Summer is around the corner, and with the warmer temps come a litany of excuses your clients will have when it comes to getting to the gym. While it’s tough to compete with a leisurely run through the park (or an al fresco happy hour), if you take heed to the advice below, your studio will flow with toned and happy students all summer long.
MAINTAIN YOUR A-GAME
Now, more than ever, is the time of year when your studio should literally shine—we’re talking Windex-ed mirrors, baskets overflowing with clean towels, spotless bathrooms and gleaming floors. You want your clients to feel like they’re entering into a beautiful haven every time they walk through your doors.
Remind your staffers that professionalism is a must everyday, but especially so in the summer months when you’re trying to retain clients. Classes should start exactly on time and instructors should be brimming with enthusiasm and encouragement.
CUSTOMER SERVICE COUNTS
Innovative classes and a beautiful studio might be what led your clients to you, but customer service is what will keep them coming back—even on an 80-degree Saturday morning. Remind staffers to always be smiling and courteous, and to say “Hello” to everyone who enters your studio. Addressing regulars by their first name and staying current on their lives (“How was your daughter’s graduation?” or “How was that job interview?”) will go a long way in making clients feel like they belong—and in reinforcing the caring community you’re working to create.
Also consider doling out some summertime freebies as a thank you to your regulars—like frozen washcloths after class, watermelon slushies on a balmy Friday night or popsicles as they exit your studio into the blazing afternoon sun.
As always, it’s important to stay abreast of your clients’ opinion of your business—touch base both in person and with a formal survey via email, asking for feedback on what they like and what could be improved upon.
STAY ON TOP OF COMPETITION
While your clients appreciate consistency, their interest is likely piqued by innovation—and you don’t want the new studio around the corner stealing your business. Aim to be involved with your town’s business development bureau so that you’ll be in-the-know when it comes to any new gyms that are opening nearby, and you can plan accordingly.
EXPAND AND REVIVE YOUR SCHEDULE
Yes, most people would choose to exercise outdoors, especially after being cooped up all winter, but with crazy work schedules, that can be difficult to do—after all, a run through the city might not be the safest option at 10 p.m. By offering an extended course schedule in the summer, you’re giving your clients even more reasons to keep coming back to your studio. Aim to incorporate a few 6 a.m. classes for students that need to be at work by 7:30 a.m., and pepper in some late-night 9 or 10 p.m. classes for those who are stuck in meetings or putting the kids to bed.
Stalwart classes need to stay-put, of course, but adding some new seasonal classes to the mix will freshen up your course load for regulars. Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” are just a few reasons why a songs-of-the-summer themed class would surely be popular. Quickie, 15-minute ab- or butt-focused classes offered at the end of your most popular classes would be another fun way to get clients beach-ready.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Take advantage of the weather and your clients’ interest in being outside by hosting some outdoor exercise sessions throughout the summer. Whether you opt for a prolonged boot camp or a few one-off fun runs, the idea is to bring your community outdoors. The change of scenery will reenergize your regulars, while keeping them tied to your studio.
CELEBRATE THE SEASON
Nothing says “thank you” more than free booze. Host a summer solstice open house to show your clients how much you appreciate them—and to introduce their friends and family to your studio.