Kristen Green, the executive general manager of Aquafit in Australia, shares the importance of rebuilding trust in gyms in 2021.
Wherever you are in the world, the one thing all fitness businesses have in common is COVID-19 has impacted, perhaps irreversibly, the way we do business. For most, membership numbers are far from pre-COVID levels with cancelations and freezes at unprecedented high levels. With this comes challenges to rebuild trust, rebuild the business and manage the expectations of members who have returned to a different way of doing business.
With New Year resolutions traditionally being the driver for an increase in new memberships for fitness businesses each year, January 2021 will look and feel very different. COVID-19 has challenged the traditional idea of where our sales and marketing focus will be.
Our greatest challenge will be overcoming the common misconception that gyms are “high risk.” In 2021 our sales and marketing message needs to focus on rebuilding trust with the community so they know gyms are safe.
As many cautiously consider returning to their gym or joining one, the key message that needs to resonate is gyms are hygienic, sanitized and safe. This can be done by:
- Tailoring social media content to consistently and regularly deliver the message of high standards of sanitization and hygiene.
- Use videos on social media and websites, showing a facility “walk through” with the initiatives implemented to provide staff and member safety.
- Gather member testimonials to use in advertising, highlighting how safe they feel in the gym environment.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has also seen greater price sensitivity for consumers. In these challenging times, the more attractive your sign-up offer is, the greater the appeal financially. Consider offering a reduced membership initiation fee or value add at the point of sale.
It’s time to “double down” on customer service and reward their commitment and loyalty to you. Never underestimate the power of connection — keeping them engaged and leveraging their loyalty through referral campaigns.