As a newer studio location in a fitness market as saturated as New York City, one of the top challenges owners face is attracting and retaining clients.
The Bar Method, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, began using FitGrid at the beginning of the year as a tool for better client communication, and quickly noticed the effects that it could have on their relationships with the students in their classes.
“Using FitGrid helps us set ourselves apart by talking more to clients and creating a more personable environment,” says Lauran Spencer, an instructor at the studio. Nicknamed after its location off of the famous New York City Street, the Bar Method Broadway personalizes the client experience using the notes feature in the FitGrid Pro app for instructors. “I like being able to write specific notes about clients after class, so I can let other teachers know exactly what I know about each client to make their experience better,” says owner Carolyn Loh.
FitGrid notes allow instructors to record any significant things about each individual client that could potentially improve their experience at the studio: any injuries, birthday, significant events coming up such as a wedding or fitness competition, preferences during class, etc. Instructors also have the ability to share their client notes with other staff who may teach or interact with them, to make retention efforts throughout the studio stronger and more personal for each client that visits. Carolyn loves the sense of community that these shared notes can contribute to — she observes that the option for her instructors to have “such quick access to important information like this is vital for personal communication with our clients.
But the most valuable tool of all for the staff at The Bar Method Broadway is follow-up messaging! FitGrid’s follow-up tool differs from most, offering customizable messages instead of impersonal, automated client messages that are less likely to be opened. Instructors can edit the message that goes out to each client automatically after certain sessions (such as their first, third and fifth visits to the studio) and personalize it by adding their social media handles, emojis, and a signature or slogan. Incorporating these personal touches makes each message more impactful in the eyes of the clients receiving them, and paves the way for better connections and conversations that will keep clients coming back.
Sparking up conversations through friendly follow-up messages after class has proven to be a game-changer for Lauran — “I send a ton of follow-up messages!” she says, “I have a couple of clients who, after the first couple of follow-ups , now send me regular messages through email because we're connected.”
FitGrid follow-up messages are a convenient way to reach out to clients and leave a lasting impression when it matters most — “especially for new students, being able to quickly send a message saying it was great to have them in class and encouraging them to ask questions is helpful. They love that personal attention and interaction!” says Carolyn.
Owner Melissa Ferrigno agrees with our philosophy here at FitGrid, that forming stronger bonds with each client through personal communication is a foolproof way to improve retention at any fitness studio. “I think the most powerful thing to do is follow up with a new client. It can be intimidating because it's their first time in a challenging class, and we want to encourage them. Clients have mentioned to me that certain instructors have sent them messages, and how nice it was to receive them. They realize that we really do care.”
Since starting with FitGrid, The Bar Method (Broadway studio, New York City) has sent over 4,300 follow-up messages to their students! They have an 81% average open rate of these messages, compared to the industry average email open rate of 20%, that helps keep their tight-knit community connected.
To start forming better connections with your clients like The Bar Method does, and learn more about how FitGrid’s tools can benefit your studio.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level