Retention, Retention, Retention!
The subject of retention keeps coming up on the Gym Insight Blog because it keeps gym owners in the business. In fact, any business that depends on periodic payments and satisfied customers must make retention a priority.
As long as you maximize the length of time that you retain your members, you’ll minimize the cost of replacing them. Retention touches on issues such as membership turnover and the lifetime value of a customer. So let’s review some of the things that you can do to hang on to your clients for the long haul.
Build Trust In Your Team
Customer satisfaction starts from within. Your organization will always reflect how your employees feel about it, each other, and about you, the owner. Your team will represent you and respond to customers more successfully if they work in an atmosphere of trust. That means they trust the company system, you and each other.
Trust requires good intentions among employees; you should deal with any sign that one or more workers are unhappy or restless as soon as you become aware. Make sure that your employees understand that you are approachable, willing to listen to concerns, and you will deal with any workplace conflicts robustly.
Give Team Members The Tools To Resolve Issues
Sometimes, in customer service situations, the person who’s at the point of contact with a club member can fix a problem if they feel comfortable making simple decisions and making small monetary concessions to appease disgruntled members. Unfortunately, you can’t delegate responsibilities if your employees fear the consequences of doing anything proactive.
If you allow your staff the discretion to solve situations without the risk of negative feedback they’ll work harder to resolve minor complaints and try to keep customers happy for you. Make sure that all levels in your team understand what they can do to help clients and never rebuke staff for attempting to help, regardless of the outcomes.
Train Your Team To Think On Their Feet
When employees feel confident, they relax and find solutions; when they have your trust, and they will be more helpful to members and receptive to training. You should give everyone your team who interacts with customers some simple training in handling objections and dealing with pressure situations. There is a list of standard gym business objections that you’ll encounter almost daily; your representatives can overcome them with if they are prepared to think ahead and act.
Develop incentives for your team members
Nothing gets employees to think fast like knowing they can earn a reward. Well, in theory, sales commissions should motivate them, but in my experience, you have to be a little more nuanced working with gym employees. If money alone inspired them to help, they would probably want to work in more aggressive sales jobs. However, you can nurture staff selling skills by using small inducements and bonuses to get that extra bit of effort.
Set Up A System To Involve New Members
Begin as you mean to go on, and help new members do the same. Bringing new members on board is a process that deserves your full attention. Develop a series of planned interactions that include health assessments, orientations, and free training sessions to build positive associations with being at your fitness center.
Measure Your Results
Perhaps I’ve written it before, but you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Measuring your activities and outcomes is the first level of managing any function. Since your members are paying your bills knowing how they respond to your offerings is central to your control of your fitness business.
You need to know some simple numbers for each member, but when you start to have hundreds of clients, an informal system is never enough. Automate your gym membership, accounts, and payments solutions with dedicated gym management software like Insight to take control of the information that drives your business.
Plan Your Actions Based On Your Outcomes
It sounds a little backward to say that your results determine what to do next, but it’s a process that should never end. When you are managing a business, you need to make decisions, take actions, measure the results, and adjust your course to get closer to your goals.
Remember it’s always a learning process for you, your team, and your customers. That being the case, it’s up to you to take the lead to train your people and inform your members. With the tools to track member involvement, the rest is just the organization and discipline to follow through. When you serve your customers in the spirit of fitness your gym membership retention rates will stay right where you need them.
Collins, Jim. Overcoming Common Sales Objections. May 1, 2002. http://clubindustry.com/mag/overcoming-common-sales-objections (accessed February 27, 2017).
Fagan, Lawrence. 3 Key Elements in Retaining New Gym Members. October 10, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/1918-3-key-elements-in-retaining-new-gym-members/ (accessed February 27, 2017).
—. Gym Membership Selling And Overcoming Objections. September 11, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3934-gym-membership-selling-and-overcoming-objections/ (accessed December 13, 2016).
—. Lifetime Customer Value Calculation And Why It Matters. April 6, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3757-lifetime-customer-value-calculation-and-why-it-matters/ (accessed December 30, 2016).