Easy to use class management tool
I am pleasantly satisfied with the functionality that this tool has provided me with, it has allowed me to establish a much more organized work dynamic, where I can carry out the programming of my dance classes and choreographies, according to the student group. In addition to establishing evaluative methodologies for students, so they can through the application see their performance in our classes, so that parents can also monitor the activities that their children do in my classes.
It is a very robust web platform, which also has a mobile application. It allows the programming and management of classes, instructors, billing, as well as the control and monitoring of students. Additionally, it is very easy to use and to configure since it has a very friendly interface, so it does not require a learning curve, on the other hand it has a very affordable price.
It works efficiently, I have nothing negative to add, it is a very complete platform and has offered me good results.
Review of The Studio Director by a Dance Studio Manager
I have worked in many corporate databases, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I started using The Studio Director. The dance studio I work for had already been using it for quite a few years when I became the studio manager. I was able to figure almost all of our daily functions in less than two days! The software is user-friendly, dynamic, and has great technical support! The staff are always friendly and prompt and have some kind of solution for most of our questions.
This software is dynamic! It lets us manager our studio store items and sales, our dance classes, seasons, and performances, our online client portal, our families, students, and communication methods - all in one program!
Setting up seasons can be a little complicated, depending on the various types of class set-ups we may want to offer - in the summer we have multiple 1-week camps, a 7-week session, grouped dance intensives, etc., and all require some real thought to make sure they are set-up correctly for the right dates, charges, and so they make sense to the client in their online registration portal. In addition, there is no good way to pick and choose clients to email out of a group - you can only email the whole group or an individual family, unless you can figure out which clients are which by their email address and delete them individually from the "to" line - which is near impossible!
Dance studio with 400 students and several different seasons/programs
I started with The Dance Academy 3 years ago so that is how long i've had studio director. I have a feeling studio director has awesome functionalities and capabilities but my biggest obstacle is that i don't know how to use them and i don't know what i'm not using. For day to day, the software is great. Reliable, relatively user-friendly, and makes registration easy for me. Here are a few areas i think could be improved:
-building emails and email campaigns, i know there's a drip campaign feature but i tried and could not figure out how to use it. To pre-program our emails to send automatically would be super helpful
-I do not want my clients to be able to click the 'do not send me emails' option upon registration because they end up missing out on important communications from us
-i had to manually go through and delete over 1000 families from the system recently, could not believe i couldn't just filter a group via a tag and delete them all in bulk... instead, this took hours and hours of my time
-From a customer perspective, registration experience could be easier, better looking, and i want control over the emails a customer receives upon registering.
-Would be great if i could automate a customized 'welcome' email as well as an email that automatically goes out to everyone 1 month and one week before class starts to prepare them for class.
My main wish would be for a studio director consultant to sit down with me, analyze our current use of the software, listen to everything we do, everything we wish we could do, and then teach us how we could be using the software better, show us things we don't know, and just make sure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible with the product. Sort of like a nice, thorough audit of our current usage followed by a tutorial to improve future use.
The customer service is AMAZING. They alway get back to me fast, are patient and kind, and willing to talk by phone or email any time of the day. I REALLY appreciate this and it is pretty much 60% of why i'd recommend Studio Director.
It's a bit clunky at times, report pulling should be easier, emails should be better (take a look at mail chimp, THAT is a top notch email software), there are some major inefficiencies i've experienced, I have a feeling i am utilizing maybe 30% the software capabilities so as great as the software may be, there's definitely a lack of awareness/education would like help using it more and better.
Studio Director customer support is top-notch! Timely return of phone calls and emails especially.
Way more for our money, especially in the areas of customer service and access to reports. The recital planning features were extremely helpful and made good use of my time.
The recital planning features are in-depth and yet very user friendly. Their customer service folks never rush my questions and are always willing to walk me step by step through a new process. The number and types of reports are amazing...they have thought of everything we need before we even knew we needed it! Setting up seasons and classes is very user-friendly as well. But again, Studio Director's Customer Service sets them far above and apart from their competition. They are thorough, yes, but most of all, they are ACCESSIBLE!
1. There is NO good way to let our families know their account history. All of the option are confusing. The summary does not have enough info, the statements have too much info or too many lines of info that the families don't understand, and the other options are lacking as well. The way the account is set up in the portal is also confusing to many of our families.
2. We need to have more font/bolding/italicizing options for the class/event confirmations. Also, we need less automatic information put in and more access to putting in our own info. Our families were confused by the fact that their class time was in the chart, but their rehearsal time in the notes and at the top of the chart was overlooked because I couldn't make it stand out.
3. The family/EC information on the class rosters should not be centered; it makes them very difficult to read.
Studio Director has been an incredible program. It is easy to use and has helped us be organized. I am continually learning about features that the program includes that have saved me hours of work. I am impressed by the customer service and how quickly they respond to my questions. I also love that your customer service takes feedback and requests from me and other studios and is continually improving to better serve our needs.
It is easy to use and has helped me improve my communication with my families through emails (including automated emails), event confirmations, etc. I also love the many types of reports I can run and the incredible amounts of information available to me in so many formats.
I have recently incorporated welcome emails, new student emails, birthday emails, etc (drip campaigns). I would love an option to set up several new student drip campaigns. Specifically, I would like to be able to set up a different email to be automatically sent for each season to new enrollees. I have one set up currently, but have to manually send welcome emails to every other season.
The Studio Director helps us track class attendance, keep account balances up to date, and the customizable reports are extremely helpful in tracking financial trends.
The Studio Director's Class Charge administration is what adds the most value to my day-to-day operations. The system seamlessly calculates special discounts, prorated tuition, and credits in a way that helps our clients and staff immensely. I'm able to keep all of our student accounts up to date as they add and drop throughout the season.
The Studio Director is able to generate customizable reports that help us in almost every business decision.
While The Studio Director mobile website is helpful and agile, we still nonetheless continue to get feedback from clients who say that they would prefer to use an iOS app over a mobile site.
Great product for a new business.
I started my business in Sep 2017 and was able to hit the ground running.
Price is good, ease of operation, full service, individualized, customizable, and great timely support.
Sometimes I have trouble pulling a report of exactly the families I need. It may be user error, but.
Lifesaver! Must Have!!
I started my dance business without the The Studio Director and thought I could do everything on my own...I WAS WRONG! In only a few short months of struggling and feeling overwhelmed I purchased The Studio Director and everything fell into place. I immediately shared this program with our sister studio and even though they have been in business over 25 years they started using it and love it too.
Even though I am not at all technologically savvy I feel like a strong business person when I can email and print out professional documents and have everything for my dance parents at the touch of a button.
well... it's not really a con in the long run but this system does a LOT more than I think I need for my small studio but the more I use the program the more I utilize it's functions.
Hands down, best customer service!
I researched several dance studio software programs, and this one was the most comprehensive AND user-friendly. I received amazing customer service both before and after my purchase. Not only was I walked through my specific questions, but when I explained some of my studio needs, the rep I spoke with, Peggy, came up with a custom-made solution to my wishes. She knew the business well and was able to give me great advise and walk through the pros and cons of different ways to set up the software for my specific business needs. Her help was above and beyond what was to be expected.
The class schedule is displayed beautifully, I have easy access to all kinds of reports, my teachers can input their attendance and costume measurements directly onto the system, and the system will calculate costume sizes according to the vendor size charts. I can then run a report of what costumes in what sizes and quantities that I'm ordering from each vendor. This is just a very small sampling of what the program can do to simplify my work. There are also many checks and balances on the program so that, for instance, costumes are not ordered for a student who is taking class but not performing.
I don't like how I have to enter a character for all the prospect info such as address and phone if I don't have it. But this is a very minor issue. The only other "con" I have is that if you sign up for the 2 week trial, you're just going to have to have it! It's just that awesome!
Alot less headaches for Studio Owners and Dance Teachers
Who cares about the looks when running your studio is the main part.
When talking to studio owners and dance teachers they tend to realize that running this business is a more difficult task than jumping on stage. This application gives you alot for not a really big fee. Schedules, presentations, costumer relationship (a.k. parents), and even merchandise selling. Whether its online or on your mobile phone, it's always available so you can stay connected and watch your business grow!
A simple idea behind a big solution... a dance studio owner or director is nowhere near of knowing the big administrative task of persuing their dream of teaching young ones. Alot of funtions for running their business and even taking care of payments and schedules... it even tastes like your running a big school all within this app.
Design is not their biggest attributes but who cares when everything starts to work together.
From an owner's standpoint, this is the cream of the crop.
It was the key to our growth from 1,200 to 4,500 +/-.
Very fast. Accessible by customers on PC or phone via app. Super search capability. Full accounting capability -- can support GAAP, tax, and custom reporting. Fits with QuickBooks. Support extremely responsive and new features appear every two or three months. Has many features competing programs don't have including elaborate skill tracking, inventory and event support. Price capped even with thousands of students in the system. Usage is highly customizable to speed registration work. Exhaustive standard reporting plus support can create custom reports. Most information can be exported to Excel. Can integrate with your web site, too, to show what's available. Useful for every member of the company and customers.
Can't consolidate accounts over several sites, so customers can end up enrolled in two or three places. Not as cheap as entry-level systems; this is the high end product for knowledgeable users. Doesn't allow API access to your data for customer reporting.
I really like most of what Studio Director offers!
I like that improvements are made regularly and that functions keep improving. I get quick email responses from the customer support team.
The cost is the biggest hang up for me. It's difficult for a small non-profit to keep up with rising costs without losing data (by deleting students.) Many of my parents have a difficult time using SD from a mobile device and I get complaints about that regularly. I would love for SD to integrate with MailChimp. When we use the templates for newsletters, if we take a break and come back to it, the system kicks us out and we have to start all over, would love for that to be auto saved or a setting that allows more time (if my admin is waiting for an answer from me.) I'd love to preschedule emails to go out at a later date as well as the ability to schedule credits to be used at a later date. A more efficient way to schedule private lessons through the software. An easy way to add teachers to emails that are sent out. Customizable evaluations for the teachers to fill out and email to students.
Our experience with The Studio Director has been fantastic! We love this program because it has saved us valuable time and money. We used to handle our enrollment with physical files were things would get easily lost or miss-filed, now we have a way of keeping accurate records of everything. Searching and tracking our enrollment numbers has never been easier and the enrollment in automatic payments has kept us accountable as well as our customers. Their customer service is some of the best I, personally, have ever received (Pam is awesome!). They respond quickly to any questions we have and their staff is very helpful, knowledgeable and kind.
Easy to search and find specific records or groups of records with the ability to tag groups and email groups
User fields can only be added on Student level and not the Family level. We do a lot of research based on our family population and not having that option is little difficult, but The Studio Director actually came up with a nice alternative. This may not apply to a lot of studios.
Excellent Customer Service
Studio Director works well as the main database for our non-profit dance education program. We track over 600 family accounts, and this system has been working smoothly for us for about 4 years.
The customer service is key - whenever we come across an issue, we get immediate support. The reports and texting features are a few others that we use frequently and have good success with.
There are reports that would be useful to us that simply do not exist. There are many choices that work well, but it's not always customizable when you have specific needs that correlate with grant fund reporting.
Studio Director works well for our non-profit dance program
I appreciate the ability to easily pull student and family account data reports, as well as keep our dance classes and seasons well organized and archived.
The interface is clean and easy to navigate. There are various options for customizing account pages to suit your needs, for example adding custom fields for information. We utilize the Reports feature daily, which gives easy to use data that's easily transferable to Excel.
The only snag recently is trying to get families enrolled in the texting feature. I wish there was a way to send texts directly to phones with the family's opt-in code, instead of manually looking it up for each person.
My overall experience with The Studio Director has been very positive!
The most outstanding thing about The Studio Director is their customer service. They are thorough, polite, helpful, and knowledgable. I get an email response typically within just a few minutes of asking my questions and the response includes step by step instructions on how to proceed. Their advice is invaluable.
Being a performing arts studio that offers both group classes and private lessons, my main complaint would be that I have to create 2 different seasons for both. Because of this, I have to do a little extra work when I want to send a group email or offer discounts to students who take classes in both seasons.
Customer service is fantastic. their team is quick to reply, and incredibly patient and informative.
The program is user friendly, and keeps us organized. I am so thankful for Studio Director.
I mostly use and appreciate the following: the attendance, pro-rating abilities, cancelling classes, keeping track of substitutes, being able to send quick emails is easy, keeping track of who owes, who is in the performances, making charges for fundraisers, late fees is simple, the list goes on.
I can't print labels by class 1 per family only with students name it it. or sort labels by class to help organize information to be passed out in class. Sometimes the reports are tricky.
I am a Fan of the Studio Director
When we first started using the Studio Director, it was easy to figure out, set up and start using right away. Their customer service is excellent- always helpful answering questions with explanations or choices. My studio is organized and profitable with the help of their program. It has a lot of functions/features so it can be customized to fit my studio needs. I highly recommend the Studio Director.
tracking of attendance, family and student information, charges and payments.
sometimes the reports do not add up right or find all the people who owe a certain fee.
TSDirector is easy to use, and was my software of choice for communication with CostumeManger.com.
Mobile access for staff and clients
*Online Enrollment option
*Date Specific Schedule option
*Mobile accessible for staff
*Online payment SPLITS do not appear on payment detail for the day after they are entered
*inability to make partial payment with Autopay feature
*inability to apply SPLIT payments with Autopay feature
*inability to select ACTIVE, INACTIVE, or PROSPECT for each family/student (which results in paying for inactive students)
Love Studio Director software
After testing a few softwares we decided on SD since it was the easiest to use and understand. They have incredible customer service. Probably one of the best customer service departments I've ever dealt with. They are always updating the software with new options and features. I would and do continue to highly recommend Studio Director.
Can sometimes be difficult for the user (dance parent) to understand and navigate.
Keeps my classes and enrollments organized and customers can access at anytime and pay
The software is easy to use. My customers can enroll and pay online at anytime. I like the reports for business.
Not enough options for credit card processing. It is too expensive especially when charged extra by the Studio Director. Wish there was also a way to set up two seasons differently at the same time. Really wish you could put in a minimum credit payment for it to process.
Studio Director is a very helpful tool for our non-profit organization's youth dance program.
Ability to run many reports that assist our program's operations and help us report on numbers and demographics to our funding sector.
The customizable options with informational menus that are easily adjusted using the Admin function.
The reports that we want to pull don't always exist as we need them, so it involves compiling multiple different reports manually. I think it's par for the course with most databases, and it's not a huge problem in our day to day operations.
There has been a lot to learn but worth it to help immensely with office management.
Ease of communication with instructors, students and families.
Keeping track of family balances.
Comparison of year to year reports.
Sometimes the dashboard reports seem to fluctuate or not make complete sense month to month and I'm not sure if it's because the information is not entered correctly . For example our enrollment showed 10 people dropped out in the past 2 months and we know that didn't happen.
Studio Director Review
The customer support at The Studio Director is amazing. We are very grateful to have live people available and ready to help when its needed.
we love that we can see if email has been read
not sure how to personalize certain things - for example, we have recital fees based on how many dancers there are in a family. So 1 dancer is $. 2 dancers are $, 3 dancers are $, 4 dancers are $ etc.
The customer service with The Studio Director is outstanding!
I love the ease of use. I am NOT computer savvy at all, and it is easy for even someone like me to use!
I haven't found anything I don't like yet! I guess if I could add anything, would be the option to make my own class category icons, something that looks more like my marketing material for various class types. I am looking forward to getting the app soon!