Successful customer retention is based on two relationships. The first relationship is obvious. The second relationship is not.
The first relationship is the business-customer relationship. The second relationship is customer-customer relationships. When we started X Fitness from scratch as an independent gym in 2001, we focused exclusively on the business-customer relationship and completely ignored the customer-customer relationship. The business-customer relationship is one of the most complex relationships known to wo/mankind. It requires building a connection with a stranger at warp-speed. If you can’t build rapid-fire connections with strangers, it is impossible to recruit enough customers to survive in the gym business.
After you successfully recruit customers, you have to change the business-customer connection into a bond. Strengthening a connection to a bond requires more than ordinary customer service. Changing a connection to a bond requires a number of strategies need to strengthen a relationship from a lower level to a higher level. A bond is the strongest possible relationship. Building bonds is the key to successful customer retention which is the pulse of our gym. How we change a connection to a bond will be explained in future articles.
You can control the business-customer relationship. Unfortunately, customer-customer relationships are a different story. You can’t fully control them. Bad customer-customer relationships are one of our Top Ten Problems at X Fitness that threatens our gym.
The bad customer-customer relationship that will adversely affect your gym is the ‘break-up’ – the separation of customers who had joined and re-joined your gym together. Married partners, couples who are dating, and couples or groups who are close friends, constitute a significant percentage of our repeat customers. When they break-up, we lose a repeat customer, a long-term customer who we had built a successful business-customer relationship with.
A broken customer-customer relationship is difficult to predict and prevent. Proactive strategies and reactive strategies are extremely challenging to design and execute in order to prevent and solve the loss of repeat customers due to separation caused by customer-customer relationship. In 2018, we have lost a considerable number of loyal customers due to break-ups. In each case, the strength of the business-customer connection and bond was insufficient to prevent the separated customer from leaving X Fitness to stay away from the ex-partner or ex-friend.
After we identified the problem of customer-customer broke relationships, we added strategies to our playbook. Those will be explained in future articles.
X Fitness is committed to lift in mind, body and soul. Our lifting mission includes sponsoring Blunt Talk Podcast that has reached 83 countries and over 36,000 listeners in 3 years. All Blunt Talk Podcasts are soul-lifting. All 439 episodes are free, permanently archived at: www.ginoarcaro.com
There is no business tougher than the fitness business. Never stop learning. If you would like to be a guest on Blunt Talk Podcast to promote your business, please contact me at: www.ginoarcaro.com
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