The undisputed king of marketing is word of mouth. You can spend thousands on digital advertising and create some incredible content, but it likely can’t compare to a referral from a friend. And that’s exactly what happens when you create an unforgettable member experience in your gym community.
Ideally, your customer’s journey at your fitness business is a long and happy one. It starts when they first reach out for information. And if all goes well, it continues for years, as they support your business and love your brand.
The great news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated! You can create the ultimate member experience simply by designing each step intentionally. Here are five areas to manage their journey, driving gym revenue and retention numbers along the way.
Five Steps for the Ultimate Member Experience:
1. Define Your Niche.
Whether you’re just opening a gym or you’ve been in business for years, it’s never a bad time to take a step back and define your niche. This is how you’ll determine who your target customer is and how to serve them best.
From the very start, having a clearly-defined niche will go a long way in generating quality leads. For example, let’s say your gym caters to working adults in their 40s. Your members just want to be healthier and pain-free.
So if your marketing yields a bunch of 20-year-old, competitive athletes, there’s confusion. Would you turn them away? Probably not. But they don’t fit the target audience. In other words, if your messaging doesn’t speak to your niche, you may end up with less-qualified leads.
2. Create the Best First Impression.
The Golden Rule is a great starting point for the ultimate member experience. Think about how you want people to feel when they come to your gym for the first time.
Whether it’s for a free intro or trial class, your sales staff and coaches should all be on the same page with your gym’s mission and vision. Here are some things to consider:
Appearance is Everything.
As you know, appearance can be an integral part of a first impression. From apparel to posture, the way you and your team look says a lot to prospective members.
Think about the first impression your staff is making. Is there a dress code? How is your gym brand represented? Do coaches have “Coach” on their shirts to distinguish them from members in class?
The term “dress for success” doesn’t only apply in the corporate world with a team of employees in business casual attire. Setting parameters around your appearance can go a long way in showing professionalism and intention.
Body Language is Important.
Body language is the subtle indicator as to how you’re feeling about the situation you’re in. Without saying a word, you can show a prospect that you’re ready to help or that you simply don’t care. That’s why it’s imperative to pay aware of the vibe you’re giving off.
Just a few simple dos and don’ts from body language experts: Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. Do make eye contact to show that you’re paying attention. Don’t look at your phone or watch, indicating that other things are more important. And do sit up straight. Confidence shows your prospective members that you’re ready to help them achieve their goals.
Your body language can make your guest feel more comfortable in asking questions and opening up in conversation. Ultimately, this will make for a great first impression and set the stage for unforgettable member experience.
Make Them Feel Safe and Welcome.
Walking into a new gym for the first time can be intimidating. There are several things you can do to help to ease that feeling.
First, focus your gym marketing content on showing people what they can expect, and casually use the word “safe” as an assurance. Second, make the conversation about them, not you. Once people have taken the first step and come through your doors, your goal is to provide solutions to their problems.
Instead of talking about your equipment and schedule, ask them about their goals, challenges, background and more. This will make them feel welcome, opening the door for you to prescribe the services that will help them most.
3. Guide them Through the First 100 Days of an Unforgettable Member Experience.
The first 100 days are crucial to the ultimate gym member experience. They’ll require lots of hand holding as they they learn about your gym. And it will take time to get to know the community, the vibe and the culture. Ultimately, this is a time where they’ll be deciding if this is the place they want to stay long term.
Part of your ability to effectively manage this time period for them goes back to determining your niche. By knowing who your target customer is - and the problems they’re looking to solve - you can serve them well.
As one gym owner trying to manage multiple new-member journeys at the same time, using automation is an effective strategy. Use a CRM like PushPress Grow to automate texts and emails that guide members through the first 100 days. That way, you can educate, inform and entertain clients consistently, and no one slips through the cracks.
Pro Tip: Want to find out more about how PushPress Grow can save you time and automate the ultimate member experience? Book a demo with our team today!
4. Offer the Products and Services Your Members Want.
One of the greatest differentiators between your gym and the “big box gym” options out there is your ability to provide the customized solutions your customers need. When you express genuine interest in their goals, listen to their stories and give them your attention, you’ve created an entirely different experience.
First, hiring coaches that can guide members is a game-changer for results. When your team of coaches truly cares about your gym community, great things happen.
Second, consider offering options beyond the typical group class format. High-ticket gym services can drive both revenue and retention in your gym. These are things like personal training and nutrition coaching.
When it comes to client results, personal training will likely get people to their goals faster than group classes. With that in mind, there are two options for gym’s to explore with personal training: A fundamentals program or an add-on to group classes.
As a one-time, introductory package, PT is an effective way to prepare clients for group classes. This is especially true for those who are brand new to working out.
The other option is a hybrid gym membership, where members do a mix of group classes and PT sessions. Hybrids are set up as recurring billing, so they offer a tremendous, longer-term revenue opportunity.
5. Drive Retention with Celebrations and Fun.
The majority of members joined your gym because they’re looking for some kind of health-related help. But most likely, the reason they stay is because you provide an encouraging, fun gym culture.
For some, exercise can feel like a chore or an obligation. If you can flip the script, you can set yourself apart from the competition.
Start by celebrating milestones. Reward members for achieving a certain number of gym member check-ins or recognize new PRs.
Next, gym challenges are a great way to connect members and give them new fitness targets. Whether inside or outside the gym, you’re only limited by your creativity and imagination.
A few suggestions to help you get started:
And finally, remember that the team that has fun together, stays together. Be sure to have fun with your team of CrossFit coaches!
In Summary: The Ultimate Member Experience Made Simple.
There are numerous benefits to creating an unforgettable member experience in your gym. Not only will you increase revenue and retention, but you’ll drive word-of-mouth promotion and referrals.
Utilize these five steps to manage the customer journey for the long term. Start by defining your niche. Then create the best first impression. Next, guide your members through the first 100 days, offering the products and services they want. And finally, drive retention with celebrations and fun.