The options for communication in today’s world are plentiful. Avoid contact confusion! Sort your way through the options and how to know what’s best for you and your clients by considering the following…
What’s your contact preference?
Before you begin polling your clients, decide what way you like to communicate outside of the gym. Text, phone call, email? If you’re open to all, then make sure you’re committed to checking them regularly. Otherwise choose one and let your clients know what that is.
Because technology makes us so easily available, some people expect around the clock access. Be clear in your availability to clients up front.
- Are you available 24/7?
- What’s your response time? 1 hour? 5 hours? 12 hours?
What’s their contact preference?
You can add a section to your intake form for a client to indicate their preferred method of contact or you can simply ask them. Some people will surprise you. Others might not have a preference.
When a client doesn’t have a preference, a good way to go is call them first. When I return from a vacation I call each client to remind them of our next appointment. People are often appreciative of the personal touch. A phone call takes more time and can convey a certain significance. It’s sort of like sending a hand written letter by snail mail instead of email. You can send a follow-up text or email as back-up.
Pros and cons: 4 contact methods to consider
Pros: Quick and easy. Great for short messages like appointment reminders.
Cons: People get interrupted by them and don’t have time to respond in that moment, sometimes forgetting to reply.
Considerations: Keep it short, use an email if it’s getting beyond 5-10 words.
Pros: Appropriate for longer messages, to share an interesting article or send updates.
Cons: People’s inboxes are full. They might flag the message to read later and never get to it.
Considerations: Since emails get lost, a follow-up text or phone call to ask if they receive it works well. You can also ask them to reply when they’ve read it.
Pros: A phone call comes off as caring.
Cons: Some people don’t like to talk on the phone and actively avoid it. Others don’t check voicemail often.
Considerations: Call first and then follow up with a text or email. You’ll show you care but also cover yourself and get the message across.
Pros: Facebook messenger is a growing trend for staying in touch.
Cons: Some people don’t know how to use it.Considerations: There is a lot of other noise happening on social sites.
As you can see the best way to contact fitness clients can be complicated even though it’s more convenient. Either way, it’s crucial!
What’s your preferred method of contact? Share with us in the comments!