Now that we have covered the basics of what customer retention is, we can dive deeper into how to fully unlock the potential of your studio. In this guide, we want to show you the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and understand what is relevant to them.
Understanding this principle can and will make the difference for your studio.
For instance, in the last article we mentioned that statistically on average 9 out of 10 new customers leave your venue in the first year. Most new customers are even lost during the first month, or even after the first visit. This means that if you can improve their retention, you might be able to win back your customers and increase your revenue.
General strategies to work on retention
You have 3 basic strategies in your toolbox to work on retention:
Improving the activation of new customers: This is your biggest opportunity as it improves your overall retention the most. In fact, the customer has already booked for the first time but has not yet established a habit of participating regularly in your activities.
As most new customers drop out within the first month, improving the first impressions leads to more visits in the following months and, therewith, more revenue.
Intensifying the engagement of regular customers: Some of your regular customers might participate multiple times in a week, others maybe just once a month. Intensifying engagement means increase the participation rate of those customer who regularly come but not often.
This strategy helps you to keep your regular customers more interested. However, this has usually less impact on your overall retention as we are targeting customers who were already coming back regularly.
Reactivating dormant and churned customers: These customers used to come regularly, now come less frequently and might stop coming. Therefore, you should try to reactivate them and win them back.
Reactivating customers can influence retention but is not always easy. Whilst it might be possible to persuade customers slipping away to become more engaged, with churned customers this is hardly the case. Although it might be tempting to send mass emails to your inactive customers, it is often considered rather annoying because there might also be valid reasons for not coming back (e.g. a customer moved away). Understanding these reasonings sure makes sense and can prevent engaged customers from churning.
These strategies can be seen as general guidelines for you and your employees and can help you uncover all the opportunities to boost your studio retention.
Concrete actions to improve your retention
To give you some concrete examples on how to boost your customer retention, we have identified which actions can have a tremendous impact.
1) Before the visit - preparation is half the work
Be on top of the game and make sure that your customers are equipped with all the most relevant information before they need it.
Make sure to inform them with a short email or quick call before the class so that they know the basics (when & where to go, what to bring, how to contact you). Be one step ahead and add this information on your homepage too.
Have your teachers welcome new participants and explain do's & don'ts.
2) During the visit - First impressions count
This moment is extremely important as it is here that the customer enters your venue and joins their first activity.
Make sure that the new customer feels part of the group from the start. Understanding a customer's motivations and reasons can help you coach her or him better and establish a better relationship right from the beginning. Making new customers feel welcome means that they will be more likely to come back within the next 30 days.
Encourage attendance to your classes and reward loyal customers for their presence.
Avoid the common mistake that only new customers need to be encouraged. It is your regular customers you should pay special attention to as well, as they are already ‘engaged’.
Lever competitive spirit among your customers. This can indeed have various forms: friendly rivalries, special challenges or simply mindfully seeking the best version of yourself.
3) After the visit - Listen to your community
Even after the visit, you should still remain in touch with your customers.
Right after the class, have your teachers offer advice and useful tips. To do so, leverage your understanding of your customers' goals and motivations.
Always promote your latest offers and advantages, both online and in your venue.
Invite your customers to join your newsletter or your social media channels.
Incentivize your customers to bring a friend and reward them for any referral. This will boost the name of your studio among your customers and will create a connection to your brand.
All these actions can help you build up a community where your customers will find the right attention and meet like-minded people.
Ultimately, your customers will create a habit of coming back regularly to your studio and will be considered retaining customers.
Keep reading here to learn how to set up your Eversports Manager at best in order to create solid relations with your customers.