Forward-looking wellness and fitness centers can use their local presence to attract consumers interested in maintaining or improving their quality of life by remaining active and engaging in other healthy lifestyle practices.
Check your wellness business’s practices against this business success checklist. Are you doing everything you can to ensure that your wellness business stays… um, healthy?
You can win non-traditional customers, protect your corporate sales, and improve member loyalty and retention.
1. Hire and develop professional staff
- Non-traditional clients often have special concerns and higher expectations for your staff.
- Don’t disappoint them with weekend credentials or a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Hire well-qualified empathetic staff with active listening skills.
- Check references and watch them in action. Do they adapt well to different client needs?
- Retain your staff with pay plans that reward them for having the customer’s best interests at heart.
2. Use straightforward business practices
- Customers don’t believe you care about their well-being if your business practices aren’t straightforward.
- When they buy milk, they don’t face confusing prices and special deals.
- And notice that the insistence of traditional car dealers on complex pricing simply created new no-hassle competitors whose customers happily dropped traditional dealers.
- Never give customers a reason to question your intentions.
3. Programs are the best way to build customer loyalty
- Clients often feel that all fitness centers provide is a laundry list of products and service.
- Yet what they’d like to buy is a solution for a specific concern.
- For example, instead of offering nutritional counseling and personal training, combine them into a “healthy living for families” program.
- An integrated program offers far more value and helps build client loyalty and word-of-mouth business.
- It also helps your customers build relationships with your business, rather than with individual professionals.
- And these programs often help expand your marketing efforts through networking to related businesses.
- Be a one-stop shop for helping clients lead healthy, balanced lives by offering programs that integrate diet, nutrition, lifestyle activity, stress management, and more.
4. Know your target customer like a member of your family
- Rehashing the sales and marketing approaches of traditional health clubs won’t work with non-traditional consumers.
- Remember that these businesses traditionally lose 50% or more of their customers annually. That’s not a model to adopt.
- And forget being a general-purpose fitness center. The big national and regional chains have already staked out that territory.
- Instead, zero in on underserved groups and non-traditional customers–seniors, families, the unfit and deconditioned, others with special needs, concerns or interests.
- Emphasize customer loyalty, because the customers who stay with you long-term are the most profitable.
- And be sure that everything your business does–sales, marketing, programming, products, and services–reflects the needs of the actual customers you hope to win.
5. Build processes that work right the first time, every time
- Operational excellence isn’t a matter of cutting cost to the bone.
- The real point is to make the most of every dollar you do spend.
- Your business needs day-to-day processes that work right the first time, every time.
- This includes signing up new customers, getting periodic feedback from them, handling complaints, rewarding customer loyalty, hiring, rewarding, and developing staff, and more.
- Sales and marketing processes that support your business direction, financial management, finding and keeping the best employees, making sure that customer service is consistent, effective, and efficient…these activities form the foundation of a healthy and sustainable business.