The hospitality and fitness industries have a lot in common. In fact, there are a few things we can learn from the hospitality industry, detailed here:
Develop the member experience. Staying at a hotel is seen by the modern traveler as much more than just a room with a bed. Travelers want to spend more time exploring not only the area, but the property as well.
We can take a cue from this approach and be sure our club is innovative in its offerings. Remember: A potential member can get a treadmill anywhere, but if they can make friends, have their children cared for, go to social events and attend educational seminars at our clubs, this experience will differentiate us.
Be good to your loyal customers: For years, hotels have been honoring frequent guests with loyalty programs that offer not only discounts or free-room nights, but also on-site perks during their stay such as free breakfast.
In the fitness industry, we all cater to the new customer or member, yet we often forget the loyal one. At Newtown Athletic Club we established an ambassador program for those members we identify as our “raving fans.” We offer them club service perks on a rotating monthly basis, as well as special ambassador-only events to recognize and connect them to one another.
Make your message personal: Hotels pride themselves on collecting data from their customers and using it to bring them back for repeat business. We have even more access to our members’ data, birthdays, family members, interests and more if we are doing our job.
Our goal should be to personalize our messaging using this data. Social media can achieve this goal by featuring member profiles often, as well as email target marketing based on interests or activities.
In the end, we are in the fitness business, which provides excellence in programming — but innovative service will always be our claim to success.
Linda Mitchell is the director of public relations and community partners for Newtown Athletic Club. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.