In all likelihood, COVID shutdowns have drastically changed your studio membership base. As restrictions around gym capacities start to loosen, now is a great time to strategize how you are going to win them back. As you probably already know, it is much more advantageous to engage with past customers than it is to try to bring in new customers. Some estimate the probability of selling to an existing customer to be about 50 percent higher than selling to a new customer. Now that businesses are beginning to reopen at full capacity post-COVID, people are going to be flocking back to what they know and love. Now is a great time to make sure your studio is on that list.
1. Find out what your clients need
Before sending out bulk sales emails, make it a point to send out custom personalized messages to your longtime clients. Reach out to connect to ask them how they are doing and what they are looking forward to as life begins to get back to normal. Ask them about preferred class platforms and times. Ask them about their favorite instructors. No matter what, your business is about serving the needs of your clients. The more you know about their preferences, the better. Personalized communication is amongst the best customer win-back tools
2. Ask members to invite their friends
As your members begin to return, encourage them to bring their friends to class. The FitGrid Class App makes it easy for people to invite their friends for a free first class. We’ve found that clients are four times more likely to join your studio when referred by a friend. Consider adopting a hybrid model that will allow you to build community both in-studio and online. A lot has changed this year, but word of mouth is still your strongest marketing tool.
3. Foster community from the get-go
People become loyal members because they feel that they are part of something that is bigger than themselves. As clients begin to come back to the studio, make sure they feel a sense of welcoming community from the second they step through your doors. You can even begin to foster this type of community online with a resource like the FitGrid Class App which allows classmates to connect with each other and begin to form these invaluable bonds digitally.
4. Engage your instructors to execute your customer win-back strategy
Your instructors spend the most time with your clients, so allow them to play a leading role in getting people back in the studio. Rather than having your instructors write dozens of personalized emails, consider using an automated system. The FitGrid Win-back feature allows you to automatically send communication to your past members from their favorite instructor.
5. Constantly analyze your data
Analyze the data to see what your clients might be looking for. What classes were they taking and with which instructors? Which time slots were most popular? Who was really active in-studio pre-COVID and then fell off when the pandemic hit? You can use all of these insights to help you determine what kind of programs and marketing messages you will want to send to encourage your studio membership base to come back. Segment your past clients into groups based on preferences to make automated communication simpler and less time-consuming.
Your business probably looks completely different than it did a year ago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t replenish and grow your studio membership base beyond pre-COVID numbers. With the right customer win-back tools, anything is possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level