I recently decided to explore the world of yoga and signed up for a month of unlimited classes at a local studio. With numerous software programs tailored to small fitness businesses, including yoga studios, I was surprised when after paying I was instructed how to “sign in” to each class I attended…with pen and paper!
Sure enough there was a printed sign in sheet with room for about 40 names. I was told to print my name and then told I could use the box next to my name to help me keep track of what class number I was on. As I had purchased a month of unlimited classes this wouldn’t apply to me, but had I instead purchased a 10 class package this section was where I was to designate 3 of 10, etc…just to help me keep track. (I am hoping they have some other system on their back end to officially track this and that they aren’t solely relying on the accuracy of their members’ memory!)
This studio and the classes I have taken so far have been great. It’s supremely clean, the instructors are knowledgeable, but I have to admit to thinking their operations are somewhat archaic. With readily available and affordable software like Mindbody Online, Zenplanner and others, checking your clients into classes and tracking client visit histories is so easy it seems silly to not use them to simplify your operations. Not to mention utilizing client visit history reports can mean the difference between keeping and losing several members each month!
Frequently I’ll have someone say to me, “I don’t need keytags or worry about checking clients in because all of my clients are unlimited and can come however often they want. So I don’t need to track how many days a week they are coming.”
To this I say BOLLOCKS! You STILL need to track visit history. Here are two simple reasons why check in data is imperative!
1) If you aren’t tracking client visits you likely have no systematic way to run a last visit report to see who hasn’t been into your gym or studio in over a week. If you’re a small operation you might just “know” this…you haven’t seen Bill in a week so you give him a call. But as soon as you grow beyond yourself as the coach/trainer/instructor you will need a more foolproof way to check in with missing clients. It’s much easier to keep an existing client than to gain a new one. Reaching out to folks who’ve fallen off the wagon for whatever reason will keep your clients progressing, help minimize attrition and show them you actually care whether they are in your gym or not.
2) Tracking client visits gives you important information that you can use to make decisions on pricing and program offerings. Let’s say you are a gym that only offers Unlimited pricing. And then let’s say you are mulling over your 5% attrition rate and notice that several of the folks who are leaving this month where only coming 2 days per week. You could utilize this information to create a limited membership (2 days per week in this case) that might more closely match these individuals’ schedules and pocketbooks, with the end result being you RETAIN these clients. If you aren’t tracking check ins you have no way of accessing this information and adjusting to members needs.
Oh, and if you are tracking check ins, but not using them to generate last visit reports it’s time to start! Make it a weekly task…you’ll notice an immediate effect on your attrition rate and your clients will thank you…literally thank you, for keeping them accountable and encouraging them to get their fanny back in the gym.