Gyms are always looking for new ways to increase their membership levels. One of the most obvious ways is by promoting special offers, like reduced rates or join fees. But if you’re losing your current members, all of that time and energy spent attracting new ones won’t do much for your bottom line.
Retention, then, is just as important as acquisition. And the good thing about retaining current clients is that it can be done, typically, with fewer resources than you expend acquiring new clients.
First and foremost, it’s critical that you make retention a top priority. Whether it’s the owner, front desk associate or a personal trainer, everyone needs to understand how important it is that your customers have an experience they’re happy with. Day in and day out. In other words, you should be creating a long-term relationship with your current customers. The only way to do that is to continue communicating with them.
Emails are an easy way to reach your current customers. While those customers can’t take advantage of a reduced join fee, you can offer them other benefits via email. For example, you could offer free passes for their friends. That way you not only give your current customers something of value, but you’ll have access to new customers, as well.
However, it’s important you don’t just sell; you must also offer useful information. For instance, let your current customers know about new classes, highlight tips on how to avoid putting on weight during the holidays or send them a list of exercises they can do while traveling. You get the point. Stay in touch and stay relevant.
You can also engage with your customers on social media by motivating them with short videos or inspirational thoughts. The more shareable, the better. In addition, simple messaging throughout your facility can help strengthen your brand’s affinity with your current customers. And remember, too, that communication is a two-way street. Seek feedback from your customers. Ask them what you’re doing well and what they’d like to see changed. Give your customers a voice and they’ll be talking to you long after their first membership term is over. And, in turn, your bottom line will be as healthy as you are.
Josh Loewer is the accounts supervisor for andDonovan, an award-winning ad agency that helps clients with branding, digital marketing and website development. Loewer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.