When you ask yourself this question, you may automatically have a list of things that come to mind. Taylor loves it when her teammates cheer her on to finish, even if she is last, or Mary has requested that we all go bowling together. Dan has given a bunch of feedback about how we should do more volunteer work together in the community. Although, all these things can build great culture and communication, each one of these things essentially leads to a common theme – our clients love to be “a part of something”. Something big, something that makes them feel like they are taking “life by the horns”, makes them feel alive, happy, healthy, and gives them a voice. We as Health and Wellness Professionals don’t only feed the physical part of a person’s life, we feed the emotional, social, and physiological parts as well. If we can supply a product for our clients that taps into all areas of their lives, we will create a culture that will spread like wild fire.
Below is a sample list of six things that keep people coming back to any business or setting:
- Clients are treated with genuine interactions and called by name.
- They don’t feel pressured or forced to buy or produce in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Clients feel that they are heard.
- They are offered ongoing support even after they leave (follow up phone call, email, etc)
- Trust has been built – the business alerts them of changes well in advance and they are always honest with them. The, “your word is your bond” approach.
- They are told thank you. Clients want to know that they are appreciated and special, and not just another transaction.
This next list is a sample of six things that are specific to the Fitness Industry; reasons people want to come back to a training session or gym, time and time again:
- Their Coach leads by example.
- There is an emphasis of teamwork over ego.
- They can work in small or large groups in addition to getting one-on-one help. The group participation gives them accountability partners. They don’t have to sweat or “hurt” alone. Being able to share with their training partners that “feeling” that comes with a good workout and that “struggle” to make it to the end, makes them want to come back for more.
- They feel that their efforts are noticed and celebrated amongst the group as well as privately with their coach/trainer in an organic and genuine way.
- Their weaknesses are identified as an area to gain strength and improvement, rather than something they hide behind and are shamed for.
- Their goals and daily accomplishments are tracked and possibly even posted.
An organization that has done these things well, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the specific training style, is CrossFit. They have taken a type of training and created a culture around it. Some may argue that this culture is almost like a “religion”, but again, regardless of our feelings towards the sport, they have mastered the art of creating a community. They have received great responses in their communities because of implementing the above lists into daily practice.
So how do we do the same? How do we implement culture and community into our business model even if we don’t have our own space or gym? Because yes, it is possible to create both culture and community even if you are a Coach or Trainer in a shared space.
We start by dissecting every aspect of who we are and what our clients want. If we can figure out those two things, we can build a strong foundation that is centered around culture and community. Imagine if we didn’t have a good grasp on what our clients truly want and who we truly are? It is not good enough to just think we know who we are, or who we are trying to be; or just pretending to know what our clients want. Not being clear about the type of culture you want to build your business around can result in a disconnect between you and your clients and can impact the group itself. We find ourselves just going through the motions. We write a program, we show up, we implement it, and we wake up the next day and do the same thing. Our vision is lost, and we search for ways to rally the troops and encourage enrollment with a free t-shirt or water bottle. Those are both fun, but not the items that keep people coming back.
What could we possibly do to increase our client retention and eliminate the possibility of becoming stuck in the rut of the daily routine? How do we keep our clients engaged and excited to return the next day? How do we keep our passion and our true selves aligned with the culture of our businesses and the product that we offer?
All of these questions are things we should ask ourselves on a periodic basis when we are doing our daily, weekly, or monthly “business check ins”. This is the moment when you evaluate all of the processes, the sales techniques, the programing, and the overall picture of what you do each day. By constantly checking in and stepping back to get a large-scale picture of our businesses, we will give ourselves the edge we need to be successful to move up to the next level.
Our “Business Savvy” eBook and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) course (nationalpti.org) dives into these topics above and assists you in mapping out a game plan for creating the culture that keeps people motivated, interested, having fun, and yearning for more. After all, we are humans – we want to be a part of a community, a culture, a movement!
Go gettem team!