Retention is the cornerstone of a consistently profitable membership model. It costs much more to gain a new client than it does to service an existing one – and this high churn also degrades the integrity of the brand.
By driving retention, we get a higher yield per client, a greater lifetime customer value, and a more reliable long-term source of income for the operation.
This base of reliable future revenue is the foundation for expansion, growth, and success. Without it, your business is surviving from one month to the next just making ends meet. You can’t invest because there’s always the risk that you won’t have the cash to cover next month’s bills.
A big part of the Assessor’s job is driving retention. Although their input seems weighted towards the beginning of the customer journey (rather than years down the line), the assessor sets the tone for the entire client experience.
They also take a lead in championing high standards across the board, role-modelling behaviours and standards for the rest of the staff team.
So how do we drive client retention?
- Don’t pour water into a leaky bucket
With the power of digital, there’s a tendency at the moment to rely on marketing to solve all your problems – which won’t work. You can have the fanciest Facebook ads out there, and funnel loads of leads to sign up for a trial period. But if clients get to the actual gym and the reality doesn’t match the hype, you have a problem.
- Internal marketing and sales
Don’t assume that once people are onboard, they’re going to stay there. You are constantly selling your gym to your existing clients. Treat every session as if it’s their first one, or it could be their last. Never let your standards slip or take a client for granted.
- Client experience
Try and make your members’ visit to your gym the best part of their day. From the moment they catch sight of the building to how they feel about their session at the end of the day, you should always be focused on providing the very best experience you can. This needs to be consistent – every single time they come.
As well as the overall experience, don’t forget that first and foremost you’re providing a training service. Make sure the quality of your sessions is outstanding, and always keep the clients’ objectives at the top of the priority list.
Part of keeping clients engaged is offering them something more than monotony. Humans like consistency and routine but they also thrive on some variation. See the following sections for some more guidance on this.
- Brand loyalty
Creating a remarkable brand is the foundation of creating a real gym identity that your clients can commit to and stick by.