One of the best ways to build a strong customer referral network at your gym is through traditional word of mouth. Although word of mouth has taken a back seat in popularity due to the increase of digital and social media marketing, it’s still one of the most effective marketing strategies for growing your business and creating brand awareness. In fact, the average US citizen mentions about 60 brand names per week so it’s the most influential psychological driver for purchases.
Friends and family are one of the best sources of brand awareness. These consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy your products or services and have a 30% higher conversion rate. Keep in mind that word of mouth marketing can work against you if your customers are not satisfied with your products or services. Therefore, it’s important that you build a strong brand with a high customer satisfaction rate.
To measure your customer satisfaction, you can calculate your NPS (Net Promoter Score). This can be calculated by asking a simple one question survey – using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend your company to a friend or colleague?
Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal members who will keep using your services or products and will refer others to your gym.
Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic members who could be vulnerable to other competitive gyms
Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy members who could damage your brand
To calculate your Net Promoter score, you just need to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of Promoters. If you company’s NPS is high, you will know that you have built a healthy relationship with your members. If you score is below 7, you will know that you have some work to do to increase customer loyalty.
4 Ways to grow your Business through Word of Mouth
Word of mouth can be enhanced by joining local networking groups, creating referral incentive programs, or by building mutually beneficial partnerships with companies that work within the fitness industry.
- Refer a Friend Incentives
By offering discounts to your members on future membership fees or product purchases, you can incentive your existing members to refer their friends and family to your gym. This will help to increase your current member’s loyalty while also helping to bring in new prospects to your gym.
- Customer Appreciation Day – Open Gym
You may also want to consider setting up a monthly customer appreciation day for your existing members. You can offer free classes or workouts for your local community while encouraging your members to invite their friends and family to try out one of your classes.
- Set up Referral Partners in your Industry
To help grow your business, you can partner with local companies in the area that are in the fitness industry. This could be a fitness apparel company, supplement store, or a local coffee shop. By building relationships with these companies, you can collaborate on future marketing campaigns and create customer referral incentives for anyone that visits their business and signs up at your gym.
- Join a local Business Network
Another way to increase brand awareness is by joining a local business network. By joining a networking group, you will be able to meet other business leaders in your community who may be looking for fitness training services. It’s also a great way to create referral partners within your community.