The Buzz: Maximizing Member Value
Each month we ask club customers and managers of others fitness facilities what are the burning issues, the questions on their minds:
QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
Q: “How do I help retain members by focusing on and promoting real membership value?”
A: Let members know you hear them and incorporate their new needs into your memberships.
The fitness landscape may have changed in the past year or so (but when does it not?) – and that includes what members think membership means and should include. In a time of year when many clubs would plan for a surge of memberships in January, today it’s just as important to focus on, retaining and delighting current members. Four things to focus on include:
1. Pandemic conveniences shouldn’t go away – we hear the same thing from club operators across the country. Many of the conveniences that were implemented out of necessity should stay as crowd pleasers. That means app-based and online class sign-ups for busy classes and popular instructors. Same for specialty services bookings, roof top pool reservations and spa treatments – make it easy and one click to book everything without face to face time or a tedious phone call.
2. Members engage three ways – make the way members work out equally resourced and equally promoted. Members may not be accessing on-demand or streaming club content at home because they necessarily have to, it’s just become a highly valued, flexible and convenient part of their interaction with your club. Same goes for on-demand classes, workout and specialty technique content. Accessing this online should be as easy as walking into a studio with an instructor, so look to promote your digital offerings across app, website and most highly trafficked social channels.
3. Highlight the human touch – members come to their clubs for many reasons but surely top of that list is connection, with fellow members, classmates and your club staff. With the advent and boom of more advanced tech offerings, make sure front desk staff use member first names and that they interact and engage beyond the transactional. So arriving at the gym for a member can become just as much about a two minute chat with familiar front desk faces as it is about getting to class quickly.
4. Build community socially – if you’re promoting club challenges, upcoming events or special offers with in-club signage, spotlight the same services across all social channels. Create a Facebook group for members signed up for the club triathlon, solicit member photos of before and “afters” from weight loss or workout challenges, or any other number of creative touchpoints throughout the year. If members are looking for value it’s about the 360 experience, online access, social community and a sense of belonging whether virtual or IRL.