In the fitness industry, we are in the business of people. People seek community, belonging and memorable experiences. It’s not enough to provide a basic service and hope that people stick around. People need a really good reason to commit to you and remain a great client for the medium to long term.
Client retention. Not a very sexy term, but it’s the key to maintaining and building your business. How do you keep your clients coming back? Start by asking yourself some questions:
- Who is your audience? (Identify age bracket, gender skew, socio-economic status etc.)
- What does your target audience want? (What are their goals, what do they enjoy, what is important to them?)
- What are you qualified to deliver and what are your strengths? (Stay within your scope of practice and stronger skills sets)
- How can you package this to create a business that builds community, engages your audience and achieve goals for your clients? (List some ideas around inclusive activities, events or goals that might engage everyone or a large number of clients/prospects)
- How will you deliver your idea and support it with smart consistent communications to your audience?
- How will you measure the process and outcomes and reward participants?
Key client retention strategies include:
The most important thing you can do for your clients. Talk to them, give them productive feedback, get to know them as people, not just clients. Quite simply, if your client doesn’t strike a rapport with you, they won’t be back.
Recognise and reward
Everyone loves to recognised and rewarded! Celebrate when your clients reach fitness goals you have set together.
Change it up
Nothing is more boring than doing the same thing over and over… and over. Mixing up the types of workouts – make some fun, some more intense than others will keep your clients interested.
Know what your clients know
Pay attention to what your fitness information your clients are digesting. Research what your clients are researching, read what they’re reading in magazines, blogs, social media posts. New fitness trends are always being reported, some more credible than others. By keeping on top of the latest fitness news, your clients will look to you to confirm or refute the latest stories doing the rounds.
Give them homework
This may not be as counter-productive as it sounds! Stretch out your sessions longer than the actual time you’re with your clients. Giving your clients a couple of extra exercises to do at home, or asking them to keep a food or exercise diary for a few days may help them reach their initial fitness goals. Nothing motivates us all more than meeting goals and setting new ones.
Keep a database of contact information on all clients, former clients and prospective clients. Who had an initial meet-and-greet with you and didn’t come back? Down the track, you may want to contact these people and let them know about any new services or changes to your business.
And finally… keep learning
Invest in your own education. Not just to accrue enough PDPs to renew your registration, but to further your own career. The PAA website has hundreds of courses to choose from, but you’re not limited to those – think about what you are truly passionate about in terms of your career and find the course or workshop that will help you realise this passion and pass the knowledge on to your clients.