20 May Goal setting for retention
Why fitness clubs should use goal setting to retain customers.
Goal setting is a powerful tool that will assist retention or adherence within an exercise setting. To fully appreciate goal setting you have to walk the walk and buy into the benefit of goal setting. To do this you need to do it yourself before you can get your clients or customers sold on the idea. For goals to be effective they need to be written down and should be owned by the client not by the trainer. The trainer merely acts as a guardian and offers support along the way.
Goals also need to be SMART in that they should be specific, for example losing weight is not a goal because it is not specific. However losing twenty pounds is specific and is also measurable. They should also be achievable, realistic and time bound, meaning a set time frame is given to achieve the goal. Here are some common mistakes when setting goals:-
Don’t write them down
Not fully committed to the goal
There is a need for some emotional attachment
They need to be owned and set by the client and assistance given by the trainer.
Things like losing weight or getting fit are not goals.
Goals are not reviewed daily, weekly or monthly to check on progress.
Fitness clubs should use goal setting as a retention tool but beware – if your team of fitness trainers are not skilled then goal setting can go terribly wrong. For example, setting unrealistic or too hard to achieve goals will immediately de-motivate the customer. It is therefore important that goal setting is only carried out by employees who are trained and have personal experience of setting goals themselves. After all, you would not get someone to teach you to drive if they could not drive themselves would you.
There is a skill to setting goals and also a bit of an art. This comes with experience and suitable guidance or training. Don’t let your trainers out there if they haven’t had some specific training in goal setting as they could get it wrong which would have disastrous consequences for your customers. If used correctly by trained personnel then goal setting is a powerful tool that will help your retention at your club.