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Article Archive In Print The Member Experience

Members Can Really Love Your Club

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While the importance of first impressions may sound like a cliché, it doesn’t make the concept any less true. Jacqueline Istre, 27, of Sutton Place New York, New York was shopping for a new gym to help her meet her fitness goals. She was looking for a nice gym with the amenities she was looking for, such as a sauna. After Googling clubs in her area, Club H turned out to be a great fit.

“I really love the gym,” she said. “It’s beautiful inside, and it has such a friendly atmosphere.”

Istre was overwhelmed and surprised by how friendly everyone she encountered on her first visit was. “You don’t get much of that in the city. It’s nice when people are genuinely hospitable like that.”

Her reasons for seeking out a gym were to get back into shape, drop two dress sizes and to feel good about herself and the way she looked. When she joined Club H, she mentioned an interest in training and kickboxing and got partnered with a fabulous trainer in Michael Colón.

“Based on my immediate results, [Club H] has already exceeded my expectations,” she said. Istre lost 5-6 pounds in her first month and can already tell the difference in her body.

Istre has made new friends during her short time at Club H, and she doesn’t see a reason she would stop training with Colón. Her workout consists of full-body circuit training with lightweights and high repetitions. Colón then sets her up in a boxing ring and goes through a kickboxing routine as well.

Her trainer has helped her modify her eating too. “I have modified the number of times a day I’m eating and portion size,” Istre said. “I never modified what I ate before. I’m writing down what I eat, I never wrote it down before.”

What’s surprising to know is that Istre commutes 45 minutes to workout at her Club H location. “I’m really happy with my gym. If you live here, there are gyms within walking distance. You don’t see that many people willing to drive, but the experience justifies the drive,” she said. Istre works out with Colón three times a week — that’s a lot of travel miles to put in weekly.

Before Club H, Istre worked out occasionally, maybe a jog here and there, but it was mostly a random schedule. She said there’s a gym in her building where she lives but described exercising there as boring. “Michael motivates me,” she said.

A few years ago, Istre belonged to a different club that was much closer in proximity and did not have the same enjoyable experience. The other club was not friendly in comparison to Club H and she never felt cared for as an individual. Eventually, she didn’t think the club was worth her money and she stopped going.

The New Year brings a rush of members into clubs who are determined to make this the year they focus on their health. Don’t miss the opportunity to impress them with your staff, your facility and its amenities.

Some questions to think about:

• Is your membership sales staff as friendly and energetic as they should be?

• Do your members feel well cared for as individuals?

• Would your members be willing to drive 45 minutes to workout at your club?

• Are you paying enough attention to new members making sure they have found a niche?

Club H had Istre won over almost the minute she stepped inside the club. The friendliness of the staff left a lasting impression on her. Make a new member’s first impression a great experience — someone who is seeking out help should be made to feel comfortable and welcomed.

Pay special attention to new members, but really everyone should be buzzing about how friendly your staff is. There’s no reason why they can’t be either. -CS

By Ali Cicerchi

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