How to Grow and Retain Customers Using Marketing Surveys

Did you know it is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new member than it is to retain a current one?
And that increasing your retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by up to 95%?

Client retention is a key contributor to business success, as it reduces costs and drives revenue. After all, without your clients, you wouldn’t have a business. Research shows that client engagement plays a significant role in contributing to client retention.

So how can you engage your clients in a way that improves retention?

One way to gain powerful insights from your clients is to use marketing surveys.


What is a marketing survey?


A marketing survey enables you to gather focused insights from large groups of people. For sports and fitness businesses, marketing surveys are a simple way to collect feedback from your clients. How do they feel about your new class offering? What prompted them to check out your facility? Why did they cancel their membership?

A marketing survey should include specific questions that generate the types of information you want to receive. Put simply, if you want to know what your clients think about your new small group training, ask them.

But why put together a marketing survey when you can just talk to your members? While one-on-one conversations are incredibly valuable, a marketing survey allows you to collect large amounts of data. This helps you identify the larger trends that will guide your fitness or sports business marketing decisions.

What benefits can marketing surveys provide sports and fitness businesses?

There are many benefits of marketing surveys for sports and fitness businesses, depending on your survey goals.

  1. Member knowledge: Marketing surveys can give insights into your target demographic’s behaviors, giving you greater awareness of their needs. Whether you are targeting prospective clients or long-time customers, sports marketing surveys help you make adjustments that will improve their experience, ultimately supporting client retention.
  2. Competitive advantage: The sports and fitness industry is extremely competitive, with new studios popping up every day. How are you going to stand out from the crowd? Sports business marketing is all about showcasing your unique selling points, and marketing surveys are an opportune way to source that information. Not only will it help you market to new prospects, but it will also encourage your current clients to stick around.
  3. Business growth: Not only can marketing surveys help you understand your current or prospective customers, but they can also help you understand churned ones. By surveying members that cancel their memberships, you can uncover the reasoning why they left and make adjustments to tackle those problems. This will prevent future customers from churning for the same reason, and may also encourage cancelled customers to return to your business.



The foundational types of marketing surveys


As mentioned, marketing surveys can serve a number of purposes: from gauging overall customer satisfaction to getting feedback on a specific offering. What type of marketing survey should you use? Well, it depends on your survey goal.

New Member Marketing Survey

New member surveys are distributed to, you guessed it, new members. Through this survey, you can collect information about their decision to join, their expectations, and their previous experiences. This information will help you gain a better understanding of the clients you are attracting to your business as well as how to meet their expectations.

Additionally, when it comes to fitness and sports business marketing, new member surveys help you determine where most of your traffic is coming from: Are customers finding you via social media? Are they being referred to your business by other members? Once you have these answers, you will be able to make informed decisions about your marketing efforts that continue to encourage this behavior.

Customer Satisfaction Marketing Survey

Positive or negative, your customers are an extension of your brand. In fact, research has found that 13% of sales are driven by word of mouth. So, how can you ensure your customers feel valued and satisfied at your sports and fitness facility?

Regular customer satisfaction surveys can be used to better understand your customers’ experiences, as well as determine areas that can be improved. By monitoring customer satisfaction, you may be able to pick up on small issues that may have been overlooked, and be able to make improvements that increase satisfaction and reduce churn.

Class/Trainer Marketing Survey

You wouldn’t start offering a new class unless you knew it was a good fit, right? Well, lucky for you, you can leverage sports business marketing surveys to generate feedback on a specific class or offering. By surveying participating clients, you can gain a better understanding of their experience in order to continually improve and tailor your offerings to fit their needs.

Likewise, you can also gauge the success and impression of your staff members by asking your clients to provide feedback as it relates to the instructor of a class or lesson. By using marketing surveys to keep a pulse on your staff and your offerings, you will again be able to provide a premium client experience.

Membership Cancellation Marketing Survey

If you are struggling with client retention, you must figure out why your clients are choosing to leave. Using a membership cancellation questionnaire will help you to uncover any issues and determine areas of improvement. Are you seeing any trends? What issues need to be addressed? How can you solve these problems to keep other members from churning?

How to craft strong questions for your sports marketing survey


Determine Your Goal

First, you must determine how you will use the information you collect. How are you planning to use the responses that you collect?

If you are looking for testimonials to add to your website, you should ask open ended questions. If you are looking for your clients to rate your experience, you may consider using a scale (i.e. 1-10). Similarly, you should consider how you will use this data long term. If you are looking to track customer satisfaction over time, you’ll want to make sure that you ask the same survey questions each year, so you can accurately gauge progress over time.

Related: 4 Ways to Deliver Happiness to Your Customers Without Spending Money

Pay Attention to Details

When you are designing your survey questions, you should also be careful in your wording to ensure you receive accurate and objective responses. Be extremely clear in your verbiage, and avoid using leading phrases that lead people toward specific responses. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid industry-specific jargon that your clients may not understand. If your questions are difficult to understand, your clients won’t finish the survey, and you won’t have a complete data set and feedback.

Keep it Simple

Keeping the quantity of questions low is very important when developing your survey. Having too many questions can be both overwhelming and time consuming. Marketing survey completion rates drop significantly if they exceed the 5 minute range, so aim to keep your survey as short as possible. Remember that the more simple your survey is, the more likely your clients will complete it.

Order Matters

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just kept bouncing around from idea to idea without a logical conversational flow? It’s extremely hard to follow, right?

When assembling your survey, pay attention to the order of your questions, structuring them in a way that logically flows from one idea to the next. A good rule of thumb is to start with your most generic questions first, followed by more specific questions. This will help you frame the context of the survey for your respondents, priming your target demographic to be able to answer the more specific questions.



If you are struggling with client retention, you are not alone. But as we outlined, there are ways to collect data to help you improve this statistic.

Related:  3 Client Retention Tips for Sports and Fitness Businesses

Implementing fitness and sports marketing surveys into your client communications can greatly improve your client retention. From gaining new member insights to uncovering reasons for churned clients, you will be able to gain stronger insights into your business that inform smarter decision making.

See why studios, gyms, and academies trust Upper Hand to deliver a premium client experience. Get a demo today.

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