As a business, it’s important to develop a relationship with your customers. However, according to Michael R. Solomon in his book “Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being,” the type of relationships people have with businesses varies.
According to Solomon, here are different types of relationships a person could have with a product or service:
Self-concept attachment: “The product helps to establish the user’s identity.”
Nostalgic attachment: “The product serves as a link with a past self.”
Interdependence: “The product is a part of the user’s daily routine.”
Love: “The product elicits emotional bonds of warmth, passion or other strong emotion.”
As a health club, you should strive to foster the last two relationship types: Interdependence and Love. Here are a couple strategies for cultivating both.
To foster this type of relationship with members, your onboarding process is crucial.
According to Precor, “A well-designed and thoughtfully executed onboarding process will enhance member experience and maximize retention … The first four weeks are the most crucial in the membership lifecycle, and gym operators should have an onboarding process to generate a high number of visits within that period, as well as the weeks following.”
With this in mind, review your onboarding process. Are you incentivizing members to come frequently within the first 90 days? Are you checking in on new members often? If not, your chances of becoming a part of their daily routine diminishes greatly — lowering the chances of creating a relationship of interdependence.
According to The Muse, there are six strategies companies can use to get people to fall in love with their brands:
- Provide awesome customer service
- Boast high-end design (logo, branding, website)
- Create brilliant content
- Stir up emotions
- Under promise and over deliver
- Encourage feedback and listen
Scott Dockweiller writes for The Muse, “In order to gain customers — and keep them for life — you’ve got to do more than introduce them to your brand, business or product. You’ve got to make them fall in love with it.”
So, what type of relationship does your gym have with its customers?