How to retain your personal training clients longer

Continuing on my previous post, I decided to give a more in depth analysis on how to actually accomplish what I suggested previously on each topic starting with Fitness Business Retention.

One of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of running any kind of business is finding new leads. Indeed many owners of fitness training facilities concentrate most of their efforts on finding new clients instead of retaining the ones they already have!

So how do you do that?

how-to-retain-personal-training-clients_1How are your Customer Service Skills?

Why are people leaving? In order to find out why the majority of your clients are not renewing the most efficient way is to send them an e-mail containing a questionnaire, with plenty of room to add their own comments. Calling them is not so effective because many people will tell you what they think you want to hear and they won’t be quite so honest!

Be prepared for some shocks, especially if you haven’t been taking a lot of notice of what’s going on within your business – you may have left most of the day-to-day running with a manager or other member of staff.

You must act on the results. It’s all too easy to shrug your shoulders and say oh well.  If there’s a common thread, then it’s easier to address the issue. It could be a rude member of staff, the music, other members, poor equipment, or simply that your sessions are not scheduled at convenient times for them.

Whatever you do to remedy the problems it’s all part of customer service. You can follow up and thank your ex-client by sending her a personal e-mail letting them know that you’ve made appropriate changes. As a further enticement you could offer them a discount if they renew, or a free session so they can see the improvements.

All your staff should know the value of exemplary customer service. Be sure to make yourself available and approachable if any of your clients has a problem with one of your employees. There may naturally be personality clashes, but if the same name keeps coming up, you know you’ll have to do something about it.

Customer service also means building close relationships with your clients and members. When visitors and prospects come to the facility they should be given demonstrations of all the equipment and an explanation of what each item does. A staff member should always be on hand when a client wants to try out an unfamiliar piece of equipment to avoid any injuries.

It doesn’t matter how long a client has been coming to your facility, he or she should not become part of the furniture. Make a point of talking to clients regularly to find out what their goals are and if they’re having any problems or have questions. Again it’s about cultivating ongoing, long-term relationships. You want your clients to feel at home and never consider going anywhere else.

When hiring new staff stress how important customer service is in your business. Make sure they’re always smiling and helpful, and always introduce new staff members to your existing clients. If you can’t do it, make sure they introduce themselves to everyone and learn your clients’ names. Your clients should never be afraid to approach any of your staff to ask questions or get help.

Offer Incentives

People who use your facility regularly are your most valued clients. They’re putting food on your table! Again don’t ignore them. You should run your business like it’s a community and make your regular clients spokespeople for it. Offering incentives to existing clients is a great way of bringing in new business, and also an opportunity for them to earn some money or free one-on-one training. Invest in them, and they will reciprocate. Make caring and incentivizing your clients part of your fitness business marketing.

Invest in new clients too by having them set realistic goals and help them achieve those goals. When a client reaches a milestone make it a big deal – it is for them. They could be featured on your website and in any printed literature you hand out – along with a glowing testimonial, which will encourage new business for you.

Get people involved. Run group contests. Devise point systems and offer prizes such as a T-shirt or a free pack of any supplement they use regularly. The more you get people involved the more likely they are to stay with you, especially if they have goals and incentives.

It’s easy to schedule an automated alert when a client has been with you for six months or a year. Offer them a gift as a reward, it shows you care.

Creating a community instead of just a business can be very rewarding. When people get to know each other and consider themselves part of a group they are less likely to leave. Organize social outings, workshops and even get people involved in charity runs. If they can wear one of your T-shirts during an event or get together it’s very effective free advertising.

Keep Yourself and your Members Well Informedfitness business retention

No doubt you keep up on all the latest news about your business. You probably write articles about this news for your blog or website. But it’s essential to communicate the latest information directly to your members as well. The majority of people work out to lose weight or for weight management reasons, so if you can share information with members it shows you’re concerned about them. If you have members who are diabetic and there’s relevant news you can share with them, they will appreciate it.

One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with your present, past and prospective members is via e-mail. A good fitness email marketing service will allow you to split your list accordingly. You can send a regular newsletter out to everyone, but you can personalize your e-mails to clients who have dropped out. Invite them to social evenings and any events you’re holding, so they can see what they’re missing! Talk to them about any problems they may be having, which may be nothing to do with your business, but nonetheless it proves you care. Texting is also a great way of staying in touch and sending out quick reminders.

Keeping yourself abreast of what’s going on in your area means you can get an edge on your competition. Visit other people’s fitness facilities and see what they’re doing, and more importantly what they’re not doing.

Treat all your clients like they’re family members. Give them what they want and you should never have a problem with client retention.

Posted in Boot Camp Business, Boot Camp Marketing, Boot Camp Strategies, Fitness Marketing, Group Personal Training Strategies by Steve Hochman | 3 Comments

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