A whopping 66 percent of people that have gym memberships in the United States may never use them, according to www.statisticbrain.com. This staggering number is just one of the many uphill battles that gym owners face each day —member retention.
Building the right foundation to keep gym members walking through your doors rather than out of them starts with hiring the right trainer that builds community spirit and energy.
It goes without saying health clubs and studios should always hire trainers that put the members first and getting in their workout second.
However, the larger and more overlooked criteria should be the ability to establish a community feel. Or at a minimum, be willing to adopt or adapt to your gym’s culture.
It’s important for studios and clubs to create a sense of community. When that happens, members will begin to attend classes with a friend or even in packs.
More telling is that today’s gym members like to workout with a buddy or friend.
Which means that you can even double or triple your class size if you lay the right foundation. Whether you currently have a culture or community plan or need to create one, it all needs to start with how your club or gym greets people. Or what trainers like to call, The Cheers Approach — where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.
Greeting each participant when they arrive creates an immediate concierge level of service with minimal effort that goes a long way, according to gym trainers.
Other personal touches to engage class participants include: making sure that everyone has a towel and water, and shout-outs during class such as birthdays and participants’ goals.
Instructors should also foster a team environment by encouraging those in your class to simply say hello to each other. Or better yet, high fives speak volumes and make participants feel successful.
Set off the Kumbaya vibe by remembering that each member is working toward the same goals — better health, better life and the camaraderie of reaching those goals together. This is especially important for newcomers to the gym and established members in your class.
Lastly, approach your culture and community plan the same way you would treat a triathlon or training plan. Your plan-of-attack should include how you greet members before your class starts, during and after. Remember, it’s a marathon — not a sprint.
Angela Walker joined the ASF marketing team following a relocation to the Denver area from Silicon Valley after working on the News Feed at Facebook, Inc. and eBay. Walker brings over 14 years of writing experience coupled with a knowledge of the tech industry and social media. When she is not knuckle-deep in tweets or timelines, you can find her in the mountains with her family and her precocious pups, Martini and JJ. For more information on ASF Payment Solutions, visit https://www.asfpaymentsolutions.com/