Sometimes you might feel as if all your members want is a place to come exercise without being bothered. Sometimes this is the case, but more often than not in our socially connected lives, we want to know what’s happening.
Providing your members with information and keeping them updated on all things related to your club, not only keeps them in the loop, it’s also a way to build value in your membership. Helping your members develop a dependence on the gym for relevant education is important, as is a sense of community within the facility.
There are several methods I recommend for communicating with your members:
- Large bulletin/announcement board
- Wall of Fame/Testimonials
- E-mail communication
- Printed newsletter
- Intercom announcements
- Classroom announcements
- Snail Mail
Just as important, we need to determine what information is deemed important enough to share. The reality is that everything is fair game. I’d start with events at the facility or things you’ll be involved in locally. Announce sponsorships, tell people to be on the lookout for your advertising to get feedback, update your members on maintenance schedules or club enhancements, or perhaps that new piece of equipment you’ve purchased.
Make sure your club policies and rules are easy to find and understand. Be sure to post class schedules, have billing procedures or account management guidelines easily accessible, and if members are breaking rules, be sure the rules are posted where they’ll notice them.
Next, you can recognize members’ achievements. Since most of your members will have fitness goals when they join or become a client, what better way to motivate them than congratulating and rewarding their success! I’m convinced that people are crazy enough to do a marathon just so they can brag about finishing a marathon. It’s not always about optimal health. People have different motivations for being at your club and recognition for their efforts goes a long way.
Keep in mind that your communications don’t even have to be related to the gym or to fitness. If someone gets married, has a birthday, an anniversary or gets a promotion; that’s exciting news worthy of reporting. Remember, people love being recognized even for the not so common achievements, so tell a member’s wild story in the newsletter or share an experience: “Joe Goes Sky Diving, says once is enough.”
People love human-interest stories, gossip pieces, human achievements, etc. Share the information so everyone can enjoy learning about fellow members.
Regular communication can even help reduce labor costs. Members always seem to ask the same questions. When you notice a trend of frequently asked questions, we can inform them even before they feel the urge to ask one of your staff members. The more FAQ’s we uncover, the less time we spend answering the same questions and explaining the same procedures to members, new and existing.
Not that you should ever mind helping out a member, but it sure helps if we can focus on improving the facility or doing work that builds the business rather than walking someone through the aerobics schedule for the 10th time. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Keep your members happy, informed, recognized and rewarded and they will usually appreciate all you do, and return the favor by way of retention.
Curtis Mock is the host of www.FitnessBusinessTelevision.com the TV show for fitness entrepreneurs. He is also the executive director of gymsuccess.com. Curtis can be reached at email@example.com.