Sometimes providing great service isn’t enough to keep your clients coming back to your sports academy or complex year after year.
Markets change, clients’ needs evolve, and new competitors appear. Keeping clients interested and coming back through your doors takes work.
Don’t overlook these customer retention strategies for your sports training business. Remember that retaining existing clients is much easier and cheaper than getting new ones.
Identify the Client’s Goals Before They Start Training
Want to keep your clients? Make sure they successfully achieve their goals. It’s that simple.
Attention to client goals is especially important if you’re running a boutique style sports academy or a personal training center, but anyone who provides sports training should pay attention.
Goals with quantifiable metrics can be helpful — sometimes your clients want to shave a few seconds off their record sprint times, for example. But it’s even better if you take it a few steps farther. Why do they want to get those seconds off? To make their high school track team next year? To play on the college level?
A great way learn the customer’s end goals is by discussing them during a one-on-one, introductory evaluation. From there, you can create a custom package or membership that’s tailored to help them achieve their goals.
Stay Actively Involved with the Client as They Make Progress
An introductory evaluation has a second, equally important job: it provides a baseline for you to track your client’s improvement.
The goals you set won’t mean much if you can’t prove that they were reached.
Have your staff check in with clients periodically to see how their training is going and remind them of their progress toward their goals. Their feedback can only help your business, and may be the thing that ultimately keeps the client with your academy.
Part of staying involved with your clients also means holding them accountable to do the work, and you can do that by making sure they’re responsible to pay for missed appointments. (For more ways to keep customers accountable, check out the Guide to Preventing Late Cancellations and No-Shows).
Finally, don’t wait until your client’s package or membership is about to run out to ask them to renew it. You can gently remind them to renew weeks or even months ahead of time as appropriate.
Create Internal Procedures That Reward Clients for Staying with You
It’s easy enough to say you should monitor goals and keep in touch with clients, but what does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Add some of these routines to make sure your retention plans are put into action.
- Make a standard intake / evaluation sheet to record client goals. File it with the rest of the info on that client so it’s easy accessible for your staff.
- Use a CRM tool. Customer Relationship Management tools help you manage interactions with your clients. I used eSoft Planner to schedule follow up calls and renewal calls for memberships and packages.
- Create an official customer loyalty program. I devoted an entire post to this topic, so click here to check it out. Here are the basics: Run a report to find average client spending at your academy each month or year, then create rewards for the clients who are above average, and possibly other special rewards for the top 20% or 10%. Your scheduling software may be able to do this automatically.
- Give clients incentives to stay even if their trainers leave. Keeping trainers from actively taking clients with them requires a combination of thorough HR procedures and control of client data (here’s the full post on the topic). However, you can also try a tactic I’ve seen used by hair salons: When someone requests a former trainer for a lesson or has one already scheduled with that trainer, make it standard procedure to offer them a discount for their first lesson with a different staffer.
- Remember your clients’ birthdays. This is just one simple way to let your clients know that you care about them. Use your scheduling software to run a birthdays report for the upcoming month and schedule an email with a special offer.
Do you have any other suggestions on keeping customers coming back? Please leave a comment.