Life as a studio owner can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging at the same time. Through the highs and lows of running a fitness business, you may have to balance teaching several classes per week, hiring and training instructors, programming classes, and monitoring your profitability. While you’re worrying about your bottom line, it becomes increasingly challenging to make sure the original passion and intention behind why you opened your studio’s doors in the first place gets translated to every client walking in the door. That’s where creating the right messaging for your studio becomes key. Because it’s not only what you say, but how you say it, that ultimately keeps clients coming back and allows you to put the personal touch back into your business.
Craft Messaging that Aligns with Your Brand
The first step before reviewing your current customer communications, or adding in new methods, is to define the voice and tone of your brand. This should not only be crafted around your target market, but should also speak to what you care about as an owner. If you don’t already have these pinned down, take some time to brainstorm a few words that encapsulate your core values, mission statement, studio intention, etc. Having this documented and shared among your team is a powerful way to make sure everyone is on the same page and that the voice and tone of your brand is passed through all touch points of the customer experience.
Secondly, when crafting your messages, it’s important to take into account your target market. After all, the things you would say to attract young yogi moms to your fitness studio is going to be completely different than what you would say to bring in an older clientele looking to reinvigorate their fitness routine and enhance their longevity.
Focus on Connection
What are some of the driving forces that get clients to walk in the door of a fitness studio? Group training provides exactly those things: community, accountability and connection. Since it can be difficult for one instructor to connect with every single client in class, your communication methods can solidify a positive customer experience (or play damage control on a negative one).
One way to ensure clients feel seen is with well timed communication. A variety of tools automate texts, emails and social media posts, and can be effective for reaching out to clients in a timely manner. One of the ways FitGrid executes this is with the FitGrid Pro app, which provides the ability to send out personalized follow-up messages after class based off a customizable number of client visits. Especially for new clients, personalized follow-up texts or emails can go a long way in fostering a positive customer relationship.
Lead with Authenticity
While you craft your customer messages, let’s take a moment to step into the client’s shoes. Is this their first time taking a class at your studio? Have they been to your studio multiple times? Where might they be reading their messages (on the train, at the office, after a long day)? In an era where marketing emails fill up inboxes daily, it’s important that your message not only gets opened, but also appears authentic.
Following email best practices of sending the message from a person rather than a generic email (email@example.com), can be effective in ensuring that your messages get opened. One of the ways that FitGrid maintains an average 80% open rate for client follow-up messages is by delivering emails that come from the instructor (without sharing anyone’s personal email address).
Here are a few other tips to improve your customer communication:
- Address the client by name rather than a generic greeting
- Express your appreciation for the client
- Customize the message to fit the specific client (1st time visitor, regular, millennial, etc)
- Infuse your brand’s personality, voice and tone
- EX: “Be well, Cindy” or studio tagline, “Commit to be fit!”
One of the top ways to improve your client communication and overall customer experience, is to ask for feedback and implement changes. This can be done more formally by sending out a survey or by simply asking a question in your follow-up messages, marketing emails, or social media posts.
Here are a few tips to encourage feedback from your clients:
- "How did you enjoy your first class?"
- "If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know."
- "See you next week?"
- "What goals can I help you achieve?"
- "How are you feeling after your first week?"
Profit from Client Messaging That Actually Works
Improving your client communication is not a single step process, but by solidifying the voice and tone of your business, infusing authenticity into your messaging, and encouraging client feedback, you are on your way to allowing the deeper elements of community and connection to fall into place. When clients feel noticed, heard, and as if someone is holding them accountable to their goals, they are much more likely to become lifelong customers. Mentioning your studio to their friends will also be your best marketing asset. These are the building blocks that makeup the foundation of your fitness community and keep your clients coming back.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Director Of Operations at FitGrid
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level