As we head into 2013 you’re likely gearing up for increased signups from the ever-motivated New Year’s resolution crowd. This time of year is great for increasing your membership numbers, but we must be careful to not forget the flip side of the membership coin: retention! In other words, how many of your new signups can you keep engaged throughout the entire year, and how many will still be members next December?
Increasing retention (or reducing your attrition rate) can impact your business’ bottom line to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars each year. It is SO important that our Front Desk developers are building some amazing analytics tools to provide this critical visibility of your membership base.
Here’s a sneak peek at our Member Conversion Cohort Report. It shows you how well you’re converting new clients into members and how well you’re holding on to those members.
Pretty cool, huh? See client engagement hack #4 to see how having access to data like this can help minimize client attrition.
Ok, without further ado: 5 client engagement hacks to keep your clients here for the long run!
1) Evaluate your program offerings – is there another type of class that might appeal to your more seasoned clients? Something new, skill specific or maybe at a different pace (not all out all the time)? Even your most hardcore clients have days (and weeks and months) where they need something different. Even if you offer a mobility class or skill specific class 1 or 2 hours per week, having variety in the schedule can help keep these folks engaged in your program.
2) Systematically monitor who is falling off the wagon. If you are using business management software and diligently signing clients into classes and appointments you’ll have access to last visit data. Setup a system to automatically email or phone people who haven’t attended a class in the last 7-10 days. Clients appreciate that you noticed they’ve been missing and they often show up the very next day!
3) Remind clients of their progress (their progress = the value your micro gym or studio provides.) Before and after photos, improvement in skills, specific lifts or benchmark workouts. A client who is periodically reminded of her progress will be more likely to continue long term. And a happy client who sees results is a great source of referrals.
4) Periodically check on clients at specific intervals. An email after their first class, their first or second month or at the 7 month mark. Just check in, give them a little love as well as the opportunity to give feedback and tell you how they are doing. You can provide a recipe or other health tip as well! With the Member Conversion Cohort Report I showed above, you can visually see if there is a trend in your business when memberships fall off, a certain week in the membership cycle where people tend to peel out. Sending a “check in” email prior to that week would be smart!
5) Make your community rock! Get your members excited about events and encourage them to bring friends and family. Organize potlucks, Paleo challenges, mud runs, costume parties, in house team competitions, and group sponsored charity events! All of these help build relationships and foster community. Members that are tightly integrated into your community are less likely to leave.
Here’s a fun photo from the NorCal Strength & Conditioning team challenge this past fall.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a very prosperous 2013!