Chelsea McGriff, owner of Millennium Dance Complex in Las Vegas, knew that her studio’s market was much different than Millennium’s sister studios -- and that their approach to client communication should be too.
As part of a franchise, she realized that her location’s attendance patterns were much different than that of the locations in other cities. MDC Las Vegas was used to catering to clients who preferred drop-in dance classes while they are staying in the area for work or events, which made retention the biggest challenge they faced. Then, Chelsea came across FitGrid through a MindBody webinar and was “immediately pulled in” by the promises to aid in strengthening the community at her studio for improved retention rates.
By using FitGrid Pro follow-up messages, Chelsea’s instructors were able to take communication into their own hands and strengthen their bonds with more clients than they could interact with during class alone.
"I run the business pretty much on my own, and instructors would ask me to email clients back with answers to questions such as a song played in class,” Chelsea explains. “It was very time-consuming emailing each individual client to address specific questions, so the fact that instructors could send clients messages themselves to answer questions was a very attractive feature for me.”
Chelsea set up follow-up messages to be sent out from her instructors to clients on their first, third, and fifth visits, to congratulate them on their progress and field any feedback or suggestions they had. “Some of our classes have more than 20 students, and we have more than 40 classes on our schedule,” Chelsea explains. “The ability of my instructors to check in with clients, especially new clients, after their first class has been extremely important for us to make their experience the best it can be.”
She first implemented FitGrid with only a few of her instructors but quickly introduced the entire staff to the program after her initial “guinea pigs” loved how it affected their relationships with clients.
Millennium Dance Complex has sent 1,251 personal follow-up messages since starting with FitGrid in February, with an impressive open rate of 74.34%. And the effects they are noticing on their client relationships keep getting better with every new message. “One of my instructors really loves you guys!” Chelsea laughs. “Since FitGrid shows instructors how many times each of their clients has attended class, she does shout outs for their 50th classes and writes them a card. For instructors that really care about their students, FitGrid helps them figure out what they can do to increase their own personal retention and measure their own success.”
But the impact on client relationships at Millennium Dance Complex through FitGrid doesn’t stop at shoutouts during class. Chelsea shares that her instructors have formed invaluable bonds with students in their classes through their improved ability to communicate with them in and beyond the studio. “A client reached out to one of my instructors and explained that she was wearing a special bracelet because she was going through a hard time. She attended his class every week for two months - so dedicated. Although he didn’t know what she was going through specifically, she gave him the bracelet at the end of her last class, when she got a job and wasn’t able to come back to class regularly. That was such a heartfelt moment for us, to see that just by reaching out and starting a conversation with a client, we could have such a powerful impact on their life through the classes they attend. That connection was partly because of him reaching out after class through FitGrid follow-up messages, and keeping up a close bond with this client.”
This impact on retention is also proven in the Instructor Performance Reports that FitGrid Studio provides to Chelsea through the Owner Dashboard. “FitGrid measures retention accurately with numbers that make it clear to see how our efforts are paying off,” she says. “We’re starting to see an increase in retention, which means that instead of sending messages at a 1st/3rd/5th-time visit cadence, we can now reach out to clients after their tenth and twentieth visits.”
Chelsea has noticed a significant impact since joining FitGrid, not only on clients but on the instructors that teach at her studio. “I have some instructors that also teach at other dance studios nearby, and they’ve thanked me for introducing FitGrid because none of their other owners have provided a tool like this for them,” she reflects. “They love how much easier it makes their job and their ability to truly connect with clients to keep them coming back.”
To learn more about FitGrid, and how you can boost your studio’s retention by forming bonds with clients like Millennium Dance Complex did, book a free demo with a team member today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marketing Intern at FitGrid, Strategic Communication & Marketing student at Rowan University.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level