It’s time to get obsessed with retention
Today’s fitness clients have a lot of options, from boutique fitness studios and luxury gyms to streaming classes and high-tech home gym equipment. Not surprisingly, they want more than a workout—they want an experience. The studios that will be best positioned to succeed are those that cultivate atmosphere, camaraderie, and a high level of customer service—in addition to great workouts.
Always be ‘courting,’ especially in the new year
While most studio owners have creative plans for getting people in the door in January for a first class, many fail to “court” their clients. When you consider that it costs anywhere from 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, that strategy (or lack of one) is a huge mistake.
So how do you “court” clients to keep them around?
Step 1: Start with client experience. Clients want to be seen as individuals who are on a unique journey.
Step 2: Find a scalable and smart fitness studio customer engagement management system that allows you to give clients meaningful, individualized attention as your business grows. That's where FitGrid’s tools, which have been built to do precisely that, come in. Some of the biggest studios in the business — Shred 415, The Bar Method, F45 Training, Lagree West, TruFusion, Kaia Fit, The Dailey Method and more — have already partnered with FitGrid, growing their client retention by up to 60 percent.
How FitGrid approaches client retention
FitGrid’s platform uses automation to deliver the right interactions with the right clients at the right time. This includes instructor followup messages, instructor ratings and feedback, and personalized outreach from the front desk.
[BONUS: This Guide to Effective Client Interactions will show you how to tap into the most important factors of effective communication with clients.]
Use these tools to boost retention rates
Personalized messages make your clients feel valued, period. FitGrid’s goal is to personalize communication between studios, instructors, and clients. This strengthens relationships, optimizes retention, and drives revenue. Let’s look at a few simple ways that FitGrid’s tools can be utilized to nurture your existing client base.
Retention Tools for Owners:
Use customer lifecycle mapping technology to understand your client’s journey
Think of this as GPS for the customer experience. Similar to a mapping tool, FitGrid helps you see where your clients are on their journey. Using the Client Outreach tool to divide your client base into segments (ex: decreasing frequency, milestone achievements), you and your team can send messages that provide a boost to at-risk clients or recognition to the most loyal fans.
Foster two-way communication with your clients
Give clients an opportunity to express their opinions, give shoutouts to their favorite instructors, and provide suggestions for improvement through FitGrid’s post-class instructor feedback surveys. Being receptive to suggestions and constructive feedback allows your business to grow and cultivates a positive experience that clients will remember and want to share.
Leverage your instructors to build deeper bonds with your clients
Use the feedback collected from post-class surveys, as well as the incredibly detailed, individual instructor reports offered through FitGrid Studio, in one-on-one meetings with your instructors. This data will illustrate the impact each instructor has at your studio, in terms of clients they attract and maintain and the revenue they drive. Instructors who feel engaged and valued are more likely to act as ambassadors for your studio.
Retention Tools for Instructors:
Make task lists more effective
With FitGrid's technology, instructors can get a quick view of upcoming classes and key insights, such as whether anyone is new to the studio or has an upcoming birthday, to be able to provide personalized greetings — part of the experience and community that keep clients coming back.
Create cheat sheets to build connections
You know that client who's excited to get toned before their wedding? And that other client who's training for their first Ironman? FitGrid’s client notes let instructors jot down quick notes to remember about each and every individual. Instructors who make it a goal to make notes on at least three clients per class can help you and your team make each client feel like they’re the most special person in the room, even if you may see hundreds of clients on a monthly basis.
Keep the connection going even after class is over
Hearing directly from instructors makes clients feel valued and special, and can increase the client’s feeling of loyalty and connection to the studio. The FitGrid Pro app enables instructors to craft quick, personalized messages to send to clients. Watch your class sizes grow as you continue to build authentic connections with your clients.
Want to take this relationship to the next level?
If increasing client retention is a top priority for your fitness studio in 2020, book a free consultation with FitGrid. We'll walk you through your client retention challenges and explore how our smart fitness software can help deliver strategies that will engage your client base.
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