There are plenty of potential customers out there who don’t care much about the price you charge them for your services. And although they typically don’t make up a majority of your customers, they’re worth paying attention to.
You’ve probably already come across a few of these customers, especially if you have an affluent target market at your sports facility. These are the folks who have enough resources at their disposal, and a clear enough idea of what they want, that they key to their loyalty is an excellent overall customer experience. For them to keep coming back, they need to know that they will always get the best possible products and treatment at your sports facility. This is best achieved by creating customized sports facility memberships for them.
Sports facility owners should always be flexible enough with their products and their pricing to easily accommodate customers customers with things like custom packages, which I’ve mentioned on Sports Facility Expert before. Along those lines, remember that with this type of customer in particular, you’re not selling on the price point.
Steps to Retain Customers
Here are a few steps that I’ve used at my own sports facility to interest and retain this type of customer.
1. Establish that the customer is less interested in the price than in seeing real results and getting VIP treatment.
This requires a savvy front desk or sales staff who know how to communicate and have the authority to adapt on the spot. As I mentioned, most of your clients will be buying based on price.
2. Truly listen to what the client is interested in.
While this is important with all of your customers, it is absolutely essential when you are selling a VIP experience instead of a price point. For example, your customer might want little extras such as a bottle of water before the workout, or a reservation on a particular area of the sports facility when possible. I have one customer who requested a fresh towel right after her workouts.
3. Suggest an all inclusive membership for the client.
Based on the interests the client indicates, create a membership that addresses those interests, preferably that will automatically bill their credit card on an ongoing basis to keep administrative costs at a minimum.
4. Make sure your staff knows what special perks that client’s membership includes.
Special perks should be prominently noted in the client file. Obviously, including benefits that may not be available to the rest of your clients (for example, a fresh towel after workouts) can cause some confusion, but any downsides are usually worth the cost. Remember to take note of your client’s fitness goals and the dates they have hoped to achieve them, and make sure their trainers are aware of those goals, if possible. (This is a good idea for any client).
5. Occasionally include the client in business operations.
If the client is the type of person who would like to feel that they have a stake in your business, it might be a good idea to consult with them on certain types of business decisions, such as program scheduling, for example. Customer feedback always helps your business and may contribute to your client’s feeling of being an important part of the facility. If you decide to go this route, however, make sure you don’t promise anything you can’t deliver and clarify that their advice is informal.
In general, I always emphasize such flexibility and customization in sports facility operations, which is why I built my sports facility software, eSoft Planner, with so many flexible options for packages and memberships. However, even with out software to automate the process, paying attention to your VIP customers will increase your facility’s revenue.