Member Retention Strategies
As a small business, to survive in not only this economy but in this fitness niche that is growing exponentially, you have to do whatever you can to keep your current clients happy and coming through your doors on a regular basis. Keeping a client is not only cheaper than advertising for new clients, but also strengthens your community's bonds and prevents you from losing revenue unnecessarily. Plus, current members are the ones who are more likely to talk about your services to friends and co-workers that share the demographic of your box. That means you need a member retention plan. Keep in mind, it doesn't have to cost you a lot of money, take a lot of time or be difficult - you just need to be consistent with a few simple steps and always make member retention a priority!
Here are some member retention ideas:
- Contact your top members regularly. Make a list of 10-25 of your members that are a part of your institution. These members are the ones that set a great example for others during class, have a great attitude during WODs, are respectful to coaches, help others learn new skills and have been with you for a long time. Make sure that they are always happy and get feedback from them to determine what other members are interested in. Are people wishing nutrition was talked about more often? Are people dying to get their hands on a branded sweatshirt? Do members wish they had branded WOD journals to track their progress? Do they wish there was a weekly fitness competitors workout? Without searching, you will not know about these potential opportunities to satisfy a desire for your customers AND create a new revenue stream at the same time.
- Keep your name and brand in front of all your members. Advertise regularly, network regularly, get out to events regularly and host events as much as you can. Send email newsletters regularly - you'll notice a theme here - do it regularly!
- Give your current members deals - remember, your current competitors are targeting your members, so make sure that you give current members deals like discounts on gear, seminars or even long term membership costs.
- Keep track of your members, get a database or digital address book and monitor each member. Track how often they WOD, the seminars they attend and when they get PRs - send them congratulatory emails when they have been consistent and met some of their goals. Make sure they know you care about them!
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. We are all busy growing our small businesses. All of us, JournalMENU included, can easily fall into the trap of taking our customers for granted. As a result, we get so focused on doing our work, that we don't take the time to get out and meet with, talk to and listen to our members. Stay in touch, ask them what they need and want, and then be a part of their lives. After all, a member is a terrible thing to waste.