For a fitness business owners, increasing the number of clients and members you have over time is a constant stressor.
And while attracting new people to the business is definitely part of the equation, retaining existing clients is more important.
Imagine if you’d never lost a client since your business started. Even with a very slow trickle of new clients, your KPIs (key performance indicators) today would be astronomical.
Of course, this isn’t realistic. No matter how amazing the experience is that you’re delivering to your clients, some people will leave and that’s fine.
But the problem is, the reasons people give for leaving aren’t the real reasons they’re leaving. And accepting their reasons at face value can be damaging for the business.
You see, it’s rare that a departing client would tell you there’s a problem with you or your service. It’s rare the reason they’d give for leaving would be something like ‘I’m not getting results’, or ‘I don’t like your personality’.
And there are two reasons their ‘sugar-coated’ explanations damage your business:
- You don’t get any valuable feedback that can be used to improve your business.
- You think that everyone is leaving for reasons outside your control – meaning you’re powerless to ‘plug the leaks’ in your business.
So let’s look at the top three reasons clients tell you they leave your business, then we’ll translate them to what they actually mean.
- Finances: ‘I can’t afford it any more.’
- Location: ‘I’m moving house/work and can’t get there.’
- Time: ‘I just can’t fit it into my day any more.’
Now, aside from non-negotiables like dropping your price or moving location, there’s not a lot you can do about these reasons. But that’s ok, because these aren’t the real reasons people leave, these are the reasons they TELL YOU they leave.
So let’s translate.
- Finances: ‘I can’t afford it any more’: ‘The experience you’re providing isn’t worth my money’.
- Location: ‘I’m moving house/work and can’t get there’: ‘The experience you’re providing isn’t worth the travel’.
- Time: ‘I just can’t fit it into my day any more’: ‘The experience you’re providing isn’t worth my time’.
Once translated, client departures actually become really useful. Because now we’ve been given back the control. Now we can get our hands dirty and fix the underlying issue.
And you notice the common theme? It’s about the experience.
Is $100 expensive? It depends of course on what you’re spending the $100 on. $100 to watch a movie at the cinema is expensive. $100 for an all-inclusive trip to Disneyland is a great deal.
The price is the same. The experience is very different.
So, your focus should be on the experience.
If you can deliver your clients an astonishing experience, price, location and time just won’t matter.