Guest Post: Barry Pepper (Customer Success Engineer) - Barry previously owned CrossFit Port Royal Sound in Okatie, SC for five years before selling it and joining the PushPress team.
... It’s a Saturday afternoon and you are out with your family for lunch. The kids are yelling we want pizza! Pizza! Pizza!
So you give in and go to the nearest Cece’s pizza. As your family of 4 walks into a busy Cece’s pizza restaurant you hear every staff member immediately yell “Welcome to Cece’s”.
The first time it catches you off guard but each time you come back you come to expect it. The magic in that greeting is that you know as soon as you walk in the door that you are in for an experience. The kids want to go back because they like to yell welcome to Cece’s with the staff.
I am going to teach you my rule of three that I have followed at every job I have worked and trained the staff at my gym that has increased customer retention.
#1: The 3 Second Rule
When a member, client, customer, lead, or any person walks through your door, greet them within 3 seconds. Even if you have to yell from across the room, give them a warm welcome. Let’s use the boutique gym as an example on this one. You have a class of 10 people going on, you are in the middle of the floor coaching. In comes a new lead, they are timid, a little unsure if they want to come in, probably sat in the car in the parking lot for 20 minutes before building up the courage to walk through the door. As soon as you see them you give a wave and friendly welcome to XYZ Fitness! They smile, take a deep breath, wave back, and immediately feel a little more confident that they chose the right place.
#2: The 3 Feet Rule
This one is referred to as the 3 feet rule. If you are working in a retail store, restaurant, or you are walking into the gym as a staff member or owner, your job is to personally greet anyone that you come within three feet of. Make this one personal.
Hey Jake! How are the kids? Did Owen win his baseball game?
Hey Julie! How did the job interview go?
By following the three feet rule, you and your staff build a sense of trust from each person that you talk with. They feel like you are truly there for them and not just the group as a whole. The key to this is to give them individual personalized attention. That experience directly leads to improved customer retention.
This leads me to the third rule of three.
#3: The 3x Rule
We’ve learned to make it fast, make it close, now let’s make it often.
The third rule is to interact with and provide feedback three times during your client's visit.
Imagine you are sitting at a table in your favorite restaurant, they greet you when you walk in, seat you at your table, and then the server comes over to introduce themselves. During this interaction they learn a little about you, questions you may have, etc.
That’s their first visit to the table.
After you place your order, they come back and check on you a second time before your food is ready, that’s number two.
Once they deliver your food they tell you something about your meal that they love, they personalize the delivery, that’s three.
If that was the only interaction you got here you would be satisfied, but a great server will return a few more times, and each time their goal is to improve your experience.
Practice The Rules
Here is a little bonus for coaches, gym owners, or anyone else that provides instruction during specified class time.
How do become a better coach by following the rule of three?
#1 (3 second rule) - stays the same for you as a coach. Make sure to greet everyone that walks in the door within three seconds.
#2 (3 feet rule) - provide each student with three different one on one instruction pieces.
#3 (3x rule) - Make sure to provide a total of three minutes of individual time with each athlete. This total time is accumulated by ensuring Rule Two is completed.
During a typical 60 minute class with 10 clients, your coach would be spending 30 minutes working one on one with your students. This leaves 30 minutes to organize the class, provide general direction, and set the mood for the day.
Like with any skill, these 3 rules are not complicated. But they are difficult to master. Be intentional and be consistent about applying each of these 3 rules in your classes for 2 weeks straight. You will see a noticeable difference in your community’s atmosphere and your members’ satisfaction.
Customer retention and experience is a cornerstone of PushPress. We’ve taken everything we have learned as gym owners and applied it to the digital world. Take a look at what our clients say about us and ask yourself if your members would say the same about your business. *Humble brag.
How can you improve the experience you provide to increase your customer retention?