Businesses that stand the test of time, have an understanding and ability to deliver on their clients’ needs and wants. Sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly overlooked.
Before you can give your client what they expect, you need to understand who your client is, and then determine what you can provide to them. However, in this discovery process, don’t get so wide in your offering that you don’t stay true to your core values. It’s a common mistake to try and be everything to everyone. After you have identified and understand your core client, you can then begin to establish a process to drive client loyalty.
Client loyalty is the result of a consistently positive emotional experience, service satisfaction and the perceived value of the service. Evaluate loyalty by looking at your "frequent-users, high-promoter clients” and assessing what percentage of clients fall underneath that category through systems you have in place (Net Promoter Scores, or NPS, for example). Fitness Together®, for example, automates this process and integrates results to evaluate performance overtime. No matter what system you have in place, it’s vitally important to establish benchmarks and continuously measure client satisfaction and ask for client feedback.
Once you have identified your target audience, defined what loyalty means to you, identified metrics, how do you then drive customer loyalty? The following are four key recommendations to drive client loyalty in your business:
Make the experience all about your client. Think about your environment – the look, feel, atmosphere – what type of music is playing, at what temperature is the thermostat set, how is your customer greeted? Think about your trainer’s delivery and motivational techniques, do they fall in-line with what resonates most with your client?
Consumers seeking personal training are looking for extra personalization and inspiration. The most successful trainers inspire their clients with ideas about health, nutrition, fitness and wellness. They take the time to tailor this information to the unique needs of their client. They want a trainer to hold them accountable and help them stick to a plan they are working toward to accomplish their desired results.
Clearly identify and articulate relevant information that your client is most interested in learning about. Are you sharing new information about health and wellness with your clients? Is there a new product or service that they should know about? You should share these messages with them consistently by sending out monthly newsletters, weekly blogs, and daily social media posts. While this can seem daunting, it’s an important step in driving loyalty with your clients, and they expect it!
How is your client greeted when they walk through the door? What is the flow of the session and are these steps taken every time? To create authentic connections, think about the questions you are asking your clients, are you taking the time to actively listen? Do you follow up with the answers during the workout or at their next appointment? Do you have a system in place to ensure consistency? The worst mistake you can make when it comes to connection is inconsistent delivery.
Are your clients getting results? Are you conducting assessments regularly? Try scheduling comprehensive assessments every six weeks, for example, and discuss the results against the client’s set goals – from movement, to body fat, to strength. While results are the end game, never lose the human touch. Sit down and talk through the results with clients to help them understand and make changes when necessary.
It's critical for loyalty to drive client lifetime value and business profitability. This allows you the freedom to re-invest in your business and refresh the customer experience, which in turn allows you to build a stable financial structure for your family, employees, etc. The most successful businesses respond to the needs of their current clients and organization by developing products, services and/or processes to meet future demand rapidly and efficiently. Many franchise organizations like Fitness Together® have already done the heavy lifting by having systems in place to efficiently drive client loyalty and lifetime value.
No matter what fitness space you are currently in, generating and retaining clients is the end goal and focusing on client loyalty can help with both.