If you’re experiencing staffing challenges in your studio, know that you’re not alone.
What some have called “The Great Resignation” has been a staffing nightmare for most businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs during the 2nd quarter of 2021.
At FitGrid, we feel the impact of that statistic. We’ve spoken with many understaffed studio managers and owners who feel the pain of a growing to-do list and not enough hours in the day to get things done. While the search for new staff members can seem overwhelming, one mental shift you can make right now is to focus on what you can control - including the full utilization of your software solutions.
If you are a FitGrid subscriber whose studio is short-staffed, you can tap into the software’s features that automate everyday studio operations. In this article, we’ll look at 3 ways that FitGrid’s smart community management software can help you save time by eliminating repetitive tasks, reducing hours spent on communication, and helping to improve overall productivity.
1.) Make sure your clients feel heard
The purpose of your business is to help fill the needs of your clients. The best way to understand how to do this is to engage in regular communication with them, but this takes a ton of time right? Not necessarily. FitGrid’s Client Feedback feature makes it simple to gather valuable insights from your clients. This function allows studio owners and managers to receive feedback directly from their clients—without having to spend the time checking in with everyone individually.
Here’s how it works: FitGrid sends quick and easy surveys to clients via email after they take class. Clients rate their experience on a 1-10 scale, with the option to leave written comments. As the studio owner or account admin, you can select to receive feedback about specific instructors. Clients are invited to complete a survey once every three months per enabled instructor whose class they attend, giving you the ability to collect feedback at regular intervals.
By helping your clients feel heard, you can improve your clients’ satisfaction and loyalty to your business. Ready to get started? This support article will help you set up your FitGrid Client Feedback feature.
2.) Reach out to the right clients at the right time
In a perfect world, you’d remember every important milestone in your clients’ journeys. However, when juggling many tasks, it’s easy to let important communications fall through the cracks. FitGrid's Client Outreach feature assists studio managers and staff by allowing you to create connections with important clients at precisely the right time. Fit Grid’s Pro App empowers your instructors to follow up with their students, increasing loyalty, engagement and retention. These solutions provide your team with a clear action plan for building community–and increasing retention and sales–through authentic communication.
Here’s how it works:
Client Outreach: As the studio owner or admin, you control the managers and staff who have access to Client Outreach. The team members you select will receive a prioritized list of clients to communicate with every day. This list also explains why each client was selected and what your goals should be when sending them a message. Your team sends custom messages to each client individually. With a few clicks, you can examine the client's purchase and visit history, then write and send them a brief personalized message. From the client perspective, clients receive Client Outreach messages in their email inbox. In the "from" field, the staff member's name will be displayed. This touch causes the email to feel more personal, which increases the chances that it'll be opened and read. The client can reply and have a conversation with the staff member.
Pro App: You, as the studio owner, select which instructors you would like to engage in follow-up communication with your clients and set milestones for how often you would like them to do so. Next, your instructors will create their own personalized message templates that can be used for each milestone, perhaps a word of encouragement after a client’s first class or to cheer them on after their fifth. Don’t worry, the instructors can customize these messages before they send them, maybe to add a personal note about something this particular client can work towards or a goal that they crushed during class that day. Once everything is set up, the app reminds the instructor when to send follow-up messages, which can be sent with the click of a button or customized, when needed. This app helps build stronger bonds between instructor and client, with a proven track record of increasing studio retention.
Communicating with clients in these ways can help you save time and increase sales. Concerned about directly connecting your staff and your clients? No fear - the reply will be routed through FitGrid and show up in the staff member's email inbox. The staff member can also reply, and again the message will be routed through FitGrid before going to the client. This allows the staff member and client to have a conversation while keeping their personal email addresses private.
Ready to get started? This support article will help you set up your Client Outreach feature (note: upgrade to FitGrid’s Gold Plan is required to access this feature), and this support article will help you get started with the Pro App.
3.) Automate your win-back strategies
Obtaining a new client costs much more money, time and resources than retaining a preexisting one. When you’re running a lean staff, consider activating FitGrid’s Win-back feature to help you tap into the power of automation to almost effortlessly bring back lapsed clients.
Here’s how it works: Our Win-back feature allows you to trigger automated messages to clients that have not visited your studio in a designated amount of time. Clients who have fallen off in terms of attendance are eligible to receive a message from their most-visited instructor that acknowledges their absence, and encourages them to come back to class. Accountability plays a huge role in retention, especially in the boutique fitness industry, and having a client’s favorite instructor personally invite them back to class strengthens the sense of community required to run a successful studio.
Ready to get started? This support article will help you set up your Win-back communications.
While nothing can take the place of human connection, the right combination of automation and manual execution can help alleviate some of the issues caused by your studio’s staffing challenges. Using your FitGrid subscription to address the three operational challenges listed above can strengthen a studio owner’s or manager’s ability to navigate a lean staffing situation. If you have yet to sign up for FitGrid, now is the time. Try our innovative, time saving, revenue boosting software free for 30 days.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Beer, the founder of B.Well Consulting, has a diverse background that is rooted in finance, driven by data, grounded by giving, fueled by entrepreneurial passion, and made possible by hard work and grit. After a 20-year career in finance, Chris became a MINDBODY-Certified Business Consultant to help fitness and wellness owners make data-driven decisions that propel their organizations forward. Chris specializes in the development and implementation of business operating systems tailored to a company’s unique way of doing things. This includes how it operates, goes to market, and produces and deals with clients. Driven to be humble and helpful, Chris partners with small businesses to create more success while working more efficiently and gaining a better understanding of what drives their revenue.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level