While many gymnastic businesses focus all their efforts on getting new clients through the door, often forgetting about client retention.
Which makes sense when you think about it. When resources are stretched, getting new clients through the doors is a much more visceral way to see money coming into the business.
But if you step back for a second and reflect on your retention rates, you may realize that there is a clear disconnect between the client’s joining and the client’s staying at the gym.
Here, we will discuss several important retention strategies that you can use to improve the longevity of your client’s memberships and help improve the long-term profitability of your business.
Why is Retention so Important for Gymnastics Businesses?
Client retention is the backbone of any subscription-based business.
Subscription businesses that see a high churn of clients often struggle to gain a consistent income, which can make it hard to forecast budgets for future plans.
For a gymnastics business, having a high retention rate is also vital for growing its reputation. Maintaining clients for a long period allows them to show their training progression, which will motivate others to join the gym. It will also improve the reputation of the brand and could lead to many more word-of-mouth referrals.
Ultimately, for long-term sustainability, retention is absolutely crucial for the gymnastics business.
Why can it sometimes be challenging?
So, given how important retention is for all gymnastics businesses, why is it that so many struggle to achieve strong retention rates?
Well, retention is not easy to achieve. It takes a lot of time and effort, and there are several challenges you must overcome, which include:
First and foremost, gymnastics businesses must tackle the challenge of competition in the area, which comes in many different forms.
For starters, many gymnastics gyms face competition from other gymnastic gyms in the area, each fighting for the same clientele.
With more choices available, chances are this leads to more clients swapping between the two, trying to find the perfect gym for them.
But that’s not the only competition gymnastics businesses face. They also face competition from other types of gyms in the area, such as weight-lifting, climbing, or CrossFit gyms, and also competition with other activities that their potential clients might be tempted to try.
Clients who are heading to the gym regularly now may also encounter challenges in the future if they experience a period of burnout or loss of interest in the sport.
This is especially common in younger gymnasts, and with more alternative activities available than ever before, this loss of interest, whether temporary or long-term, can significantly harm retention rates.
As gymnastics businesses begin to expand, they are often required to hire more coaches to cover the increase in demand.
While this growth is fantastic for business and the potential profitability of the company, it can also bring with it new challenges, as each new instructor employed leads to a chance of the quality of service dropping.
Inconsistencies in quality may lead to client dissatisfaction in the long term, which can negatively impact retention.
There are also more external challenges, such as your client’s needs and goals. Over time, training goals and motivators are bound to change, and if your gym is not able to adapt to meet those evolving demands, it could cause them to become disengaged and leave the gym.
9 Retention Strategies for Gymnastics Businesses for you to try
With that in mind, it’s clear to see why retention for gymnastics businesses is absolutely critical for long-term success, yet also very difficult to achieve without the proper strategies in place.
We’ve collated nine different strategies for you to try, all of which will have a positive impact on your retention and can work effectively alongside each other.
Create a welcoming environment
The easiest and one of the most important strategies to implement for better client retention is to ensure that your gym is a welcoming place where everyone feels included regardless of their skill set.
As with all gyms that focus on a specific skill, it can seem intimidating at first for complete novices or those who lack confidence.
If the gym is unwelcoming and seems to focus all its efforts on the best athletes, then these clients are much more likely to leave before they get properly stuck in.
And there are many more gymnastics novices than there are experts!
Ensure your gym has a friendly and inviting atmosphere and that all staff are trained to greet and engage with members, asking them about their goals and ensuring training is catered to their needs.
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Build a strong online presence
Another important aspect of client retention is building a strong online presence. That means maintaining an up-to-date website with class schedules, news, and contact information and using social media to connect with your community and share updates, achievements, and success stories.
You don’t want a scenario to occur when your clients turn up expecting a specific class to be on based on the information you provided on your website, only to discover that the training calendar changed six months ago but was never updated online.
This lack of clarity may be viewed as unprofessional, and new clients may attribute that to your coaching and decide to quit.
Gymdesk allows you to update class schedules, contact information, and post news, all from one simple platform, so you will never get confused and accidentally miss key updates.
Offer member loyalty programs
Another strategy that many gym-based businesses see great success from is loyalty programs. These programs reward members who stay with your gymnastics business for a long time by offering them unique discounts or benefits.
For example, if a member makes it to their 100th class, you could provide them with a custom-made tee shirt to express your appreciation for their hard work. These members will feel valued and motivated to do more classes, and other less frequent gym-goers will see the incentive of coming more, increasing their longevity, too.
To track success with this tactic you should definitely take meticulous attendance records. From there, you can create great incentive programs.
Alongside physical rewards for milestones, you can also provide members with personalized communications, such as congratulatory emails or digital vouchers.
Personalized communication can also be used to send members a message on their birthday or address concerns or issues promptly to show you care about their experience.
Fortunately, rather than spending hours manually sending out congratulations and birthday wishes, many of these emails can be automated, saving you time and effort while still reaping the rewards.
Gymdesk empowers you to create automated but personalized emails to clients congratulating them on milestones, reaching out when their attendance drops, wishing them a happy birthday, and so much more. And with our automation features, you don’t have to worry about doing them all individually or missing dates.
Community building events
A great way to help build customer loyalty and improve retention is by putting on community events. Organize social events, workshops, or themed classes for members to bond outside of regular sessions.
By allowing your members to bond over their love of gymnastics, you will make the gym a more friendly place for them, somewhere they exercise but also socialize.
Members can also lean on the accountability of having friends in the gym, which will help improve or maintain their attendance. This is crucial for retention, as a drop in regular attendance is one of the main factors in someone leaving a gym.
Feedback and surveys
What was working six months ago may no longer work today. One common mistake we see occurring is that companies put retention and loyalty strategies in place only to leave them and never check on them again.
However, client preferences and sentiments change over time, and regular surveys are required to ensure your offering matches their expectations.
Not only that, but by conducting regular feedback surveys and acting on the information provided, you show them that you truly care about their experience in the gym, and they feel heard and more part of the community, which increases loyalty.
Cross-promotions with local businesses
Another great way to improve client retention is through cross-promotions with local businesses. Say, for example, there is a local health and well-being shop nearby that sells protein powders; you could try to partner with that company, offering your members a unique discount.
This is beneficial to the protein brand as they get access to new clients, and it is beneficial to you as it is another reason for your clients to stay for longer.
Ideally, the cross-promotions you offer will be relevant to gymnastics, but you may also benefit from other offers and deals in the local area.
Customized training programs
While group gymnastics classes are perfect for some members, others require a more personal approach. By offering individuals personalized training plans based on their goals or weaknesses, you show them that you are truly invested in their progress and development.
Providing members with tailored programs also makes them feel like an important part of your business, making them more likely to stay for longer.
Open communication channels
Another crucial element of retention is ensuring that your clients feel like they can contact you about any issues, questions, or concerns they might have. That means maintaining open lines of communication through email, social media, and in-person interactions and encouraging members to reach out.
However, it is not enough to just ask them to communicate with you; you must also ensure that your answers are well thought out, measured, and considerate.
Final Thoughts on Retention Strategies for Gymnastics Businesses
Now you’ve got several strategies to take advantage of to improve your gymnastic gym’s retention rates, helping you save significant funding on sourcing new clients each month.
However, as you can tell, each of these options takes time to implement, especially if done manually.
Frequently Asked Questions About Client Retention
Why is client retention important for gymnastics businesses?
Client retention is vital because it helps maintain a steady revenue stream, reduces marketing costs, and fosters a sense of community.
What role does customer feedback play in client retention?
Customer feedback is essential as it helps you identify areas for improvement, address concerns, and adapt your services to meet your clients’ needs, enhancing their overall experience.
What are some common challenges in client retention for gymnastics businesses?
Common challenges include competition from other gyms, client boredom or burnout, and maintaining a consistently high level of service.
How can I measure client retention in my gymnastics business?
You can measure client retention by tracking your gym’s membership renewal rate, attendance, and conducting regular surveys to gauge client satisfaction and loyalty.