The success of your business is based on two things—a superior product and customer retention. Onboarding new clients is great, but the real jackpot is hit when you turn those newbies into repeat clients. Let’s face it: Customers come and go. So when you have a group of loyal students who stick by your brand, it’s important to thank and reward them for their continued dedication. Here we take a look at a few smart and easy ways to show your core clients how much you value their loyalty.
OFFER EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS
Nothing says thank you quite like a special price. Come up with a loyalist incentive where long-time clients who purchase a certain amount of classes get a free class or a discount reward. For example, if a student hits the 50-class mark, they get 20 percent off their next package purchase. Or if they hit 100 classes, they get five free classes. Crunch the numbers to find an equation that won’t land you in the red, but that will also be significant enough to excite your customers.
Flash sales are also successful in generating income during a slow season, and if you offer them exclusively to your loyalists, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. Send an email to your clients letting them know that this deal is available only to them—also consider creating a specific name for students who hit a certain number of classes, like the “100 Club” or “500 Club.” Ideas for the sale could be buy one package, get one free, or something along those lines—you want to the deal to be a heavy-hitter, something students will really be incentivized to purchase in the moment.
Your most loyal clients are going to be the ones who refer their friends and family to your studio—these are your brand ambassadors, the crème de la crème of any gym owner’s clientele. You want to show your vigorous appreciation to these students, as they are the ones who are spreading the good word about your business. Offering rewards for student referral is the norm, so consider either a standard discount on class packages when a referral occurs, or a free gift, like a manicure at a nearby salon or one of your studio’s branded hoodie sweatshirts.
We also recommend showing your appreciation via a customer of the week or month award. After all, everyone likes recognition, and taking the time to highlight the successes of one student will go a long way in uplifting all of your clients.
The parameters of the honor are up to you, it could be based on classes purchased, student referrals, or even clients who have improved their technique or reached personal goals. Put a sign and photo up in your studio, include a mention in any email newsletters your studio has and also post something to your social accounts (encourage the honoree to share on his or her platforms as well).
Yes, it’s old-fashioned and time-consuming, but snail mail is also the epitome of thoughtfulness. Sending clients a handwritten note on their birthday, around the holidays or to celebrate their first class anniversary is a heartfelt gesture that will display how grateful you are for their continued business. If it’s in the budget, consider sending some studio swag as well—items like barre socks, water bottles and small accessories are always appreciated.
The main thing you want to convey to your loyalists is that they are special, and you value the role they’re playing in your business. Another way of doing this is by creating exclusive events just for this group. If you’re hosting an open house open to all clients and staffers around the holidays, consider adding a pre-party Champagne hour for your VIPs. Go extra lengths to connect with each client during this time to reiterate your appreciation and to catch up and stay current with them.
The same goes for class demos. If you’re thinking about adding a new class offering to your lineup, think about inviting your loyalists for a preview (for free, of course). Let them know you that you trust their opinion and value their ideas. By asking them to partake in the session, you’re giving them a voice and the opportunity to better your business.