Introducing new tech to your health club members? Utilize these four tips for long-lasting success.
There seems to be a split in the fitness industry today. On one side, we have more of a traditional approach to fitness in trusting old systems to get our clients results. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have those always seeking the most cutting-edge technology, the most enticing programs and doing everything we can to “keep things spicy” for our members.
Now that there is such a huge global focus on health and wellness, which is the right answer? Do you depend on tried-and-true processes and just make sure members lose a few inches? Or do you go for the coolest new tech and talk about how different you are from my competitors? The answer is both. And the way that you can accomplish this is by creating a process that matches your business model, values and your customer acquisition strategy.
Below are four things you can do to be modern without throwing old school tactics out the window:
1. Choose tech that compliments your business.
I recall years ago while running some commercial gyms, our management team attempted to connect wearable technology to a bootcamp program that we desperately wanted to succeed. We spent tons of money outfitting rooms, creating marketing that promoted the new brand, and coaching our teams on how to sell these products only to see it fail miserably without explanation.
The big problem for us was that we had coached our trainers to really focus on output and input. So all our training clients wanted to see exactly how many calories they burned in a workout, not how many cool points they got from this program. It wasn’t customized for the client which pushed our members away from the program without us realizing they were simply following what we had coached them on.
The best way to choose which tech you want to use in your business is to evaluate your target demographic. Find out what they already use, what they can easily adapt to, and make it simple and streamlined to the profit centers in your business.
2. Coach your team on why the tech works with your mode.
A leadership lesson I learned long ago was that what is inside of my head isn’t always what’s inside of everyone else’s. Communicating the vision of adding tech to your business may be outside of some of your staff’s comfort zone and that’s alright. The goal is to coach them on how to explain the technology, how it benefits the customer, and ultimately how to make an upsell easy for the team member. Communication is key here as most staff members will feel like they are being given extra work unless you clearly articulate how this will further service your clients.
3. Make it a big deal.
Nothing is worse than a huge marketing push that totally flops, right? Time, energy and money all gone to waste with no return is no fun for anyone. In order to make tech work for your business, you can’t simply make a social media post and expect all your members to begin throwing their credit cards at you. The best way to make your technology a big deal is to make it a natural part of your process. If you run a front end offer for new clients, introduce the technology to them personally and allow them to trial the tracking methods during the offer. This makes the tech a normal part of onboarding your members and sets an expectation for tracking at the very beginning. This creates a more natural form of tracking visits, gets the member better results due to visualizing goals and finally, creates a longer lifetime value of your member.
4. Utilize your technology as a focus for challenges.
The famous management quote “what gets measured, gets done” rings true even to this day. This is where we’re able to tie in the old fashioned tried-and-true methods into our technology to stay relevant here in our final strategy of utilization. When I am consistently pointing my member base back to the tools we use to get our members the best results, naturally our members will talk about it. And our guests, trial members and members not using the technology begin to experience fear of missing out.
This method is commonly used in marketing tactics to get members to sign up during a given time frame, to get ex members to come back, or to get active members to bring friends. They all typically work well, but the goal here is not to psychologically trick members into purchasing your tech, but to point them to the tools that will get them the best results.
Remember, when you make class announcements, social media posts and put some signs up around your space, most people, even if they see the messaging, still won’t take action unless they are asked personally to do so. Engaging your members in challenges throughout the year creates additional engagement. It also allows you to continually improve their experience and customize your approach for that member even more, which is our goal in the long run. Better utilizing technology in your fitness business has so many benefits from additional revenue, to increased utilization and much better member retention. So yes, it’s important to keep up with the most relevant technology in the fitness industry today. But also remember that bright new shiny toys only go so far. How your members benefit from your tech is far more important than simply what you offer.