January 4, 2024

What a Client’s Booking Behavior Says About Their Likelihood to Stay With Your Studio

Last-minute cancellations or always booking in advance? These strategies can boost retention and reduce potential churn.

What a Client’s Booking Behavior Says About Their Likelihood to Stay With Your Studio

Every client at your studio has a booking “habit.” A behavior—like their own personal science to how and when they sign up, waitlist, and cancel a class. And within the way a client books, there’s a pattern that can offer insights into their engagement level with your fitness business and the likelihood of staying with your studio. 

Understanding these patterns allows you to tailor your approach to enhance their experience, reduce churn, and increase retention. But where do you start, and what can you do? Here’s what different booking behaviors may indicate and strategies to actively address them before it’s too late. 

1. Always Reliable: Consistent booking and attendance

Rain or snow, this is the client who prioritizes making class any day of the week. 

  • Indication: Clients who consistently book and attend classes demonstrate high commitment and engagement, likely indicating a solid connection to your studio and their personal goals.
  • Strategy:
    - Recognition and rewards:
    Acknowledge their commitment, maybe during class, a milestone highlight in the studio newsletter or through social media call-outs. Consider implementing a loyalty program where consistent attendance is rewarded with exclusive perks, such as branded merchandise discounts, free classes, and guest passes.
    - Goal setting:
    Encourage your consistent clients to set specific fitness and wellness goals—and periodically check in on their progress. Individual advice or adjustments during classes can further enhance their sense of progress and accomplishment with your studio.

2. Chaotic Schedules: Frequent last-minute cancellations

This client may seem inconsistent, but they may need extra flexibility in their routine. 

  • Indication: Regular last-minute cancellations may suggest scheduling challenges or potential waning interest in your studio offerings (or even specific instructors).
  • Strategy:
    - Understanding constraints:
    Reach out with personalized messages to nurture the relationship and understand the reasons behind their cancellations. Are there scheduling conflicts, work-related issues, or other challenges? Offering flexible class times, alternative classes based on their interests, or even virtual options can accommodate their schedule and keep them engaged.
    - Incentives for consistency:
    Implement reminder systems or introduce incentives for consistent attendance, such as streak rewards, guest passes, discounts, or bonus classes for reaching certain milestones.

3. Commitment Issues: Booking but not attending regularly

Individual recommendations and special offers might keep this client more present.

  • Indication: Clients who book but do not attend classes regularly may face motivation or engagement issues—and might need to pause their membership. 
  • Strategy:
    - In-person engagement:
    Initiate personalized conversations to understand their fitness goals, preferences, and potential challenges. Provide support, address concerns, and offer alternatives to keep them engaged and committed.
    - Genuine recommendations:
    Implement a recommendation system that suggests classes based on their previous attendance patterns, preferences, and fitness goals. A recurring Sunday PM email with suggested classes for the week. This can help them discover new classes that align with their interests.

4. Up for Anything: Booking a variety of classes

Who doesn’t love a client who is always ready for what’s next and new? 

  • Indication: These are the clients who enjoy trying a variety of classes and may be seeking to add to their fitness and wellness routine but aren’t afraid to try something new!
  • Strategy:
    - Celebrating diversity:
    Acknowledge their adventurous spirit by showcasing the variety your studio offers. Create special packages or memberships that allow them to explore different classes at a discounted rate—and bring a friend or family member to class!
    - Personalized recommendations:
    Offer personalized class recommendations based on their past bookings and preferences. Highlight the benefits of cross-training and how it contributes to overall well-rounded fitness and well-being.

5. Invite Only? Booking and participating in special events or workshops

This is the client who is all about the studio happenings where they can expand and excel.

  • Indication: Clients actively participating in special events or workshops are likely more invested in your fitness community.
  • Strategy:
    - Exclusive access:
    Recognize their enthusiasm by offering exclusive access to future events, early registration for workshops, or priority booking for limited-edition classes.
    - Personal recognition:
    Acknowledge their participation during regular classes, events, or through social media. Consider creating a "Client of the Month" spotlight to showcase their commitment.

6. Group Effort: Regularly booking with friends or family

When it comes to working out, this client knows it’s better when you do it together.

  • Indication: Clients who frequently book with friends or family are likely motivated by strong social connections.
  • Strategy:
    - Group discounts and incentives:
    Encourage group bookings by offering guest passes, discounts, or incentives for clients who bring friends or family. Consider introducing referral programs that reward both the existing client and the new participant.
    - Social happenings:
    Organize studio events or classes specifically designed for groups, fostering a sense of community within your studio.

7. Action Packed: Consistently Booking at peak hours

This client doesn’t mind paying a premium for a packed class.

  • Indication: Regularly booking at peak hours may indicate a vibrant and energetic atmosphere—and your top instructors preference.
  • Strategy:
    - Dynamic class experiences:
    Ensure peak-hour classes offer a dynamic and engaging experience. Introduce themed or high-energy classes during these times to align with their preference for an always-on atmosphere.
    - Class variety:
    Monitor class capacities to maintain a positive experience for all attendees. Introduce a variety of classes during peak hours to cater to different preferences and keep your clients interested and engaged.

8. Planning Ahead: Booking in advance for special occasions

When something big happens in their life, this client is ready to book, plan, and execute!

  • Indication: Booking in advance for special occasions or milestones may suggest a long-term commitment to fitness and wellness goals and show their drive to commit and achieve them.
  • Strategy:
    - Celebrating milestones:
    Acknowledge their milestones with personalized messages or small celebratory gestures. Consider offering loyalty rewards for long-term commitments, such as exclusive access to premium classes or customized training sessions.
    - Continued progress support:
    Provide personalized recommendations for continued progress. Suggest new challenges, advanced classes, or additional services that align with their evolving fitness journey.

By addressing each booking behavior with tailored strategies, your fitness studio can create a personalized and supportive environment for clients. Regular communication, incentives, and a proactive approach to understanding their needs contribute to a positive and lasting relationship, ultimately increasing the likelihood of client retention and studio profitability.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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