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Sep 27, 2018

Judging a book by its cover – get it right first time

As consumers are becoming more spoilt for choice for fitness, making the right first impression has never been more important

Research shows it takes just seven seconds for people to form a first impression and with new studios and locations popping up at a faster pace than ever before, the pressure for businesses to impress potential customers is greater than ever.

With this in mind, the experts at MINDBODY, a leading health and fitness business management software, explain why it is so important to create a great first impression on your clients and how, using research from their recent industry reports and existing customer experiences.

Pre- arrival

Before setting foot in your studio or on a mat, a customer is likely to have already visited your website, scrolled through your social media channels or explored your app. In fact, MINDBODY’s recent Insights Report showed that, whilst word of mouth is still the leading marketing channel for business in the health and fitness industries, 22 per cent of people will do an organic search online for your business and 17 per cent will do so because of advertising. Customers won’t wait for a website to load, and research shows half of site visitors wait less than three seconds before clicking off and going elsewhere, so it’s crucial that this experience is seamless from the start.

According to a consumer survey by MINDBODY with 2,000 UK respondents, 15 per cent of people consider using technology to improve motivation and keep their goals on track, meaning customers are more than likely going to rely on their phones and apps for inspiration. Therefore, your digital presence should aim to inspire with plenty of interesting content and a nicely designed layout that reflects your brand.

What’s more, the survey findings also revealed that customers value flexibility and variety in their fitness routines, which emphasises the importance of an easy booking processes to impress clients, especially upon a first visit.

Here are three ways your listing on the MINDBODY App can help to impress clients:

  • Rich business profile - allows users to peek inside your studio. Show off your business and add photos of your location, services and staff to catch your customer’s eye. We recommend you add a minimum of six photos to show it off.
  • Enhanced search – new filters and category search icons are more engaging for customers and aid in discoverability process, so clients will find your classes in fewer taps.
  • New colour palette - defines categories, so ‘fitness’ and ‘wellness’ verticals stand out to users.

On arrival

We know from speaking to our customers that often the thing that they struggle with most is finding the time between day-to-day admin and the general running of the business, to spend valuable time with their customers and their team. Creating a seamless booking process either via a website or an app, can help free up time usually reserved for admin to provide excellent customer service instead.

While technology should never fully replace the personal touch a studio provides, it can certainly help to enhance it. MINDBODY software streamlines day to day tasks onto one easy-to-use platform, so studio owners and staff will ultimately have more time to engage with clients in a meaningful way – keeping them coming back time and time again.

Charlotte Newton, Senior Marketing Manager at MINDBODY EMEA said: “We know that our customers want to spend more time building relationships with the people who walk through their door and automating processes using software can help free up their time from all their admin. Nowadays people are craving a sense of personal connection, so the less time you can spend stuck in the office, the better!”

Heather Garrick, Marketing Director at Triyoga, explains: “Our mission at Triyoga is to uplift everyone we serve. Our front of house staff are the key to this sense of community, as they are usually the first and last interaction that our clients have when they visit the studio. Anything that we can do to lift the burden of admin is priceless! MINDBODY has been a really useful tool for helping us to achieve this - for example, by allowing people to selfcheck- in for classes if they require. This means our staff have more time to have meaningful conversations with clients who might need advice, guidance, or special assistance.”

Five top tips to impress your customers on arrival:

1. Create a welcoming atmosphere using scents

2. Pay extra attention to newbies - offer a tour if possible

3. Provide complimentary products where possible, such as bottled water
4. Remember personal details of customers for talking points

5. Keep a clean and tidy environment

Leave a lasting impression

You wouldn’t expect a guest to leave your house without showing them the door, so apply the same mentality to your studio and appoint a‘Director of Last Impressions’ (DOLI) to say goodbye. This can be a front of house staff or a trainer, just make sure great customer service is maintained right until the end.

Catie Miller, founder of MINDBODY studio Xtend Barre, said: “We see our studio as an extension of our client’s homes, in terms of quality and comfort. Our instructors work the front of house too, which provides a seamless experience by allowing them to interact with as they enter the space through to taking their class, as well as receiving constructive feedback afterwards.”

Remind your customers how much you care, even after they’ve gone. MINDBODY has several marketing retention tools, which can send targeted follow up emails or texts to a new customer for you. It can also help you convert a prospect to a new client with attractive intro offers to entice a second visit, and when booked through the MINDBODY branded app, they will be asked to feedback on their visit, so you can focus on always improving your business.

For more information about MINDBODY business software solutions, please visit: https:// uk.mindbodyonline.com/business

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