Mastering Client Retention in Your Health & Fitness Business

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Episode: 14

Let’s talk about a crucial part of growing your health & fitness business… mastering client retention.  When you get this right, not only will you keep your clients for longer, they’ll be far more likely to refer people to you.

In this episode Nichola sheds light on the significance of a seamless onboarding process for new clients. She guides us through the various stages a client experiences, from the initial excitement of signing up to achieving significant milestones. Nichola provides actionable advice on how to make clients feel valued and connected, with the ultimate goal of turning them into enthusiastic advocates.

Key Takeaways:

  • Infuse positivity and emotion from the moment a client signs up to counter any potential doubts.
  • Offer reassurance and valuable content to address buyer’s remorse and solidify their commitment.
  • Provide strong support during the initial stages to help clients overcome challenges and uncertainty
  • Celebrate both small and significant milestones along their journey to maintain motivation.
  • Recognise and reinforce their achievements, no matter how small, to keep them on track.
  • Leverage the enthusiasm of raving fans by encouraging them to refer others and share their positive experiences.

Join Nichola in this insightful episode, and discover how to create a lasting impact on your clients’ fitness journey.

0:00 Creating a successful onboarding process for new clients.
3:54 Customer journey stages in a business.
8:18 Leveraging emotions in business growth.
12:10 Client onboarding and retention strategies.
16:22 Leveraging client onboarding for loyalty and growth.

Welcome to From passion to profit, where we talk about all things related to creating a successful health and fitness business that works for you, the owner as much as it does your clients. I'm your host, Nichola Page. And today, I'm going to be talking about how you retain your clients for longer. Quite often, we can focus a lot of our time on getting new clients in, we focus heavily on the marketing, the whole sales process, improving everything there, the client comes in, they become a pain client or member, and then they're just into the business and you deliver the service. Now, I'm not suggesting that the service you're delivering is anything short of amazing. But often what I will see is there is something that is missing, when somebody first becomes a paying client, there are things that are that you've overlooked, or maybe you just don't even know about. Usually the case you don't know what you don't know, there are things that you could do when somebody first becomes a paying client, that is going to serve you in a way that either means that there'll be a client for longer, or they are far more likely to refer more people to you. Which means that's a lot easier for you to attract new clients into the business. So this session is really going to look at something that I would refer to as a new client or new member onboarding process, what it is, why you need it, and give you some suggestions for what you could think about and how you might implement this in your business. A new client onboarding process is whereby we're going to look at how can we create a great experience for this new person from the start. And the thing you need to be aware of is that somebody new into your business goes through different stages over a period of time. And what we want to get them to the end stage is where they become what we call a raving fan. raving fans are where this person absolutely loves you and your business. They can't wait to tell other people about what you do. So therefore, they're going to just naturally generate you word of mouth referrals. That's ultimately what we want everybody to do. And there are different ways that you can communicate with people in these different stages that they go through so that you can create a process for your business that works for how, however you work with your clients. So let me just explain what these different stages are. So you can try to create this picture in your mind of the journey a new person goes through as soon as they sign up to be a client or a member of yours. So the first stage is really what we call the signup stage. This is where they are really excited, they've made a decision, there might be element of excitement, it might be relief, that they're feeling, oh, gosh, thank God, I've found somebody who understands me, you can help me to get the results that I want. So in that first part, this is about you being able to really connect with the emotion that they're feeling it's positive emotion that we want them to feel they're excited, they've made the decision, they've signed up, Yay, I'm doing something positive for me, then, depending on if you're sending something that is what I would call a high ticket amount, so it's like 1000s that they've invested in, they will very quickly go to the point whereby they might be thinking, have I done the right thing? Not sure if I should have done that. So what you might call buyer's remorse. If it's a lower ticket, it's like 30 pounds a month, 4050 pounds per month, this doesn't generally happen straight away. We we need to be aware of that fact that buyer's remorse can kick in quite quickly. And what you do as the business owner in that first kind of few days, sometimes it's a matter of hours, will determine whether buyer's remorse takes over. And they say actually, I've changed my mind. I'm not going to do this now. They then move into a stage where they they're getting started. They're now doing what you need them to do them. Maybe they're doing classes, sessions, maybe it's online, offline, whatever it is, but they are now immersing themselves into the service that you are provided. So they're getting started here. They might have feelings whereby they're maybe they're feeling self conscious. Maybe they're they're finding something quite challenging. Maybe they are not really sure what I'm doing what am I supposed to be doing now where How do I get access to this, there's maybe there's lots of elements to your business that could be confusing or overwhelming. At that point there is where you really want to be holding their hand through it. And reinforcing that they can do this, or here's what you need to do here. And don't forget this bit, so that they they feel confident with what they need to do. Or if, for example, you're getting them to come into a, you've got bricks and mortar business, they're coming into your studio or into your gym, here's where you would want to integrate them with other people that either work with you, for you, or other clients or members. So they start to feel that they have a connection with you, your business other people in it, then they move to the stage where they're now starting to create some new habits. And this is where you really want to start to recognise and reward those new habits, no matter how big or small, they are. So reaffirming that they are on the right path, they will then quickly move into achieving a result. And I say quickly depends on what type of business you've got. Depending on however you work with people, if it's more, let's say it's around your businesses around weight loss, we hope they would have a quick win. So they will see some kind of result in a short space of time, it's important for you to acknowledge that, get them to acknowledge that because now that's kind of that's that's consolidating the fact that this was the right decision for me, because look, I'm achieving this result, if it's not weight loss, and it's something to do with maybe you do Pilates is something for them that maybe they can do a particular exercise or movement, or they're found that they can do something in their daily life that they couldn't do before. It's about acknowledging that celebrating that result. Again, no matter how big or small, we're trying to connect the dots here, that the reason why they've got this small or large result is because they are doing what they're doing is because they signed up to your to you and your business. Once they've gone past that route that point whenever achieving a result, that's when they start to talk to other people about the experience they're having, or maybe other people are noticing some differences, that's when they are now more likely to become a raving fan. And it's at that point that we really want to be able to leverage that. So rather than just hoping that there's word of mouth referrals, for example, how can we instigate that? What could you do in your business that ensures that they do think about referring other people to you, there's plenty of ways that you can do that. So there we've got these different stages to start with. There's the excitement, there's the even the relief, that they found the solution to their problems, they could depending on how much they have paid, they could go into buyer's remorse, it may not even be related to the amount that they've paid, they could just remember something Oh, I'm not sure if I've made the right decision, they may move into the Getting Started phase whereby it could be a little bit confusing, maybe there's lots of different things they need to do as a newbie, if it's confusing, if it's overwhelming, they are more likely to stop and give up, we then move them into the phase where they're creating new habits. So this is the point where you want to reaffirm those acknowledge those, they then move into achieving a result no matter how big or small, we want to celebrate that. And then finally they move into the stage where they become what we call a raving fan and start referring more people to you. So what could you do at those different stages in terms of connecting all of what's going on all of the emotions they are feeling we want them to feel positive emotions? How can you connect those positive emotions with you and your business? So what could you do send them anything as soon as they sign up? So when I have a new one to one client sign up, I send them a gift. They're not expecting it. I don't tell them it's coming. But I will send them a gift in the posts. Congratulations on becoming a client. It might be a book it might be a notepad it doesn't matter what it is, from my perspective, but it's a gift we all like to receive gifts right so now I'm just affirming that oh then Oh god this Oh, that's nice. That was that that feeling of I'm excited to get started. Now I'm glad I made this choice because I've just received this this is a nice thing. It's just got over if there was any form of buyer's remorse. Hopefully that gift has now allowed that could be that you send them a video that just welcomes them. I remember when I first started to do a programme with a guy called Mike McCalla wits she wrote Prophet first book he wrote fix this next, I did some training online training on becoming a fixed this next advisor. And within I think it must have been within 24 hours, I received a video message via WhatsApp from him saying welcome. And he mentioned my name. So it wasn't just a generic one. It's like Welcome to the programme us Americans who didn't quite say Nicola right. But anyway, Nicola, but just the fact that I had received a video voice message, it wasn't a gift. It was a video voice message from him, who I mean, he must have 1000s of people he had taken that time, that was huge. It was maybe a 22nd video. That was it. I later learned that that's what he does. In his business. It's very important. The team say this is the name of the person, he quickly does a video, he's got it down to a tee. So it takes him What 1020 seconds to recall the video done WhatsApp to his team member, they then send it on that the power of it was huge. For me, it made such a big impact that I was, you know, any thoughts of McGahn I've got I've just invested in this should I have done that was that something I needed to do? Have I just wasted my money when there was there was no sign of it. Because the feeling that I got made me think I'm exactly where I need to be. So what could your version of my book, or my next video be to help your new clients feel like I've made the right decision here to avoid a buyer's remorse, and the more you charge, so the higher your price point your packages or your memberships are, the more you should really consider doing this. Because we don't want buyer's remorse coming in. If you tend to get a lot of people back out, after they've paid the money, or even before they've paid the money, you could send them a video message saying I'm so glad that you've made that decision to come and join us. Here's all you need to do to get signed up, you know, if you're not doing it there, and then when you're speaking to them, or in the room, you could do a video message, it will be really powerful. What can you do along that journey different times, so that you stay connected with them? If you know that they have achieved a result, then could you send them a message in some way? You know, if you have a booking system, and they've attended X number of classes, have something triggered that sends them an email well done on you've just done your third or your fourth class amazing. Keep going well done. What we know is that when people come more and more times, they get X, Y and Zed results, whatever, whatever that message might be. So you don't even actually have to do it as a personalised message, the system that you've got populate their name, you could have an almost a generic message that goes out, but just acknowledges the fact that they've been X number of times, could you do something in a bigger way for people maybe it's not even about achieving a result, maybe it's just the fact that they've got to a certain point, years ago, when I used to manage a gym, we had something that was called the well, we had a three month commitment, I didn't realise back then why we're done, we're done. I didn't understand all this whole retention back then the first 90 days of somebody working with you are crucial. So we had a three month commitment at the club, where we would have these different touch points over that 90 days, because we knew once somebody got past the 90 days, they were going to be a member, they were not going to cancel and they were going to continue to pay their gym membership and stay for on average one to two years. Okay, so we knew back then that those first three months were crucial. And that's what this is about. This onboarding programme is the first three months. So if you have a programme, that is maybe what you do is only a three month membership, or the package that you do is only three months, then you're it probably going to be the first 30 days for you that are crucial. So they don't cancel partway through. So you might have to condense what I'm suggesting here into a much shorter space of time, but the stages people go through will still be the stages that people go through. Sometimes it's just there's a bigger gap between them. So you need to look out for your business. Is your client onboarding process a 90 day programme? Is it 60 days? Is it 30 days? They don't know that they're necessarily going through this? This is just you creating the best experience for them. When they first become a client. What does it need to look like? How can you have different types of touch points over that period of time? Can you do so? Something that's video? Could you do something that is a gift? Is it going to be email? Is it going to be text? Do you need to personally, or somebody in your team personally got on the phone? So I'm just checking in? How are you finding it? Have you been able to do this yet? How are you feeling? Have you got any questions, just having that level of customer experience, which are my ad, you don't get a lot of anymore since everything is automated, and, you know, press one for this and press two for that. It's almost like when we hear a human's voice, and it's personalised and they say our name, it makes us feel special. So how can you do that in your business? Because then when they get to that final stage of becoming a raving fan, that's when they're going to refer people to you. So how can you capitalise on that? How can you leverage that part? Could you give them some invites to send out to people, for them to experience what they're experiencing? Maybe you offer, I don't know, a free trial or free class, or it doesn't even have to be free. But just so that they can invite people to get the same experience that you've had to think about the different ways to communicate with your clients, there's in person, there's email, there's in the post, there's phone, text, there's video, give them a gift in order, if you like in order of impact would be in person, okay, you actually face to face or on Zoom or whatever, it's seeing the whites of somebody's eyes in person, that's the most effective way for you to build rapport for you to get a bigger connection, maybe that's not possible for your particular business. So then do it by voice, hearing their name, hearing your voice, human to human connection. And then down the line, it might be text email, in the post, not many people do post anymore, it's all emails or texts, or it's all online, sending something to somebody in the post, even if it's like a welcome letter doesn't even have to be a gift with their name on it, is it's thoughtful, it's it makes them feel a certain way. So your job is to think about what would or could your onboarding process look like? For your new clients, new members coming in? Is it 90 days? Is it 60 days? Is it 30 days? What are you going to do? And when are you going to do it, map it out, don't over engineer it. Don't overthink it. If you just did two or three things, if you do nothing, now just start with one, even just something at the start to make them feel connected, that they've made the right decision would be huge, because it's easier for us to keep existing clients for longer. Even if that let's say they're not on a monthly recurring membership, if you offered something that was a free month package is easier for you to get them to sign up to something else. If they've had a great experience with you than it is to get somebody brand new into your business. Yet we don't give this enough thought. enough consideration. So what are you going to do today? Think about today. So I hope you found this session really useful. It's got you thinking about how you treat new people coming into your business, how you can leverage that how you can create a really great experience for them. How can we turn those new people into our raving fans? I'd be really grateful. If you would take a few minutes to leave a review. Tell me what have you taken from this session? Did you get any light bulb moments did something oh my god, I've got a great idea. What was that great idea. I'd love you to leave a review. Tell me share with me what your biggest takeaways are and whilst you're there, don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already, so you get notified of future episodes. So I've been your host Nicola page, and I'll see you on the next episode. Bye for now.

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