If you are the sole operator of your Box, you know that you retain your clients based on your ability to maintain great relationships and deliver the results they are seeking. Your actions alone – personality, coaching style, etc. – affect your ability to retain your clients. If you employ even a single staff member to help coach classes, you as the owner are no longer the sole factor contributing to client retention.
As your instructors coach, they too form relationships with your clients and contribute either positively or negatively to retention. Sure, you may have one staff member who is responsible for calling or reaching out to folks who haven’t attended in the last week – and yes, those phone calls and emails do help keep your clients engaged. But, that’s just one piece to the retention puzzle, as every interaction a client has with a staff member contributes to his or her feeling about your business and has an effect on whether or not that client chooses to stay.
This is particularly important for CrossFit gyms where clients are interacting with your staff and your business multiple times a week. You might visit your hair salon once every eight weeks for your cut and color, but fitness clients are frequent visitors, coming two, three, even six days a week. These frequent interactions cumulatively affect the client experience and ultimately your retention rates.
As much as we might want to make one person responsible for keeping our clients engaged with our business, it really falls on everyone.
Here are some key interactions that are important to get right:
- A prospective client calls for more. How does the staff member answer the phone and address the prospect’s questions? First impressions are everything, and impressions on a phone call are no different.
- The new client shows up for her first workout. How is she greeted? Does the instructor take time during the warm-up to introduce everyone and make the new client feel welcome?
- Class structure and programming. Are you providing the coaching that your clients are paying for? Or do they show up to find the workout written on the whiteboard, no organized warm-up, no skill review and no coaching during the workout? Classes should be well organized, and clients should be provided instruction during workouts.
- Is it fun? Yes, fun is an important factor in retention. Exercise for many is a chore already. If the class is not presented in an enjoyable manner, it can be that much harder to get your clients to show up. If your classes are overly technical and your instructors are shy or lacking in a sense of humor, it can be a tough sell for even the most motivated clients. Technical material can be made insanely fun if the Coach has a great personality.
- Punctuality and professionalism of instructors. Are your Coaches on time to the classes and appointments they teach? Are they professional in their interactions with clients? It’s important for your instructors to be aware of their “audience.” You might have a private training client who curses frequently, and in your private sessions that may be OK. However, an instructor in a group setting needs to be a bit more mindful of her language.
- Cleanliness and vibe. Are you keeping your space tidy and organized? Or are the floors dirty, the garbage overflowing, paper towels dispensers empty in the bathroom and equipment in disarray throughout the facility? You may have a dedicated cleaning service that cleans a couple times a week, but everyone on your team can help keep things organized and tidy between cleanings. Taking the time to pick up a towel on the floor or return an out-of-place dumbbell to its proper home has an impact on the overall aesthetics of your facility, and your client’s perception of your business.
There are also a number of retention intangibles, many of which may be beyond your control. But if you carefully choose your instructors and create a client-focused environment, you’ll have created a team of retention specialists – and will have no trouble growing and retaining your client base.
By Front Desk HQ. For more information, visit http://hubs.ly/H03nYSB0.