Whether you're a cheer or gymnastics organization, dance studio or swim club, you're in the business of providing specialized activities to a wide variety of people. You won't always know what they're looking for and what will keep them coming back to your gym, but—with a combination of personalized service and administrative technologies—gaining customers' loyalty doesn't have to be a guessing game.
Boosting loyalty requires a multi-pronged, people-first approach to gym and tuition management as well as to customer experience. From building a strong community to offering customized online subscription management services, here are seven key concepts that satisfy and retain customers while also reducing administrative frustrations and freeing up your time so you can focus on providing the best possible gym experience.
7 ways to build gym loyalty
1. Evolve your service by collecting customer feedback
What do customers really want? Even in a business that's all about people, it can be easy to lose track of individuals’ ever-changing needs. With attentive in-person service, you’re able to assess and customize what families and athletes need—but as you grow your business, customer-service capacity gets stretched. To grow with you, your registration system should feature a database of information about your customers, including feedback from custom forms and online channels (such as surveys and social media) where customers can comment and ask questions at any time. You’ll improve your connection with members outside the gym and, by compiling all feedback in one place, you’ll discover insights that give you a clear big picture and measurable details of what people are looking for in a gym experience. Use this information to refine and evolve your business strategy.
With motivated staff it’s easy to offer great customer service, from registration to the last day of every session. However, this is not enough to meet modern consumers’ expectations. The same level of quick, friendly and flawless service needs to be replicated on your website and online registration platform. Just as your front-desk staff enable customers to make the right decisions, register smoothly and fix problems, your online platforms should do the same. Test your self-serve systems by observing new customers as they go through the registration flow.
3. Offer flexible billing options
Personalized billing options let customers pay for your services in the way that is most convenient for them. Paying for one class at a time, a multipass for several classes or through installments are some of the established ways for customers to pay. These days, customers prefer the flexibility of paying for services on a monthly basis, just like they would get with Netflix or Spotify. Managing the administration of this can be time-consuming when combined with cancelation flows, proration rules, bundles, special offers and seasonal activities. To keep staff focused on the most important aspects of their job, ensure business rules for billing and subscriptions are automated by your registration software. To learn more about Amilia’s new automatic subscriptions capabilities read our article on customer expectations when it comes to payment options.
4. Reduce administrative errors and redundancy
We’re only human and sometimes things go wrong in customer service. In those cases, being transparent, apologizing and making a peace offering to affected customers can make all the difference. But what if you could reduce unforeseen administrative errors in the first place? A strong automated system is up to that complex task. Just as you would train your staff to avoid errors, you can set up registration software to apply your complex business rules online. Your administrators won’t have repetitive tasks taking up their valuable customer-facing time, and your customers will have the activities they want, always charged correctly.
5. Stand out by building a community around your business
Brand yourself as a community builder by creating a sense of belonging through every interaction. Keep your members informed about recent developments such as the performance of your competitive teams. Create opportunities for your customers to exchange ideas, socialize and interact, whether through special events like summer BBQs, games nights with the siblings. Support your community further with special programs, volunteer days and online fundraising modules for causes close to your and your customers’ hearts. You’ll strengthen your community and customers will feel they're a part of something bigger than themselves.
6. Make registration a pleasure, not a chore
Nothing turns a customer off like a paper form that needs to be submitted in person or a confusing online portal. On the other hand, a clear and professionally streamlined registration experience lets customers breathe a sigh of relief and know that they're in good hands, thus adding to your credibility. By making the online registration process easy, you will take the burden off your administrators. When you're organizing hundreds of athletes of all ages, as well as staff members, smooth administration becomes one of your major selling points. Staff can focus on evolving the organization instead of just maintaining it. Clearly display your schedule of activities online and give people a choice of options for self-service.
7. Build trust through consistent and honest operations
Loyalty is a two-way street—show your customers you're there for them and they'll stick by you too. Demonstrate your loyalty right from the start through consistent and convenient service paired with positive and timely responses and personalized offers. Take special care when processing payments, one of the main friction points with customers. Make use of automated systems to ensure customers are billed correctly and at the right time. And stay transparent about any fees, promotions or changes well ahead of time.
Loyalty that lasts
Customer loyalty depends on knowing your customers as individuals and meeting their needs on a personal level. Today, technology is on your side to help you do exactly that. Through a customizable online registration system, you can ask the right questions, collect relevant information and personalize the customer experience. Additional flexible services, such as automated subscriptions create a flawless online process that customers can feel confident in. The overall effect is a more consistent customer experience that will keep customers at your door.