Why Client Retention is So Important and How to Create Systems to Retain More Clients
Have you ever thought about the best way to double or triple your income within 6 to 9 months? Do you think it’s about getting more clients? While obtaining clients in the first place is, of course, an important aspect to any service business, retaining them is actually more important. Why? Because the more clients who stay on equals the more value you will obtain from those clients in the form of greater sales and referrals to others. Without a clear client retention system, your business will never soar to new heights. If you don’t think a client retention system is important, here are FIVE problems associated with not having one:
Problem 1: Always on the hunt. Without a client retention system, you will always be on the hunt for your next client, always looking for your next marketing campaign. Getting clients is great, but until you systematize your business and retain the ones you have, you will always be chasing your tail for new ones.
Problem 2: Income uncertainty. Without retaining the clients you have, there will be no real way to predict your income, and then you won’t be able to properly plan running an efficient business. In order to maximize your income and efficiency, it’s important to be able to predict your income in the next month, two months, and a year.
Problem 3: No accountability. If clients are not consistently returning month after month, setting new goals, then there is no accountability for your staff to service them and your clients to remain.
Problem 4: Failure to enroll clients in your community. Clients first come to you with a specific goal in mind, like to get into their pre-pregnancy clothes, to lose x amount of weight, or to feel better. But once they are in your program, you need to create a sense of community so that they have a feeling of belonging and stay on as clients.
Problem 5: Lack of Foresight and Future Goals. If you aren’t setting long-term goals for your clients 6 months or 9 months down the road, you will be constantly have to sell packages in order to make your sales goals and increase your income, and that will take you right back to Problem #1.
So now that I’ve identified the problems with NOT having a client retention system, hopefully you will want to create one ASAP! But how? I knew you would be wondering that….which is why I offer FIVE quick fixes to the problems mentioned above:
Quick Fix 1: Get Clients to Re-Commit. Once your clients reach one goal, create a new one for them so that they sign up for more. Maybe their first goal was to lose 20 pounds, and they achieved that. You can ask, “Now that we shed those pounds, would you like to get stronger or leaner?” Then create a new goal and tie an emotional connection to it. You can say, “How would you like to be able to run in that 5k with your teenage son?” That is a legitimate goal that would allow you to help her create a new possibility and keep her on for more training.
Quick Fix 2: Give clients unexpected gifts and bonuses. These gifts don’t have to be expensive- they could be meaningful or cute. Here is something we do: when a client refers someone to us who signs up for one of our programs, we give that referring client a $15 gift card to a healthy eatery. This does two things: it creates an alliance with that eatery, who will now refer MORE people to us, and it makes clients feel great so that they share what we do with others. And there is an added bonus: our clients get a healthy meal!
Quick Fix 3: Over-deliver. Many fit-pros over-promise but under-deliver, and clients often come to us with those same expectations. But if you want to be an elite coach and stand out from the rest, do the opposite: over-deliver on your promises. What is the best way to do that? Get to know each of your clients personally. It may seem like a lot of work at times, but this is the type of service that sets us apart from the rest, and it is sure to work for you as well. Find ways to connect through Facebook Live, Facebook groups, or weekly calls. When someone hits milestones in weight loss, we celebrate their wins.
Quick Fix 4: Connect your clients with other clients. Introduce them to each other. Host social events with them. Have them become part of a group, and let them know they are part of a community. This social connection will keep them emotionally linked to your business.
Quick Fix 5: What’s Next Sequence. When clients achieve one goal or complete a program, let them know what’s next. Don’t wait for them to ask you- make it known! For example, when our clients wrap up a 6-week challenge, we immediately notify them about our monthly membership services. In doing so, you are rolling them into another one of your programs- and keeping them on.
I know this was a lot of information to digest, but I hope this helps you in growing your business and increasing your income. The biggest take-away from this article is this: The longer a client stays with you, the more valuable that client becomes, the less work you have to do to generate more income, and the more likely your business is to SOAR.
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