9 Ways to Turn a One-Time Client into a Regular

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As a sports business owner, you know that acquiring new athletes is only half the battle. The key to success lies in your ability to retain your customers, and ultimately turn them into brand advocates. So, how can you turn your athletes into loyal, repeat customers? Here are 9 ways you can turn a one-time client into a repeat, loyal one.    

1. Make it easy to buy your offerings

One simple way to elevate your athlete experience is to make your scheduling and payment process seamless. Not only does a poor scheduling and booking experience create headaches for you, but it also makes it easy for clients to take their business elsewhere. On the contrary, a simple and easy booking process will keep your athletes coming back for more. In fact, research shows that 80% of customers prioritize speed and convenience when it comes to making a purchase. So, it’s essential to prioritize a top notch client scheduling experience when choosing a sports management platform. P.S. In today’s digital world, a mobile app will empower clients to book and pay from wherever the day takes them. Check out Upper Hand’s client and admin-facing mobile app!  

2. Offer flexible payment options

In addition to streamlining the scheduling and checkout process, it’s also imperative that you offer flexibility in collecting payments. Accepting multiple forms of payment enables clients to purchase programs in a way that is convenient for them. This builds trust amongst your clients thus encouraging repeat business and a loyal client base. Another way to use pricing to your advantage and encourage repeat business is through creating tiered event pricing and discounted packages that encourage athletes to “buy more, save more,” which we will discuss later!  

3. Know when (and what) to cross-sell and upsell

Let’s say you host a small group clinic, and you notice that one of your athletes could really benefit from some additional one on one training. This is a great opportunity for you to sell them a private lesson. Similarly, if an athlete is coming in almost every week, encourage them to purchase an auto-recurring membership that offers them 4 credits per month towards private lessons. Not only does this encourage athletes to return to your business on multiple occasions, but it also helps athletes feel understood when it comes to recommending additional services or offerings that fit their unique needs.  

4. Offer packages to encourage multi-session purchases

Offering different training packages can be a powerful way to encourage one-time clients to become regulars. As mentioned above, bundling sessions together in a way that fits your athletes’ needs is a great way to engage them more frequently. By introducing packages that allow clients to “buy more, save more,” clients are more likely to commit to a longer-term training plan. For example, if you charge $50 for a private lesson, consider offering a 4-pack of lessons for $175. This breaks down to about $44 per lesson. Athletes will be incentivized to purchase the package that fits their goals and budget. And, the perceived value of purchasing a package can also provide clients with a sense of continuity and a clear roadmap for their training journey.  

5. Offer auto-recurring memberships

If you already offer packages, you may also consider implementing auto-renewing memberships to encourage athletes to invest more deeply in your business. Creating a few different membership tiers empower your clients to commit to your business monthly in exchange for a variety of benefits that cater to their needs. By making your memberships a sort of “VIP” experience, this also incentivizes clients to upgrade for a more comprehensive experience with your business. As clients commit to a membership, they can see a clear path for long-term engagement and growth.   Related: Best Practices for Running Memberships  

6. Create personalized training plans to track athlete progress

Setting your athletes up for success with customized training plans and tracking their progression over time is another way to retain clients. When an athlete comes in for their first session, you might conduct an initial assessment, or talk through an athlete’s goals for the session. From there, develop a plan of action to help your athletes achieve the goals you’ve discussed. The benefits of athlete progression tracking are twofold. First, it helps you showcase the value of your offerings to help athletes gain an understanding of how their hard work is leading to improvement. And, it helps athletes stay motivated to stay consistent in their training. As a result, you’ll see more consistency in athletes booking appointments, thus leading to more consistent revenue.  

7. Consistently communicate with your database

Regular, consistent communication with the athletes in your contact database will help to keep them engaged. Share news of upcoming events, newly launched programs, or exciting company updates. Keeping clients in the loop and continuing to market to them will help you to recapture their attention and business. P.S. In Upper Hand, you have the ability to send marketing emails to your contact database to share your programs with athletes who may be a good fit!

8. Treat your athletes like legends

Making your clients feel special is a surefire way to improve retention rates and bring athletes back. Something as simple as wishing them a happy birthday or good luck at their next game or competition can go a long way. Celebrating your clients and taking an interest in their lives shows that you care about them beyond just as a transaction. With Upper Hand’s birthday indicator, you can easily see when it’s a client’s birthday, making it even easier for you to stay on top of these milestones! Take action by creating a customer birthday campaign – something that can be done in just a few minutes!  

9. Regularly collect feedback

Regularly seeking feedback from your clients is another valuable way to cultivate a strong relationship and improve retention rates. Periodically (but consistently) check in with your clients through marketing surveys to get their insights and feedback on how you can improve and what parts of your business they find most valuable. This will help you foster a sense of partnership, and makes clients feel more invested in their training journey. Addressing any concerns and implementing client feedback will increase the likelihood of retaining clients as well as improve your business operations. Related: Download FREE marketing survey templates here!   

What’s next

Turning a one-time client into a repeat consumer of your business is no easy feat. It will take time and effort to elevate your client experience in a way that keeps athletes coming back. But, implementing these strategies will help you to engage with your athletes and parents regularly, and empower them to associate with your brand.
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