Recap: The Future of Member Re-Engagement and Retention
On May 19, Club Solutions Magazine presented the fifth installment of a monthly virtual roundtable series on thought leadership, surrounding the future of member re-engagement and retention in the months ahead.
Panelists included Paula Neubert, the president and general manager of Club Greenwood; Adrian Antigua, the general manager of Gainesville Health & Fitness; April McCullough, the general manager of Little Rock Athletic Club; Evan Zupancic, the COO and general manager of Stafford Hills Club; and Jeff Linn, the executive director of Weymouth Club. The discussion was led and moderated by Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. Sponsored by MXM.
The following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, centered on member re-engagement and retention.
CDC Mask Mandates
- Club Greenwood – Local governments are no longer requiring for fully vaccinated and highly suggested for non-vaccinated.
- Staff wearing masks for two more weeks and will reevaluate afterwards.
- Full capacity.
- Weymouth Club – Networking with peers led them to choose mask optional.
- Are following state guidelines and masks are still required for camps and childcare — reevaluating once school gets out.
- Highest number of COVID cases this month was with kids.
- Keep physical distancing for now and slowly lessening.
- Little Rock Athletic Club – Have had masks as an option for over a month.
- Members coming back in droves since the CDC announcement.
- Haven’t had many complaints.
- Gainesville – Masks are optional for both members and staff.
- Are marketing how they are maintaining cleaning.
- Didn’t want to draw attention to removing masks.
- Ask your members if they want you to wear a mask when talking one-on-one.
- Everyone is craving consistency and want to reestablish their routines.
- Communication is critical. Be proactive with your messaging.
- Incrementally open your clubs to give members the feeling that you are growing.
- Call your members on freeze. Allow them to ask questions about your club’s procedures.
- Employee engagement makes people want to come into the club. Directly tied to the members being engaged.
- Get out of your office and personally welcome back your members.
- Talk to your members face to face.
- Go over your changes that have been in place since members have been gone.
- Treat reengaged members as new members. Offer free HydroMassage or personal training sessions to get them back.
- Clearly outline the things members can take advantage of.
- Utilize technology such as AI to communicate with your members and get them to book appointments.
- Have a survey system or engagement radar. Use this data to make changes in your operations and processes. Utilize technology such as MXM, Listen360, Constant Contact.
- Make sure members feel heard.
- You have to have a team who can dedicate time to collecting and responding to feedback.
- Have a new member Zoom call once or twice a month to touch base.
- Cater to your seniors and help them navigate changes and new processes.
- It’s vital to listen to members and staff. Let the staff know you trust them and get out of their way.
- Cleanliness is an expectation, make sure you are actually following through with your word.
- Look through your members’ eyes. Put all of your procedures under the microscope and see where you can improve.
- Allow members to voice suggestions.
- Premium prices require premium service.
- Give members a space to communicate.
- Seek to understand before you are seeking to be understood.
- Deescalate the situation, don’t fuel agitation.
- Be more flexible and patient with your membership.
- Let members know how valuable they are.
- Make it easy to do business with your company.
- Consider continuing reservation systems moving forward.
- Add a buzzer to communicate when a member’s time is up.
- Members want convenience.
- Push online joins.
- Self-scan ins.
- Don’t take away classes and options members loved during COVID times.
- Manage your online reservations and make sure they are running smoothly, or members can become more upset.
- People are more accepting of change. If you want to change something in you club, do it now.
- You get one hour to make a good impression and make a connection with your members.
- Ensure members feel better leaving than when they first came in.
- Are members going to come back? Yes. Trust that you’ve done a good job.
- Community is extremely important — you are more than just a building.
- Continue to serve exceptionally well.
- Spend a lot of time in the beginning of rejoins focusing and checking in on the member.
- Get your staff bought in to the full vision.
- Know who you are and what you stand for.
- Stick to your principles and values.
- Differentiate from your competitors.
- Make sure your basics are always hit as members return.
- Networking with colleagues has been very beneficial.
Love learning new insights from other owners and operators in this format? If so, consider joining a Club Solutions Mastermind Group. We offer four different types of peer-to-peer groups for every level of health club management. Apply by May 31 and receive your first month of membership free! Email Bob Surface at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details while spots last.
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