation or positioning. After all, life is about enjoying the little things, like nailing a triple pirouette en pointe for the first time!

    7. Wear Supportive Gear
    Although it’s easy to throw on a pair of flip-flops in the summer, they provide minimal support. Make conscious decisions when choosing proper footwear. Choose something that protects your feet, while supporting your arch and helping you to maintain proper posture and weight-distribution.

    8. See More Professional Dance
    Living in D.C., there are always popular groups or individuals coming to perform. Immersing yourself in professional performances allows you to see things differently or learn something new. Supporting other artists helps to find fresh inspiration and is also a great way to network with other dancers!

    9. Rehearse Before Rehearsal
    Rehearsal is intended for learning new choreography and reworking to perfect technique. It is not, however, time for reviewing old material. By rehearsing before, more time can be spent cleaning and the choreographer will view you as a well-prepared, professional student.

    10. Dance for ME!
    Every dancer has reasons for staying up late and spending hours in rehearsals and class or enduring large amounts of pain. Whatever the reason is, it always boils down to a love of dance. This year, I plan to keep that focus in mind as a mantra. I refuse to dance in order to make someone else approve or to try to dance like someone else or to try to change myself. I will dance because it has been and always will be my first love. It is the one constant in my life and brings me an inexplicable resounding joy that I want to share. Dancing defines me!

  • Giving Thanks to Your Biggest Fans

    flowersEach year on the fourth Thursday of November, many Americans take time to reflect on what they are grateful for. As a studio owner, it’s easy to get caught up as you juggle running your business with the holiday season, but it’s important to thank those who continue to make your studio a success all year long. Doing so shows you care for and respect your customers, which can help strengthen your relationships. Here are eight ways to thank your studio parents and dancers:

    1. Make parents feel welcomed and comfortable. If your studio space allows for it, set up a coffee or magazine station for parents to enjoy while waiting for their dancers. By making your customers feel comfortable and offering small tokens of gratitude, you show you are thinking about the long hours a dance parent may have.
    2. When students or families volunteer in support of studio initiatives or events, take time to write hand-written notes to show your gratitude. A bouquet of flowers for dancers that meet a goal or for parents that go above-and-beyond volunteering to make the studio’s recital or community event a success can also be a nice gesture.
    3. Host a Parent Participation or Observation Day, in which parents of students can experience first-hand or observe a variety of dance styles and classes. Not only will parents have fun and learn more about dance, they will leave with a deeper understanding of your studio.
    4. Thank senior students by allowing them to lead a class. It’s a fun way for students to flex their skills and take initiative with something they love to do.
    5. Organize a student and parent group outing by obtaining group tickets to a local play, musical, ballet or symphony. This allows your studio community to spend time together and enjoy the arts at a discounted price.
    6. Give a discount on classes, costumes or classwear to dancers who register for a certain number of classes or to those who refer others to your studio. Additionally, consider setting up a milestone program to recognize students that have been with your studio for five or more years. Giving out certificates or small gifts (such as framed photos, dance gear, pins or jewelry), can be a sincere and personalized way to show students you appreciate their loyalty and want them to stay and grow with your studio family.
    7. When parents put in extra hours to support studio events, organize a raffle featuring local businesses including spa days, restaurant gift certificates, or parent studio gear for them to wear to competitions. These special gifts show you recognize the work and impact volunteers are making.
    8. For students, host cast parties to help them celebrate and show that you’re thankful for the hard work that they have put in. This gives students the fun time they deserve after all of their dedication and effort.

    Whether it’s a special event or gift, or simply kind words, it’s important to share thanks with your students and their families. Whichever way you choose to show your gratitude, make it personal to continue to deepen your student and parent relationships.

  • We're Thankful for You!

    We're Thankful for You Sweepstakes

    Valued Customers,

    'Tis the season of thanks, and this year, I want to personally thank each and every one of our loyal customers for your ongoing support of Curtain Call. We are so honored to be part of your dancing journeys, and look forward to inspiring creativity together this holiday season and beyond.

    To thank you for your ongoing dedication and inspiration, we are hosting a “Thankful for You Sweepstakes.” Orders placed between November 9 and December 8 will be automatically entered to win a number of prizes, like free shipping on all fill-in orders for the rest of the season or 20 free custom warm-ups with embellishment from Studio I.D.®. If you’ve already made an order, or aren’t quite yet ready to place one, you can still enter the contest! Just fill out our online contact form and add “We’re Thankful for You Sweepstakes” in the comment field. You can also enter via mail. Additional details can be found here.

    From the beginning, Curtain Call has sought to bring you more than just beautiful costumes, but also the confidence and peace of mind knowing that you're getting high quality styles, delivered on time, with exceptional service. We value the work you do and want to help your business run as smoothly as possible so you can focus on doing what you love—sharing your passion for dance.

    Keep dancing,
    Tighe King

  • 5 Reasons You Need to Leap Over to Your Closest Costume Preview Show!

    By Ashley Zimmerman, National Dance Sales Manager

    Each year, our relationship managers hit the road to meet with studio owners across the country at our highly-anticipated costume preview shows. At the shows, you can view Curtain Call’s latest styles so you can start planning your season’s performances and find the costumes that will inspire you to make your dreams a reality!

    Stop by and visit us at one of this year’s seven full-line shows, or 28 preview shows. Each costume preview show is an opportunity to mingle with other dance professionals, meet your Relationship Manager, enter to win prizes and have some fun. But if that isn’t enough to convince you to join us, here are some highlights from last year’s shows.

    1. Eliminate costly travel expenses - we come to your area! With our Costume Preview Shows strategically located throughout the U.S., we make it more convenient for you! Come alone or bring your whole team for a costume planning event!
      Our 2015 East Coast Premiere Party had quite the layout! Our 2015 East Coast Premiere Party had quite the layout!
    2. Get to know your RM better—they’re fun, we promise! Our relationship managers are just like you – they have extensive dance knowledge, whether as dancers, teachers, or studio owners, so they know what you need to help you through your busy dance season. They’re there for you every step of your journey. Come put a face to a name!
      Everyone enjoyed the 2015 West Coast Premiere Party at the Hyatt Regency Orange County with our RM, Takisha! Everyone enjoyed the 2015 West Coast Premiere Party at the Hyatt Regency Orange County with our RM, Takisha!
    3. Check out the latest styles—it’s way better than browsing online! Our models are actual dancers, making it easy to see how costumes will fit and look on your own students. Additionally, we work hard to ensure that your browsing experience is fun and personalized—you are our VIP!
      Our beautiful models were ready for our Costume Preview Show in Orlando, FL! Our beautiful models were ready for our Costume Preview Show in Orlando, FL!
    4. Mix and mingle with fellow dancers and dance lovers—you may even meet a celebrity or two. With special guests and speakers from all over the country, you can gather the insights you need to help run your business, while gaining inspiration from those who know the industry best.
    5. Enter to win great prizes and receive a $100 merchandise credit, just for attending! We’re excited to show you our new line and want to thank you for coming to our costume preview show by giving you some money towards your next purchase.

    This year we’re excited for even more speakers and fun! Special guests include:

    Steve Sirico & Angela D'Valda Sirico of Dance Teacher Web, MusicWorksDanceTeacherWeb-logo

    Directors--element52

     

    Misty Lown of More Than Just Great Dancing
    MoreThanJustGreatDancing-logoMisty-headshot

    Save the date for an event near you by checking out our full line-up of events here.

  • Back to School: Last Minute Secrets for Attracting New Students

    backtoschoolBy: Julia Hilliard, Relationship Manager

    As a dance studio owner, it can feel like the summer months take center stage one day and chassé into the wings the next. This happens, in part, because summer is a very hectic time of year—between wrapping up recital season, coordinating summer classes and trying to rest and rejuvenate, time can slip away!

    But do not fear; there is still time to prepare your studio for a successful fall registration.  As parents start to select extracurricular activities for their children, use the last few weeks of summer to successfully market your studio’s unique brand to your community. Here are a few ways to do so:

    Nurture Existing Relationships

    Happy parents and dancers are your greatest advocates, so it’s important that they remain loyal and happy. To ensure their satisfaction, ask for their feedback. While you will likely receive some feedback throughout the course of the year, by distributing a formal survey, you can solicit specific feedback and show parents and students that you value their input. To maximize feedback, consider offering a participation incentive. For example, when a parent fills out a survey, enter their student into a drawing to win a back-to-school prize package.

    Additionally, make it as easy as possible for students to return to the studio for another exciting season. You could do this by offering early registration incentives or special class promotions.

    Boost Social Media Efforts

    If you’ve dabbled in marketing, you’re aware of the power of social media. Showcasing your studio’s personality and culture via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels is an effective way to reach both dancers and their parents.

    However, collecting enough content to maintain numerous social channels can be time consuming and impractical for your busy schedule. To help divvy up social media responsibilities, consider selecting a handful of your loyal, senior students to act as studio reps. You can organize your rep program in a number of ways. For example, you may ask that each rep be responsible for submitting five photos a month for your studio’s channels. You could also encourage your reps to positively promote the studio on their personal channels. Just be sure to have a conversation ahead of time about what kind of content may be deemed inappropriate.

    For additional content, don’t forget to share your studio’s news! Did you just make a big impact in your community through a volunteer effort? Did your students just win big at a local competition? Whatever the story may be, make sure you’re sharing it with your social media community.

    Emphasize Curriculum

    Help parents understand why they should choose your studio over others in the area by emphasizing your curriculum in marketing efforts. For example, if your studio really prides itself on classes for preschoolers, make sure parents know that. Alternatively, if your studio is a better fit for serious ballet students, make sure that is clear, as well. This will help ensure that you are the right fit for a particular student and vice versa.

    If you are finding that your curriculum is not attracting as many students as you had hoped, consider adding unique classes to your fall lineup like “acroyoga” or “rhythm tap.” Additionally, to help show parents and dancers that you’re tuned into the last dance trends, don’t be afraid to talk about conventions or trainings you attended over the summer to stay fresh and current.

    Any tips are tricks for recruiting new students at the end of the summer? We want to hear them! Comment below.

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