Written by James Charles.
Utilise your club’s raving fans to support new starters into regular group exercise.
For many the thought of attending their first group exercise class at a new club, maybe even their first group exercise class ever, sends shivers down the spine. Whilst they might really want to attend your weekly BODYPUMP™ session, 58% of members say they are highly motivated by the social aspect of attending their club, they can’t quite get over the anxieties they have about walking into that studio in front of a group of gym bunnies for the first time, not knowing what they are supposed to be doing (or at least feeling that way!)
But, with regular group exercise attendance shown to decrease the chances of cancellation by 26%, it really is in your best interest to bridge the gap for them and facilitate a group exercise habit which will hopefully last for years to come.
Harness Your Raving Fans
One of the ways you could do this is by harnessing the power of the raving fans of your club. The idea is your group exercise fanatics – we’re talking the ones that would walk over hot coals to make the session, are first waiting outside the door every week, know everyone in their class and can’t stop singing the praises of your club – provide that bridge by accompanying new starters to their first class and introducing them to the instructor, equipment, setup and rest of the ‘team’; significantly reducing those anxieties they had before.
Recruiting Your Raving Fans
First, you’ll need to identify your group exercise raving fans. The easiest way of doing this is using your NPS® customer feedback system, searching for Promoters who have made positive comments about your group exercise offering. Sharing your findings with your instructors, they can then chat through with these members at the end of their next class to see if they’d be willing to help. You can then mark this in your leisure management system so you know who to reach out to when a new starter needs guidance.
Letting New Members Know
You’ll need to make sure every new member knows that this opportunity is available to them. Be sure to highlight it when showing them around your studios and explaining your group exercise schedule. If you can get them to sign up to a class straight away that is great, the induction is your golden opportunity to get members off to a start which will lead to a long and fruitful relationship with your club so the more involved in your club community you can get them the better. Your ultimate goal should be to turn them into raving fans too, group exercise fanatics who can help out future new joiners who are in the same position they were when they started.
Ask For Feedback
Close the loop by checking in with members a week or two after their first session. Ask them how they got on, how many sessions they have attended since then and how their ‘raving fan’ helped them – based on their experience, would they recommend your club to a friend? Talk to the ‘raving fan’ too – make sure they know they are valued and thank them for helping you out, you do not want to take them for granted. Find out if there is anything else you can do to help them with their new role or improve the experience they have when visiting your club. These are some of your most engaged members, treat them as such and embrace the opportunity to listen to what they have to say.