fitness studio retention mainWhen you invest in marketing and work hard to grow your fitness studio, it’s critical that you benefit from the time, money, and sweat you put in. But if members are leaving as fast as you can get them, your fitness studio will never be able to hit your growth goals.

To avoid a revolving door of people in your fitness studio, take a good look at the experience you’re providing. Just like your marketing, the experience your fitness members have after they join needs to be strategically planned to give you the best results.

So let’s dive in…

Focus on Member Retention for Your Fitness Studio

At Fitness Revolution, one of the 8 metrics that we’re tracking for every studio, boot camp and business that we work with is retention.  

If you can’t retain fitness members, there’s a problem with your business. It’s cheaper and easier to keep a current client than it is to find a new one. Plus, if you’re great at marketing and use the closing strategies Loud Rumor teaches, it’s like compounding interest for your business.

Each new client you retain provides your business with more and more revenue each month. Every time someone pays their membership dues, you collect a return on the investment you originally made to bring them into your fitness studio. This return only increases as time goes on.

The most successful fitness studios offer an incentive for current members to refer friends and family, like a small discount for the month that the new customer signs up. So now your current members have a double benefit of being able to work out with their friends AND doing it for less money. And you have a new fitness customer who came at a low investment … so your returns will be even higher.

Creating a Great Experience

The best way to create a great experience is to start with the end in mind. What is the outcome you want from their visit? For most fitness studio owners, the goal is to give people a studio and staff that they simply can’t live without — so they sign up for a membership.

Using the first 180 days as our benchmark for success, here’s how you can create a great experience:

Build Awareness

A person attends a workshop you co-host with a strategic partner to cover the top 5 mistakes people make when trying to lose fat. They then sign up to get more information from you.

Using this template you can create your own unique client experience (or if you want, you can download our free Client Experience Cheat Sheet). The experiences and touchpoints should be specific to your Ideal Client. When creating your experience ask a simple question:

“Will this lead to a thrilled client, and will this make them refer me business?”

Get Them to Like Your Fitness Studio

After attending your workshop, they visit your landing page for your transformation challenge. They apply to join the challenge after reading through your blog and seeing your success stories online.

Participating in Your Trial or Special Offer

During a potential member’s initial experience, make sure to offer the opportunity to sit down with someone on your team to discuss their future goals and set up a success plan. During this time, you will want to make them an offer to join your program.

Immediately upon Joining

Ensure that you take care of all the loose ends for your new member. Schedule their first week, ensure they have all the gym’s contact info, and confirm they know what to expect at the first session. It’s good practice to have the coach for the first session call them to introduce themselves as well.

A gift package for joining makes your new student  feel welcome as well. This could include important items you want them to have such as a foam roller, a band, any home training resources, a nutrition guide or cookbook, a t-shirt, or other swag. It’ll go a long way when they tell their family and friends how cool the swag is … and there’s your first referral.

fitness studio retention

First Session

Ensure the coach for the session knows the new student is attending, they have a background, and they are prepared to welcome them to the program. Have them meet the new member at the front desk for their first session and give a tour of the facilities before getting started.

7 Days after Joining

Send a welcome letter to your new client’s home with referral cards and an offer to bring their friends in for a workout. Included in this letter or package can be a success story booklet where you share your client stories, or even a culture book you’ve created for your gym.

14 Days after Joining

Complete a personal check-in call to make sure the experience has been satisfactory for your new student and make sure all their questions have been answered.

30 Days after Joining

Schedule a “First 30 Days” check-in with your student to sit down, review their progress, and troubleshoot any issues. This is a good chance to upgrade their membership for free or at a low cost to enhance results.

60 Days after Joining

Schedule a sit-down with the member to review their progress toward their goal and discuss the experience so far in the program. Troubleshoot any issues that they might have, and give a free gift like a supplement or book. You can also get them to commit to their new upgraded membership offered on day 30.

90 Days after Joining

Take your awesome student to lunch or coffee as a special treat to let them know how much you value their business. This is a great chance to interview them on their experience and find ways to make it better.

180 Days after Joining

3 months into her membership, your client may begin to experience a drop-off in motivation. You can combat this by sending  a “swag bag” in the mail along with a special offer to join an exclusive VIP program that’ll enhance their results. This could be a basic enrollment in your gym’s private training services or even a discounted membership in a nutritional program. It should be something that will bring an added benefit to the overall experience as a customer while also encouraging them to go beyond the 3-month mark.

Putting in a scripted, planned client experience will give you more opportunities to sell, wow clients and get referrals.

Ryan Ketchum
Ryan Ketchum is the Executive Director and Co-Owner of Fitness Revolution. FR helps boot camp and studio owners earn more money, have more freedom and rediscover their passion for fitness through a unique coaching process. Through their coaching programs they are helping fitness business owners learn how to become high performers and finally have the business they want. Learn more about Fitness Revolution at http://frnation.com/.