Build a Band of Brand Enthusiasts
Let’s face it — the cost of attracting new clients is significantly higher than the cost of strengthening the relationship with the ones you already have. Building strong relationships with your customers is going to be the key to your success. There’s a powerful incentive to keep your core group of clients happy. Try some of these simple (and sometimes free) tips to improve client loyalty.
Have Them at Hello
Acknowledge your clients the second they walk through the doorway. Recognize them, validate them, and show them you care. Know that the first and last moments of interaction with your clients have a more lasting impression than what happens in between. The way you greet and thank each customer is a chance to make an impression that is completely free. Focus on little details like calling them by their names, mentioning their spouse and their kids, and remembering birthdays, among other things.
Listen to Clients
Tune in to the conversations you have with clients, and use them to your advantage. You might notice that clients will go out of their way to avoid confrontation, maybe all the way to the gym down the street! Welcome complaints or concerns as an opportunity to resolve any of their issues and improve your overall service. As a personal training studio, you can benefit from one-on-one interaction not only from a training aspect, but also as a way to build client loyalty. One easy way to get constructive feedback is to arrange regular review meetings where you can openly discuss areas in which you excel and, more important, areas where there is room for improvement.
Open the Lines of Communication
Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder card for a session or a holiday greeting card, it’s important to have at least one system for reaching out to the clients you already have. Social media profiles allow you to easily reach out and interact with your clients. Invite people to your Facebook page or website, and tag clients in photos and statuses. Help them build their personal brand and they’ll return the favor. Make it a point to invite clients to any industry events, or even create events for bonding opportunities.
Build Loyalty from Within
Your trainers are the face of your company, so before you reach out to your clients… build a dependable foundation with employee loyalty. When your employees feel strongly about their work and the company’s vision, passion will radiate from trainer to client. Stretch your marketing dollars when your employees become your spokespeople (and remember, it’s a good idea to make sure they know what to say).
Consider Payment Options & Be Flexible with Policies
Sadly, bills, car payments and other expenses are likely to take priority over personal training session dues, so consider payment options to help improve your client loyalty. Set up various plans or packages to split the total cost of your services. Taking an interest in and understanding your clients’ needs will increase their appreciation for your services. It’s also important to honor your promises and warranties, and be considerate of your clients’ time and concerns. If something goes wrong, let customers know as soon as possible and compensate where you can. You might work around a lot of steel machines, but your clients aren’t robots, and problems can arise be flexible and understanding.
Implement Client Incentives
What’s in for them? Customer incentives give people a reason to return to your studio. Incentives entice people to choose your business when they decide to spend their hard-earned dollars. The following tactics have worked well for other facilities:
1.) Small welcome gifts, like 5 free protein shakes, tans or hydromassages for first-time referrals.
2.) Free t-shirt or water bottle for loyal clients and referred members.
3.) A free 30 minute personal training session for 2 referrals.
4.) Free month for referring new clients.
5.) For every 6 month or 1 year membership paid for by a loyal client, provide a free introductory series of classes or a free month of membership specifically for a family member or friend of that client.
6.) A points reward system.
Consider what kinds of incentives will function best at your studio among current clients and community members. Get loyal clients to make a competition out of how many people they bring into the studio successful referrals can have a domino effect.
Share Your Future Plans
Clients want to be in the know! If you’re trying to increase client loyalty, you have to share a clear future direction and information on your services so that they can develop their own long-term plans in partnership with you. Tell your clients about the plans you have for growth, and describe your business aspirations for, say, the next 5 years. A little goes a long way when you’re trying to strengthen your relationship with your current clients. By simply remembering and referring to small details about their lives, you let clients know that you’re listening and you care.