In the ever-growing health and wellness space, it’s essential to have a client retention strategy in place for your business. Client retention refers to a business’s ability to retain existing clients and can be represented by the number of repeat purchases.
High client retention rates ultimately come down to a really great client experience, and the ability for your clients to continually engage with your offerings as they personally grow and change.
Many practitioners tend to focus more on attracting new clients, however, focusing your efforts on current client retention provides many benefits. It not only positively impacts the client experience but also your business growth. Did you know that retaining a client actually costs less than acquiring a new one? Experts say that it costs anywhere from 5-25x as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one (check out this article from Harvard Business Review which dives into the value of keeping the right customer).
A repeat client typically leads to a positive client experience, because working together on more of a long-term basis leads to more opportunities for positive outcomes and results for your client. When your client has purchased multiple offerings from you, it also builds loyalty and they are more likely to send you referrals. As a health and wellness practitioner, this is important because word of mouth is the most powerful (and free!) form of marketing for your business.
So how can you start to encourage repeat clients and build your client retention? Let’s take a look at 6 strategies that can help you make a greater impact with your clients while also allowing you to scale your practice.
1. Set Client Expectations Upfront
When you first start working together, it’s important to set expectations with your client. This will ensure they know exactly what to expect when deciding to work with you, which will increase the chances that you are the right fit for one another. When you and your client are in alignment with one another, there will be more longevity in your relationship and they will be more likely to continue working with you.
Setting expectations can be as simple as telling your client upfront that you will deliver their protocol within 1 week of their session, or that a daily journal entry is required for you to properly support them.
Being clear on this type of expectation from each other upfront ensures you’re both on the same page and can mitigate any client confusion or frustration.
2. Bundle Your Services
Consider bundling your services in a package instead of offering one-off sessions. When your client commits to a package upfront, they are committing to working with you for a longer period of time and are likely more invested in the process. Selling packages is not only great for your client because they get more ongoing support, but is great for your business as it more easily allows you to scale.
Even once you’ve sold your client a package, ensure that you always have your next follow up session booked in to mitigate drop-off. You could have your client book all of the sessions from their package in advance or consistently book the next one before you leave each session.
To entice your clients to book multiple services at once, you could consider offering a discount on larger packages (ex. 10% off a bundle of 10 sessions, or 15% off a bundle of 15).
3. Create a Maintenance Program
A maintenance program can offer your existing clients a flexible (and lower cost) option for working together long-term. It works well for clients who have already completed a package or program with you, and don’t need as much high-level support going forward. Your maintenance program can include whichever level of support you think your client requires. A few ideas are:
- A secure messaging platform for ongoing coaching
- Journals and journal reviews to continue to track their progress
- A bi-monthly or quarterly coaching session
4. Break Up Your Content Into Smaller Offerings
Consider breaking up your larger offerings into sections that can be purchased individually. For example, if you have an online program or course, you could divide it into micro-courses. This will allow clients to get started with you at a lower price point, and they can work through the additional micro-courses as they have the time and resources to do so.
It’s key to have these offerings build on one-another so there is a natural succession in the content. This will motivate your client to purchase additional courses as they’ll naturally want to learn more.
5. Offer Referral Credits/Sessions
Offering bonuses such as referral credits is another way to keep your client motivated and incentivized to continue working together. Each time your existing client makes a successful referral, you could provide them with a percentage or dollar amount off their next session, or even offer them a free session altogether. Utilize coupon codes in Practice Better to provide your clients with these discounts.
6. Check In Regularly
Keeping connected with your clients is one of the most important ways to retain them. When you are checking in regularly, you will remain top of mind and this can help to build on your relationship and develop loyalty.
To easily check which clients haven’t booked a session recently, utilize Practice Better’s Session Recall Report. You could then use our Tags feature to categorize and send out a targeted message to these clients.
Ensure that your check-in messages have a call to action. You may directly invite them to book another session or could consider something more indirect such as asking them for their input or feedback on an upcoming offering (perhaps a new program or challenge). This makes your client feel involved and they are more likely to buy into what you have to offer.
Once you start implementing some of these client retention strategies, how will you know if they’re working?
You will likely get a sense if these strategies are working when you start to see more repeat clients, however, we suggest calculating your customer retention rate (check out this Shopify article for the simple calculation) for a data-driven approach.
As we’ve shared above, there are opportunities for retention throughout the whole client journey. It’s important to build client retention into your business and goal planning to ensure you have time set aside to get strategic with these initiatives. The effort in setting up a few client retention strategies will most definitely be worth it not only to your client’s experience but also to your ability to scale your practice.
Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.