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Blair’s POV: The 2021 Bounce Back and Creating Raving Fans


Each month Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM, sits down with Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine, for a frank discussion on the current state of the fitness industry.


How operators should be leading their employees:

  • This hasn’t changed since pre-COVID times, but McHaney think it’s more important now.
  • In a service environment, in order to achieve excellence, employees have to have freedom.
  • Employees should have freedom to customize experiences for each customer.
  • Customer experience can no longer be generic.
  • Empower employees. Give them trainings and the right tools to be successful.
  • Don’t script them.

Make your employees raving fans:

  • We ask fitness employees to do a lot for not a lot of money.
  • Pay will not motivate employees to help members have a great experience. Employees who have an affection for the club, what the club stands for, how the company behaves, etc. will work harder.
  • It makes a difference if your staff are raving fans.
  • Make sure your employees have really good training, tools and access to tools.
  • Be practical and intentional.
  • Prove you care about your customers.

Making your members raving fans:

  • Response to COVID-19.
    • Safety precautions and going beyond expectations.
    • Let your members know you are fighting for them through your state alliances, government relations, etc.
  • Give them a seat at the table. Listen to their feedback.

Top of mind thoughts:

  • GYMS Act.
  • Understand your congressional districts and try to get every cosponsor possible on this bill.
  • McHaney thinks a goal of getting 218 cosponsors is key.
  • Even if the bill doesn’t pass but gyms get multiple congressional cosponsors, the fitness industry now has a seat at the table. That is still a win.
  • Get involved with state legislation as well.

Last piece of advice:

  • Look at your high frequency data.
  • You need continuous information coming in so you can understand what is happening with your customer.
  • Forecasts are out, dashboards are in. It better be actionable.

For more insights from Blair McHaney and to learn more about MXM, the world’s leading experts on Operational Member Experience Management, visit mxmetrics.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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