Whether you are the receptionist, the studio owner, or the fitness instructor, each exchange you have with a client plays a meaningful role in their decision to keep coming back.
When a relationship like that has so much potential to grow, why limit it? Building a strong bond with the clients at your studio plays a crucial role in determining if and how often they return. After all, without clients, there would be no business! To strengthen the customer relationships formed at your fitness studio, take into consideration the wants, needs, and expectations of your clients — and make a plan to deliver. Even something as simple as a few extra minutes of conversation or a personal follow-up note can go a long way, and can lead to mutual trust and understanding that strengthens your business overall.
Here are our top three tips to strengthen your customer relationships:
Ask questions — and listen to the answers
It is a habit for trainers to ask rhetorical questions during class to motivate clients — but how often do you actually ask questions one-on-one to clients to truly get to know them? And how often do you listen to (and remember) their answers? Instructors, mingle with your clients after class; find out their goals, challenges, and opinions on previous classes. See what works for them, and what they want to work towards so you can guide them.
Taking client feedback, thoughts, and ideas into consideration is a huge part of a client’s decision to come back; they want to belong to a studio that truly values their opinion and is constantly working to improve their experience. Encouraging clients to take a short survey (in-person or online) is a great way to gauge feedback and find areas your studio can improve.
Interact beyond the classroom or studio
A good fitness instructor knows that their job does not only require teaching a class. They are also responsible for representing the studio’s brand, making clients feel comfortable, and serving as a resource for clients. Get to class early, and stay a few minutes late. Take time to socialize before and/or after each class, so clients know you are friendly and available to help.
Forming friendly relationships with clients makes them more comfortable in class, more likely to come back, and more accountable to continue their membership. Invite a group of clients to grab an after-class smoothie with you down the street, or let them know of upcoming special events you are hosting or attending, and encourage them to join. Use social media to strengthen your connections — take group selfies after class, post before and after photos of clients who have met their goals, follow your clients, or use Instagram stories to highlight your classes. Plug your social media before or after every class, so every client has the opportunity to follow you and stay connected.
Personalize your client communication
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of activity before, during, and after each class, but taking the time to show clients they are appreciated pays off. Sending follow-up messages after each session using the FitGrid Pro app helps form meaningful bonds with clients and holds them accountable. Take a moment to praise a job well done and thank each person for taking the time to attend your class. Following up with clients can even lead to an increase in your return rate and overall attendance at your studio. Sometimes all a client needs is a little push from their instructor to get motivated again.
Here is an example of a follow-up message from an instructor, thanking a client for attending their class:
You rock! It was great to see you again. Your dedication and commitment to yourself and your health is inspiring and our community is stronger because of it! Please let me know if you have any questions. See you in class!
FitGrid Pro also allows instructors to record notes about each client so they can remember any injuries, special occasions or interests they might have. It’s that simple touch of personal connection that draws clients in and keeps them coming back. Instructors, use FitGrid Pro to make client communication fast, simple and PERSONAL! Customize your follow-up message template with the signature phrase you use in every class, your favorite emojis, your social media handles — anything that clients can remember you by. Instructors: if you don’t have a FitGrid account, contact us to see how you can get your studio onboard and start forming better connections with clients! And studio owners, book a free demo to learn more about FitGrid today!
Communication is everything in a client-dependent business such as boutique fitness studios. Make sure it isn’t one-sided; give customers a voice and really listen to their questions, needs and feedback.
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