Member Retention: Doing the Basics Exceptionally Well
Member retention has been top of mind for many operators, especially after long shutdowns and members canceling their memberships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Nicholas Barshick, the chief operating officer for Chuze Fitness, the key to being successful at member retention in today’s environment is to do the basic things exceptionally well.
“We know amenities like group fitness lead to more stickiness, but they are also more impacted due to the pandemic,” said Barshick. “Finding ways to continue to safely provide these outlets that keep members coming back is key. Alternatively, or perhaps simultaneously, committing to a digital fitness offering also provides members the opportunity to stay connected and who may not yet be comfortable jumping back into Turbo Kick.”
Chuze Fitness has been quadrupling down on cleaning protocols and practices in order to help their retention efforts. Additionally, they are ensuring member and employee protections — like wearing face coverings — are upheld consistently and uniformly. Barshick said it is important to have reasonable accommodation within membership terms, like providing those who simply aren’t comfortable returning with freeze options.
“Everyone is experiencing tough times,” explained Barshick. “Our teams must empathize when emotions are running high. Relationships are most important. The staff must feel empowered to build connections and must also understand the gravity and severity of properly maintaining the facility.”
While your facility’s main concern may be member retention, it is important to increase your efforts on employee retention as well. Barshick said nearly every traditional way to uplift the staff has been impacted since businesses are in survival mode and they can’t gather due to the pandemic. He recommends getting creative in showing appreciation and find outside-the-box ways to be thoughtful and caring to your staff during this unusual time.
Regardless if your facility was closed for three months or more than a year, you will still have members on the fence about keeping their membership. However, continuing to do the basics exceptionally well will go far.
Those basics include, “Remembering members’ names, cleaning toilets and inspiring the staff,” said Barshick. “Our industry changes lives and while our ability to do that has been impacted, there are amazing stories hidden in plain sight that can be shared.”