The boutique fitness world is ever evolving and as it does it pays to learn from other industries. One that similarly values customer retention is online commerce. Online shopping is booming, something that isn't about to change anytime soon.
Consider your favorite store. If you have ever purchased through their website, it's likely you now receive regular emails from them. First, they send you your receipt via email. Then, they send you a delivery notice. Perhaps they even asked you to review your purchase. Next, you get emails on all their latest news and promotions.
What can we learn?
From personal conversations with studio owners and managers, I know that studios often fear being overly intrusive when it comes to reaching out to clients. But, department stores aren't concerned about taking up space in inboxes. So perhaps, neither should you.
Let's take a look at the statistics:
According to one email service provider, 70% of businesses send a follow-up email to new clients and approximately 20% send a second follow-up.
Data shows that you still have a one-in-five chance of receiving a return email from the second follow-up and a 25% chance of hearing back from any additional follow up emails.
Giving clients the opportunity to reply and engage with your studio is part of properly representing your business.
Picture this scenario, a lovely lady calls you looking to try out a session. Let’s call her Jane. You tell Jane about your new client special (two private sessions for the price of one) and she signs up. Jane arrives for her sessions on time, listens to your instruction and leaves happy. After the second session you ask Jane about booking another session, she says she is going on vacation for ten days and will call you when she returns. After her vacation, Jane forgets to call. Three months later she gets an email from your automated booking system saying something along the lines of “We miss you - come back and take another session”. With good intentions, she doesn't delete this email. Instead, it sits in her inbox slowly making its way lower and lower down the list until it's sadly forgotten.
Argh! What a missed opportunity!
The reality is that 30% of clients won’t come back to visit your business within the first year. That’s a lot of missed opportunities!
Deciding how and when to follow up can be tricky. So it’s natural for us to do nothing in order to avoid coming off as pushy or annoying. Finding the right balance is tough.
Here’s the trick. It’s all about expectations. And you, as the business owner, set the expectation.
Before a client leaves, let them know you will be following up.
Ask to add your client to your studio newsletter email list so that they stay in-the-know. Check in with clients (old and new!) regularly after a particularly tough workout or on a special occasion. This follow-up method doesn’t just apply to clients who have only been to your studio once. What about that client who came every week for months but you haven’t seen for a while? Or that client who took a vacation… and stayed away.
It doesn’t need to be a lengthy call, a short email or quick text is sufficient.
"next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing." John D Rockefeller
Following up and following through on what you say you'll do adds value to your business. Be proactive!
How do you stay in touch with clients? Does it work how you'd like? Let me know here