To ensure people think of your programs first, consider the strength of the following:
1. Exceptional customer experiences beyond the sale. Group fitness is the place in the club where you can create an immediate first and lasting impression. Customer service, while important during the sales process, is monumental after the sale. A new member’s interaction with both staff and members is crucial in creating positive relationships, and group fitness is the fastest — and quite honestly the easiest way — to create relationships.
Camaraderie, positive coaching and “magical moments” exist in group fitness, not only between the instructor and the members, but between members. Members quit clubs every day, but they rarely quit their friends. The best thing you can do as a program director is ensure that your members get to know each other. The instructor is of course priceless in this relationship.
2. Collect and share member stories. While benefits of fitness tell people why they should exercise, member stories sell. Members also want to know, like and trust you, so share your story that speaks to why you are in business, or why you are offering this particular class or program. GoodLife Fitness in Canada is one the only fitness companies in the world that has its own children’s charity that assists with fitness education in schools. Associating your business with a community cause has helped to build the brand.
3. Work to keep your name front of mind. You need to get in front of your customers and community consistently. A great example of this is with Les Mills, which recently announced they have teamed up with AIC Hotel Group to bring “music-inspired fitness” to all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels. AIC Hotel Group is reinventing their brand as the “ultimate all-inclusive hotel experience,” and by partnering with global fitness leader Les Mills, they can serve the increasing needs of travelers to be able to engage in wellness while traveling. This is a fabulous way to stay within sight of your customer.
Mo Hagan is the vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.