How To Retain Clients – Fitness Boot Camp Business Retention

No we’re not talking about bloating and water retention here – we’re talking about how to keep the clients you’ve already spent a lot of time and money recruiting - Fitness clients retention that is. And that’s the key. Marketing is time-consuming and expensive and if you hate the closing process it only makes sense to do everything you can to keep the clients you already have coming back.

There’s always going to be a certain amount of natural attrition, if a member moves out of the area for example, but if people turn up irregularly and then disappear completely, you’re going to have to find out why.

Fitness Business Retention

Fitness Business Retention

Relationships with Clients

From the start of your fitness boot camp business you should always be building solid relationships with clients. By getting to know them and showing an interest they are more likely to be honest with you, instead of sliding away and refusing to answer your phone calls.  If you’re getting a large percentage of clients who don’t renew, then something’s up and you need to know the reason.

Send a friendly email containing a well constructed but short questionnaire, that also offers a limited time coupon with a deep discount if they do renew.  Leave a space for comments and take careful note of all the responses and take action.  You’re boot camp sessions are too strenuous, some haven’t seen results they were hoping for, they’d rather do Pilates – whatever – these are all things that you can address – especially if you see a common thread.

Do whatever it takes to get those clients back into the fold. Offer Pilates sessions; offer a free personal consultation with the client so she will achieve the results she wants. Those few minutes can ultimately save you a lot more time and money required to market and recruit new clients.

Keeping Your Members - Incentives

Having core members turn up for your boot camps is not only good for your bottom line, it’s also good for other members.  You’ll find that certain regular participants will perform a number of helpful tasks.  They will welcome new members and do their best to make them feel at home.

The relationship-building process between your members can also be the glue that helps to maintain stable membership numbers.  They may keep in touch with each other via your blog or FaceBook page or they may even exchange emails and phone numbers. When you see someone is missing, you’ll soon find out if she’s had a family emergency or has the flu!  Don’t leave it at that though; send an appropriate message email - Get Well Soon Mary, We Miss You.

Your groups should feel like a big family. Always try to reward those regular members who go the extra mile for you, with maybe a free session or tee shirt.

Offering incentives is a great way to keep all of your members engaged and coming back.  By developing a rapport with each client, you and your staff should fully understand what that member is hoping to achieve.  If it’s weight loss, offer an incentive for each ten pounds she loses.

Treat your members like a big family and remember Birthdays, Holidays, Graduations and everything that’s important in their lives. It only takes a few seconds to make someone’s day. And reward very well for referrals.

Keeping Your Members – Hire the Right Staff

If you’re running dozens of boot camps every week, one of your objectives should be to hire service-oriented people to run those sessions - people with the same mind set as you.  If one of your staff consistently has poor turnouts for his sessions, then heed the warnings – something is wrong. It’s up to you to find out what it is and act accordingly.

Survey your members regularly and reward those staff members who are doing an excellent job. Bonuses speak louder than words! Your staff should be friendly and knowledgeable and able to answer any questions on fitness or nutrition when necessary.

If members are part of a group of people who are all striving for success, that group mindset will keep them coming back – plus a few incentives.  Staff should know each member and what she wants to achieve, and her file should be reviewed regularly to make sure she’s staying on track.  It’s all part of excellent customer service.

Keep Your Members Engaged

Run contests, offer healthy cooking classes, hold talks and demonstrations. Get your members involved in local charity runs and sporting events – especially if they can wear your tee shirts. It’s great advertising, and if the event is mentioned on the local news channels you’ll get lots of free brand exposure.

You could also devise a points system with points awarded each time the member turns up for a session, attends a meeting, or participates in a charity event. Don’t skimp on the prizes – make them valuable because those people have worked hard to win.

Help your members get to know each other. Have a notice board that allows people to start their own groups. People interested in hiking, biking, or other healthy activities - the more you can develop and encourage a close-knit community, the less likely people are going to drop out.

Tracking fitness goals for each of your members and helping them achieve this goals faster can also bring a big boost in client retention.

Using FaceBook, your Blog and Newsletters

You should be sending out a monthly newsletter to all past, present and potential members. Believe me, if you can build a thriving and successful community, you’ll never be short of things to write about.  You can feature your Monthly Biggest Achiever, talk about upcoming charitable events, and even feature a different member each month.

You’ll need video footage and lots of photos to make your website, FaceBook page and blog even more engaging.  Invite members to talk about what they’ve achieved, and post those stories - but always with permission.  Get the sub-groups involved too. Where is the cyclists’ group going next month? Have someone talk and post pictures about the latest hike.

By getting involved with your members and giving them ways to get involved with each other, you’ll have the formula for creating a community that people simply won’t want to leave.

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Posted in Boot Camp Business, Boot Camp Marketing, Boot Camp Strategies, Personal Training Business by Steve Hochman | 1 Comment

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