With all the effort that goes into Sales and Marketing the last thing you want as a PT business owner is to have your clients dropping off during or at the end of their first contract term. Client retention is super important in building a reputable business, so here's some tips to plugging up the leak!
The first thing we need to understand is why we are in this business in the first place. For most of us, I would hope that the answer is something along the lines of helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. If we stay true to this value then client retention should not be too much of an issue.
Know Your Client!
This is crucial especially in businesses that have more than one employee / trainer and more so with those that employ a sales person. During the initial consultation typically a client will tell you their 'story' and give you a brief on their particular situation and outline their goals.
Of course the sales person lends a sympathetic ear and tries to fit the best service available to match the clients' goals. After the sign-up, both the sales person and the client are happy.
However, if the client's notes about their goal, background, individual situation are not passed onto the trainer, then the client has to give another brief during their first session. To increase professionalism all notes need to be accessible by everyone involved in training the client, and where necessary a verbal briefing from the sales person.
Too often clients are signed up and then left to re-tell their story during their first session! Not good enough, and the client will notice !!
Being there refers to actually listening and caring about your clients during EVERY session! Being INVOLVED in conversation and taking an interest. It can be hard sometimes with back to back PT sessions to really BE THERE for each and every client, but it is a critical strategy for retention.
If you find that after several back to back PT sessions that you can tend to zone out, then you should look at scheduling a half hour break in the middle of your block of sessions. This will help you refresh and wake up so you can give your client the 100% attention they deserve and are paying for.
Every time you see your clients, greet them by their name. At a lot of gyms, clients walk in and out and the reception staff do not know their name. It makes a difference to the client to be welcomed into your business through a friendly greeting by NAME!
Make Reminder Notes!
If your client is telling you about a holiday that they are going on, or a show they are going to see, or something similar, they are telling you because they are excited about it. Make some quick notes on your Program Sheet as a reminder to ask them about it next time they are in. This shows attention to detail, shows you care and can make the clients day!
The largest retention tool is your ability to get your clients results. Usually a happy client is one that is achieving what they set out to achieve. Do not complete the same old program with all your clients … IT “S LAZY! Treat each client as an individual and design your programs specifically to their needs but will help you get testimonials and referrals RESULTS! RESULTS! RESULTS!
Give Extra Value!
Clients generally sign up to Personal Training and base their decision on the per session price. Go the extra mile for your clients, do not just give them 30 minutes of Personal Training, give extra value. For example:
- Contact them during the week for an update.
- Research some information they may benefit from and send to them.
- Send encouraging SMS and emails.
- Write specific Homework Sessions for them to complete.
Act on Feedback!
When clients do cancel, have an exit interview with them. This is basically just a conversation where you ask for some honest feedback where you could improve your business. If feedback is given and you believe it is constructive, act on it.
A great way to get feedback from current clients is to survey them. Once you receive the feedback, find the most pressing items and act!
Your clients are paying you for a service. It is far easier to treat them well and retain them then it is to go and find new ones. Love the one you are with, this reflects to treating your already paying clients as VIP's. Roll out the red carpet from the initial contact to the day they cancel, hopefully by implementing the above strategies they will be years apart.