6 Ways to Boost Your Community and Increase Member Retention
The endorphins you get from a great workout are just part of the reason group exercise is so satisfying. Studies show that people who work out in a group they enjoy tend to work out harder and feel more fulfilled than those who work out alone. Plus, making your favorite workout class a priority in your busy schedule is easier when you have others counting on you to be there.
But in the fitness industry, building a strong community takes more than just offering a killer group workout. You also need to have the other essential elements of a community, such as high employee engagement, excellent customer support, and a solid system for retaining and acquiring new customers. Once you have this solid foundation, your community can flourish and ultimately help drive more revenue to your business.
Employee engagement, lead generation, and client retention for new and existing members are vital to fitness studios, but these can be tricky to navigate on your own. Luckily, platforms like Mindbody pair seamlessly with FitGrid to simplify and scale your community.
So how do studio and gym owners build a strong client base, offer stellar customer service, and create work environments that make their employees, like instructors and staff, feel excited and engaged? Below are six places to start building your community, from a marketing expert.
1. Build organic relationships
Client relationships are the foundation of a strong community. You probably have an amazing front desk staff dedicated to building and maintaining these relationships in-studio, but how are you working to build these relationships outside of the studio?
Reaching out with organic emails, texts, and calls when clients hit milestones is a great place to start. FitGrid connects with your Mindbody account to gather real-time client feedback and class statistics which help you identify exactly when to reach out to clients and with what information.
It’s important to keep these engagement operations scalable and easy to replicate. With FitGrid, your team will receive daily action items so they can perform targeted outreach with ease, set up automated messages, or send personalized notes. These well-timed messages could increase your open rate as high as 81% and retain more members!
2. Guide instructors to act as an extension of your brand
Instructors are the linchpin of your studio and community. They not only deliver your product but also spend the most time face-to-face with your clients.
Instructors should be familiar with your company's brand, but they should also be encouraged to show their personality and style. This will make your brand more authentic and engaging.
FitGrid Pro helps instructors use their authentic voice to connect directly with clients to chat about in-class questions, celebrate achievements, and receive feedback. Class stats also help instructors customize their workout classes to surprise and delight your members.
3. Get glowing reviews
In today’s digital age, it's all about the customer experience. It’s crucial to have good reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to promote your business and generate new leads.
Your loyal clients' praise can help improve your brand's credibility and customer satisfaction. Start the conversation by inviting your customers to submit feedback anonymously with FitGrid.
When customers leave positive feedback, reply and ask them to submit an official Google review or testimonial. Reviews help increase studio and gym membership retention, so share them across your social media platforms, web pages, and email promotions.
4. See the warning signs
Always keep your eye out for red flags. While obtaining feedback is helpful for boosting business, it can also help you identify areas of improvement for your studio. FitGrid's anonymous feedback option allows your clients to feel secure about sharing their honest opinions about their studio experience.
On top of that, the at-risk segmentation can help you identify clients who may be at risk and help you take action to prevent them from leaving your studio. You can use automated or personalized email outreach to increase engagement with these clients and turn them into loyal customers.
It also features Win-Back technology to help you target even more specifically. With segments like Decreased Frequency and Low Utilization, you can identify the most effective way to follow up with any specific client based on class attendance. The less churn, the more your community–and bottom line—grows!
5. Genuinely connect your community
What’s another key element of a community? Belonging. When clients interact with each other inside and outside of the studio, they’ll feel a greater sense of belonging. This includes instructors and staff, too. As FitGrid's founder and CEO Nt Etuk said, “The fitness businesses that succeed the most are those that build belonging into their operating models and plans.”
Your community can connect outside of the studio with the FitGrid Class App “Groups” Feature. Here, your members can meet new friends and instructors, chat about their fitness goals, and discover upcoming events. They can also track their progress and earn rewards.
This app helps owners and instructors understand customer trends. Best of all, it’s free foryou and your members to use!
6. Scale beyond word of mouth, organically
Make sure your brand is visible on social media platforms to generate leads. Many brands use Facebook and Instagram Ads 24/7 to reach as many potential customers as possible. But paid ads aren't the only way to acquire new clients. You can also generate leads organically through your most loyal clients.
Invite your most active members to download the FitGrid Class App and sync it directly to their Facebook accounts. Then they can invite friends to join them for their next sweat sesh with the click of a button.