In the sports and fitness industry, securing new clients and members is only half the battle when it comes to growing your business. You can bring in 20 new clients a month, yet still fall behind if 30 people leave. New customers are valuable, but current customers should never be overlooked. Customer retention is imperative to any business, especially a service-based operation like a sports training facility or fitness studio.
Fitness and sports businesses goal is to influence customers to come back for more. Customer retention will make your culture stronger, your location livelier, and most importantly, will grow the bottom line. The good news? It’s fairly easy to keep customers engaged and interested at fitness studios and training facilities, as there are endless opportunities for interaction between staff, clients, and instructors.
Create a brand they keep coming back for
Make the workout the best it can be
Fantastic classes and lessons naturally retain customers. That’s why it’s vital to ace your class structure. Clients will be willing to spend their time and money at your facility if they find tremendous value in your unique offerings.
Start early on perfecting the class experience. Make clients feel well prepared before they ever show up—you can use email marketing to remind them what to bring, what to wear, and what is provided by your staff. If they know exactly what to expect at the class, they will be comfortable and have a better first impression of your business.
Build your business into their routine
Constant communication with clients is vital to customer retention. Before clients leave your location, encourage them to sign up for the next lesson or class. People are more likely to find the most value in your workout right after their sweat session, and staying ahead of their bookings is key to keeping your clients.
Once the client leaves the studio, make use of automation and digital reminders. Send marketing emails preparing them for new session offerings. Reminding them of their future appointments will make it nearly impossible for them to forget. The most effective way of managing this is to enroll clients in custom memberships, as they then become bound to the studio and its offerings.
Upper Hand’s contact marketing services make this process easy and seamless for sports and fitness business owners.
Build relationships with clients and members
The key to client retention lies in exceptional customer service. All aspects of staff-client relationships should be geared towards personal connection, empowerment, and encouragement. Here are some quick tips on how to maximize client retention through customer service.
- Recognition— encourage your staff to build friendly relationships with members. When members are acknowledged by name, they feel special and appreciated. This is a great and simple way to work on building your base of brand advocates.
- Empowered team— staff should be able to solve most issues, especially when it comes to scheduling their next bookings and selling retail. Don’t settle for a faulty software when there are better options out there.
- Ease— give clients a comfortable and seamless experience by eliminating hurdles that keep them from coming back.
- Go above and beyond— point out areas they could focus on to maximize their workouts, recognize their individual needs, and follow these tips to make their experience with your business so good, they become brand advocates.
- Ownership— if mistakes are made by the staff, own up to them
- Appreciation— say thank you when customers leave, be optimistic, and be aware of your non-verbal behavior
It requires constant effort from all aspects of every fitness business to achieve remarkable customer retention rates. By addressing these three categories, clients will feel appreciated, welcomed, and supported. This will keep them coming back for more and advocating on your behalf. Clients are the most important resource to any fitness studio— once you get them, you must keep them.
For more insight into how to build a strong client base, be sure to check out our Guide to Turn Members into Brand Advocates.