3 Ways to Improve Retention

Students checking into class

Simply put, retention is the biggest challenge we face in the wellness, beauty and fitness worlds. If we don’t address it, we throw our marketing budget to the wind—essentially bringing in new customers and saying we are ok with them leaving. It’s easy to think the next workout challenge or social media contest will help this, but the results of those efforts aren’t always so easily measured or impactful.

In our 12 years of hosting MINDBODY University (MBU) events and working with thousands of businesses, we’ve seen the following strategies have a lasting impact on retention. Give them a try, come back, and let us know how it goes.


I know most people don’t think of pricing as a retention topic, but it is the foundation of your relationship with your customers. Many businesses have seen great success and growth by making strategic shifts to their pricing so that it better encourages, and rewards, your high-quality customers. 

I look at customers as falling into three groups, with a pricing option targeting each.

  • High-Quality Customers
  • Sporadic Customers
  • Occasional Customers

The key here is the per-session price. The frequency levels for your business depends on your industry. For example, if you offer group classes you will have higher average attendance than those who offer 1:1 services or small group sessions. Want to find out how frequently your customers visit your business? Dig into the Sales by Service report in your software to help you understand how many customers you have that are high-quality customers, sporadic and occasional customers.


Are you doing as much as possible to convert new customers to long term clients of your business? Track and encourage conversations between your staff and new customers to ensure they had a great experience and to encourage them to come back. You must be diligent and methodical about this, not passive. 

These conversations can be in person, over the phone, e-mail or text message—frankly it often takes all of the above! My favorite strategy is to offer an incentive that is only good while a customer is new: “If you sign up for our membership before your intro offer expires, you’ll get $20 off per month for a minimum of a year.” 
Make it compelling and you’ll see results.


We have to ensure we are listening to what our customers like—and what they don’t—and respond accordingly. Technology partners like Listen360 and Frederick can help automate this for you, but there are low-budget ways to do this, too. At my studio I had a fish bowl so people could write their feedback down, old school style, right after a session. Coupled with the prompt they received from the MINDBODY app and Listen360 emails, I had a good picture of my customers’ feelings. I also had staff people assigned to take services at my space and had them provide feedback to me as the owner, and to the instructors as well.  

Want to dig in more on retention or any of the topics mentioned above?  MINDBODY customers can join us live at MINDBODY University this spring and summer in London and Denver, or check out our new and improved MBU On Demand library in your Help menu where we have extended content on all of these topics and more.

Although this blog offers business advice, this content is for general informational purposes only—it is not intended to replace the guidance of a licensed legal or financial professional. Information created by third parties that we may link out to or feature on our site is not endorsed by us and remains the responsibility of such third parties. MINDBODY assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the content.

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