To grow your business, or any business, you do not just need new clients; you need to ensure that your current clients keep coming back!
If retention is not addressed, your business can become like a leaky bucket, where you get new clients come in, but existing clients drip away.
For example, you may decide to run a brand new 12-week challenge but only get 10 clients. But, ideally, what you want is for these ten clients to come back plus 10 new clients – meaning you now have 20 clients, and thus you have grown!
You are, of course, going to get some natural churn but you want to reduce this to an acceptable level – retention should be proactive rather than firefighting.
Ironically, but still important, getting your clients great results is not necessarily the most important element of retention. It is not always about straightforward weight loss. For example, a client may lose only a few pounds or kilos but have huge improvements in their:
- Energy levels’
- Sleep quality;
- Confidence and body image; and/or
- Stress levels.
Although these are important, there are three even more crucial factors for client retention.
1. How Well You Get on with Your Clients
- If your clients like you, there is a good chance they will come back, whereas if they do not like you, you will struggle, because no matter what their results, they will choose not to return.
- Turn your clients into fans.
- Be positive and uplifting, patient, empathetic to their challenges, but above all be authentic, honest and real.
- Be yourself and over time you will naturally attract clients who resonate with you.
2. How Well Your Clients get on with Each Other
- This pointer is more specific to group training, rather than one-on-one training.
- In this scenario, it is all well and good for you to have a good relationship with your clients, but if they do not like each other, they will not come back because they will feel out of place or disconnected.
- You may feel like you cannot exactly force people to like one another, however, there is plenty you can do to foster a sociable, community environment.
- For example:
- You could set up where they sit when they first arrive so they are together;
- Get there early and encourage them to talk to each other;
- Organise group excursions; and/or
- Create a Facebook group.
3. How Much Fun Your Clients have at Training Sessions
- It makes sense that if clients are smiling, laughing and generally having a blast at training, they will be keen to come back for more.
- They can like you, they can like each other, but if the workout is boring, there is only so long they will want to do it for.
- Similarly, you might have a workout which is very effective, but if no one enjoys it, they will not come back or get results, whereas if you can get people to have fun, they will keep coming and get the results.
- Typically, fostering fun is about ensuring plenty of variety, a creative element (for example themed fitness challenges) as well as ensuring clients feel physically challenged, without pushing them to the point of total exhaustion.