I’m assuming you’ve heard the statistic that it costs over 7 times more to get a new client than it does to retain an existing client in your fitness business. Client retention is often the MISSING PIECE in a business that is struggling!
In the fitness business – there will always be some level of attrition. People get bored with the same workout. They are looking for the new “cool” thing. But they are also looking for consistency and community. If you’re offering those things – the likelihood of their renewals greatly increase!
Here are four ways to increase client retention and client renewals:
Track your packages/renewals! (TRACK YOUR CLIENT RETENTION!)
You’d be shocked how many studios don’t even know their clients are up for renewal. That means they are 100% dependent on the client coming up and saying “I’m up for renewal and I’d like to buy X.” That doesn’t happen very often – and it is no way to build a long term business! You MUST be tracking your clients’ packages and who is up for renewal. This allows you to have those conversations!
Ask for the sale!!!
You’d be amazed at how many studio owners (or their staff) just assume that someone will renew when their current package expires. Clients often need to be “wooed” a bit. It’s important that you have a conversation with them and help them buy.
Have a client appreciation strategy!
Not too long ago, I was visiting my mother in law in Florida. She had been a client with DirectTv for almost 20 years. Her bill for two televisions, no DVR, and no premium channels was over $150. We looked online and found that if she was a new customer, she could have 4 televisions, DVR, HD, and premium channels for $79.99/mo. When we called and asked for that promotion, they said “Sorry, that’s for new clients only.” We expressed that she was 82 years old and on a fixed income. We also asked them to look up how long she had been a client (remember the almost 20 years). We asked if they had any other promotions or client loyalty programs for long time clients. They said no. Now we all offer a first time client special to get people in the door. But we MUST have client retention/client appreciation strategies as well. It could be special appreciation events. It could be gift baskets at renewal time. The opportunities are endless. But it is imperative that you have a strategy to appreciate your long time clients!
Use automation to prep for the sale!
Did you know that your client system probably has features that allows you to email your clients when their time or class pack is about to expire? Did you also know that you can probably have a copy of that email sent to yourself or your staff? You can customize this email to showcase the tone of the business and really personalize the sales conversation. And if you have a copy sent to you or your staff, you can pick up the phone or have a face to face conversation. Make sure you’re having it BEFORE their current package expires. Your likelihood for their buy in is much higher if you sell them on it BEFORE they are out of all your packages!
Remember – client retention, your renewals and existing clients are the backbone of your business. If you aren’t getting client renewals, you have to replace each client with a new client. The best way to build your business is to KEEP your existing clients and build a growing business with new clients as well. I hope that these three tips will help you look at your client renewal system to determine where things may be falling between the cracks.