Written by Julie Allen
A question you’d be used to hearing if you were receiving PT or attended group exercise – yet a question you will rarely hear on the gym floor.
So, the first class I attended was (naturally for me!) group cycling – I arrived early and instantly felt welcomed and part of the team as the instructor moved around the studio chatting with participants. I explained I had just joined and was keen to observe.
By the end of the session I felt awesome! And then came something that I hadn’t heard said to me for some time… something said with such sincerity… “Have you booked in for next week’s class or will I see you before then?” I immediately felt the need to book to secure my space in the next class and a commitment to the instructor that should I not keep, I knew I would feel guilty about! It was at that moment that I truly felt I had joined my new club, I was part of something and I would be missed if I wasn’t there. Something as simple as showing interest in when I would next be in had that effect.
So, why is it our health & fitness teams more often than not avoid asking members that vital question? Especially when research shows increased visit frequency results in increased length of membership!
Here are my top 3 tips you can pass on to your team to help them effectively engage with your members:
1. Give them a reason to return – one of the most exciting aspects of working within the health & fitness industry is the continued learning; there is always something new which you can pass on to your members. Share your enthusiasm and knowledge – show a member some new exercises then give them the teaser… “When are you next in training?…I’ll show you more then….”
2. Book members into a class – Our research shows that members who engage in group exercise are 26% less likely to cancel. Don’t be afraid to take control, a member who walks away with a timetable and no class booked is a wasted opportunity. Talk to them about the classes available, what they are like and what they can help them achieve – show them your studio space and introduce them to your instructors – then take it one step further – book their place; after-all, why would they want to miss out on this opportunity? Especially if it is included in their membership!
3. When was the last time you reviewed the member’s exercise plan? Do they even have one? – Many of your members won’t be experts in health and fitness and they will soon become disinterested if they don’t know what they are doing and feel like they aren’t making any progress. It is your team’s role to provide motivation, inspiration and advice to these members, taking the stress out of exercise and creating an achievable attendance pattern which will also allow them to see results.
The most important thing is that, as with many other aspects of running a successful health and fitness club, you are tracking and learning from your member interactions.
As part of our TRP 10,000™ Research into member behaviour and retention, with Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon, we did just this – measuring the impact of different types of interactions on membership retention.
To discover what makes an effective interaction, download the report for free today!