3 Tips to Prevent Your Fitness Instructors From Being Ghosted
By Denise Prichard
When you run a fitness business, each time a client fails to show up for a group fitness class or personal training session, you're losing time and money. On top of that, one of the things you’re most passionate about is supporting your instructors with their attendance rates and their goals with client engagement. You’ve already used your fitness software to offer classes and training sessions that appeal to your already-existing customer base—and maybe you’ve even gone as far as to create an appealing intro offer to draw in more customers.
But a valid question still remains: how do you prevent loyal and new customers alike from “ghosting” your instructors?
As a yoga instructor who teaches in the group fitness space and one who dabbles in teaching private sessions at my studio from time to time, I can tell you the one thing we all fear is being ghosted by a client. If you’re not familiar with that concept, it essentially means that we all know we run the risk of developing a meaningful connection with someone who may suddenly disappear for an extended amount of time—or even forever.
Of course, there are certain situations that cause a client to ghost one of your staff members that are beyond your control—such as the client moving out of town, a change in their work hours, or an uptick in their personal lives. However, for the situations you can control, there are a few techniques you can put in place to help prevent ghosting from haunting your fitness studio.
1. Make sure the client is prepared from the start
The best way to create a successful client/instructor relationship is by instilling confidence in the client from the moment they sign up for a session or a class on your website or business app. By sending out an email confirmation, you can use this as an opportunity to inform the client how to prepare for their first class or session. This can include:
What they should wear
What items they need to bring
How they should fuel up before and after class
What props and amenities you can provide for them
If they know what to expect during their first visit, it will allow your fitness studio to come off as more professional and in-tune with the client’s health and fitness goals. Not to mention, it will also take the stress off of your staff if a first-timer shows up totally prepared by avoiding a last-minute skirmish to find the right-size cycling shoes, for example.
2. Train your staff to create the best customer experience
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—sure, that may be a direct quote from the Cheers theme song, but the same thing rings true for fitness clients. Make sure you train the folks at your front desk and your instructors to greet every client and remember the client’s name. One of the most effective ways to keep clients coming back to your studio is by making them feel like they are a part of your fitness community.
By having your front desk staff recognize each client by name, they are inclined to feel special each time they set foot in your studio. The same goes for each one of trainers or instructors—I think we can all agree there really isn’t anything more motivating than having an instructor shout out your name in the middle of class when you’re crushing it, right? This small step can have a huge impact not only on your client retention strategy, but a full class or a booked up personal training schedule will undoubtedly boost the confidence in your staff.
3. Get clients into the habit of conquering their fitness goals
Need a surefire way to get clients to come back? Try automation. By incorporating automation into your client retention strategy, you can set up automated confirmation emails and texts to help your clients stay on track with their fitness routine. You can even add more of a personal touch by sending them special messages on their birthday or their anniversary with your studio. Who doesn’t want to be reminded how hard they’ve worked? And just in case you do have a few clients that have strayed for a few sessions or classes, you can always reach out to them with a “We Miss You” email to help coax them back into your fitness studio.
By using these small, but effective, client retention tips, you’re on your way to supporting the goals of your fitness clients and boosting staff morale. If your staff is primarily made up of personal trainers, have no fear! We have an entire checklist with techniques you can implement to ensure they maintain meaningful relationships with their clients.