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Customer Retention

Retain Your Fitness Studio Members: Treat Them Like VIPs

Want to make a huge difference in customer satisfaction and ensure that your regulars get the VIP treatment they deserve? Here are some tools that will help.

September 10, 2020

The key to success in the fitness business? Create a loyal base of members who will stick with you through thick and thin – and recommend you to everyone they know. We don’t have to tell you that right now, retaining your most loyal customers is a #1 priority.

So we’re excited to highlight some key features of Punchpass software that will help you treat your loyal clients like family. With a few simple changes, you can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction and ensure that your regulars get the VIP treatment they deserve.

Set up an Automated Waitlist for Classes

With restrictions on class capacity, you can head off frustration and avoid unused spots in your classes, by turning on the waitlist option when setting up your classes.

When a student goes to register online for a class and the number of available spots has already been met, Punchpass will show them a message saying that the class is currently full, and offer them the opportunity to join a waitlist. You automatically get a message when a waitlist is created and students are signing up for it. If a spot opens up in the class, the students on the waitlist are automatically emailed and can opt to reserve the available spot.

Give Customers the Ability To “Late Cancel”

Encourage a spirit of accountability and generosity in your community by using the “late cancel” feature. This setting, when enabled, allows your customers to cancel their class reservation right up until class starts — despite your defined time window — instead of having to contact you.  It immediately opens up a spot in the class and gives people on the waitlist an opportunity to attend, and you can fill up your class! It helps to ensure no empty spot goes unfilled, and those waiting get a fair shot at getting a spot in class.

A “late canceled” reservation automatically charges their pass on file

Since students who late cancel know they open up a spot for you (even though they’ll still be charged), this incentivizes students to actively cancel reservations that they know they won’t use in time for others to snag the open spot.

Be sure when setting up “late cancel” to also set up – if you haven’t already – time windows for when a reservation is considered “late” and make sure that you clearly communicate these settings to your students so that they have the opportunity to cancel before they are charged.

Set Up Regular Customers With Standing Reservations

Your regular clients come to the same class times, week after week. So save them a spot!

Standing Reservations let you pre-register your best customers for their regular class times. So you can manage the spots in your classes better AND provide great service for your loyal clients!  If they can’t make it to class one day, your customers can easily cancel their own individual class reservations — without changing the ongoing standing reservation time.

Give Your Most Loyal Regulars “Trusted Access”

Some community members start to feel like family after a while. Why not treat them that way? You know they’ll always be there, and they won’t leave you hanging if they happen to forget that they’ve used all the punches on their pass. Maybe they’re part of a family that belongs to your gym or studio.

By designating these VIP’s as “trusted access” customers in their profile, you allow them to:

  • Sign in for classes that are restricted to current pass holders only, or require prepayment, without active payment.
  • Book as many times as they’d like in a day – handy when the entire family is coming in to class, or to work out together – even if you’ve restricted sign ups for others. This can also help your most valued customers increase their ability to get into those sold-out classes with size restrictions, by registering for multiple waitlists, when necessary.

Offer Memberships and Make Payment Automatic

Memberships in Punchpass give you recurring revenue while your customers get ongoing access and hassle-free renewals. So it removes the friction of pass purchases for both you and your customers. We’ve heard time and again that memberships are loved by both studio owners AND the members who join.  Your great customers appreciate not having to worry about re-upping, and you’ll love seeing reliable income added to your bank account regularly.

Help Regulars Renew Their Class Passes

If you have clients who prefer to purchase passes instead of memberships, your personal touch will come in handy at renewal time.

With many of your students staying at home, you may have a portion of your customer base – especially those elderly or more technically challenged – who find going online and buying their own pass a barrier. Some people, when reminded that they have to pay, or how much they are paying, simply decide it’s not worth it.

Here’s how to keep them on board: Regularly (at least once a month) run a report of passes with only one or two visits remaining, and use that list to do personal phone outreach. Yes — Punchpass does automatically email these customers when their class count is getting low. But your personal outreach helps a client feel valued in a way that only you can.

The combined effort of you reaching out to say hello and check in on your most loyal customers, plus the fact that you’re taking your valuable time to help walk them through how to buy a new pass, will let them know that you value them, support their fitness journey and would miss them if they didn’t return.

What other creative ways are you building community and treating your customers like the family that they are? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a line at