Ultimately, customer satisfaction and loyalty comes down to just one thing: how you make your members feel.

Not only will members be more likely to stick around if they’re happy with your services, they’ll be more likely to talk you up to friends and family.

So what should you be doing right now to improve customer retention? In this article, we’ll share our best customer retention strategies and tactics to boost your member loyalty – and how you can use Gladstone’s extensive suite of features to best effect.

First things first. It’s time to do a self-audit.

Start by identifying pain points your members may encounter when booking or interacting with your gym or leisure centre.

Can your members quickly and easily book their favourite activities online? Is it easy for them to make an upfront or recurring payment? Are you truly creating value for your members? For example, do your email communications include personalised offers?

Be honest with how you rate yourself in each area.

Now it’s time to brainstorm solutions to bring your services up to scratch. Here are some questions and tactics to help you tackle the potential problems you’ve uncovered.

1.    Are you convenient for your members?

The best way to keep your members interested is to make joining and visiting your centre as easy as possible. Here’s where Gladstone can help. With JoinAnywhere, Gladstone’s paperless membership software, your new members can easily sign up online, or on-site using an iPad. With Connect, they can book classes, reserve equipment, and manage memberships online.

2.    Do your staff really listen?

Encourage your staff to become expert ‘active listeners’ when interacting with members. Train your staff to clarify, paraphrase and echo what a member has requested back to them with every interaction. This simple trick will go a long way in helping your members feel heard, and will also help you fix any misunderstandings before they become full-blown problems.

3.    Are your communications relevant and targeted?

Gladstone collects dynamic data that is built up over the life of your customer’s relationship with your club. This valuable data – including details like membership history, favourite classes, suburb, family members, friends, purchase history – can provide vital clues into how to best connect with and sustain relationships with your members through email marketing, SMS and social media.

4.    Is your team empowered to make decisions?

Customer service is most successful when staff feel empowered to make decisions without needing to seek approval for every little detail. Members will feel grateful if your team can avoid bureaucracy and solve simple problems for them immediately.

5.    Do you track customer satisfaction?

Use regular customer feedback surveys – looking at metrics such as customer expectation versus perception, likelihood to recommend friends and repeat purchase intention – to track how opinions about your gym or leisure centre are evolving. Using Gladstone’s customer retention software, you can easily uncover big-picture trends and drill down into the details of your customers’ likes and dislikes.