In the past few years, boutique fitness studios have been eroding the market share or big-box gym and fitness club chains – and part of the reason for this trend is the friendlier, more familiar atmosphere in these smaller establishments. SoulCycle, the biggest chain in the USA offering (only!) spinning classes, manages to fill its courses despite being more expensive than its competitors. Its secret? SoulCycle, like many other chains of boutique studios, offers a more personalized fitness experience than traditional gyms, and has managed to build a community of people sharing a passion. Do you try to create a bond between your customers and your fitness club, or do you treat your customers as if they were all the same? People increasingly expect personalized experiences from the businesses they patronize, and fitness clubs are no different. Make your loyal customers feel acknowledged and special. Greet them by name, try to remember what classes they like and remark on their progress. Personalization doesn’t only have to rely on your staff’s memory; technology can help. Implement a customer app that is linked to customer subscription information, and send loyal members personalized information and offers. You could for example send a discount on yoga mats to all participants in your hatha yoga courses; alert customers of a new type of course they may be interested in, based on their tastes; or send loyal customers a voucher for a free smoothie on their birthday. How you do it is up to you, but one thing is certain: if you treat each member the same, and don’t differentiate between the person who attends all your yoga classes and the one who spends all her time lifting weights, you risk losing them both. Get to know them, understand their needs, and make it personal. As every business knows, it’s six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. Health & fitness is a highly competitive market; don’t let these common mistakes lose you customers, and erode your profits. Read our e-book “5 factors to consider when selecting the best reservation software” to discover how the right booking system can help you improve your customer service, and increase retention.