The modern member is someone very different now, compared to the member pre-pandemic. It is important to recognize that over the past several years we have seen the most significant number of new gym members come from the millennial and Gen Z population. So, what makes these modern members different than a few years ago? Enter the “at-home” digital fitness platform. One positive effect from COVID-19 was it gave rise to an entire sub set of platforms dedicated to at-home fitness.
What we do know is the modern member loves attending the gym or a group fitness class, but also has inquired or taken part in some type of at-home fitness platform the past few years. These platforms are here to stay but there is a big misconception about at-home fitness.
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Most gym owners believe these platforms will result in fewer members. They feel like there will be a significant rise in attrition. That, however, is the complete opposite result of how digital platforms affect gym goers. The reality is when a brand – in this case a gym or health club – offers some type of digital offering as part of its membership, we actually see a rise in memberships. The biggest reason for this is the more you can connect a gym goer to your community – both inside and outside your club – the more engaged they will be.
Let’s look at two areas you can execute on to capture the modern member:
1. Exceptional Customer Experience
This is a no-brainer, right? However, when was the last time you looked at or mystery shopped your customer experience? That means from the time a lead calls or walks into your facility to inquire about memberships to the time they actually become a member.
- Call all new leads within the first 10 minutes.
- Needs Analysis: Inquire about a customer’s goals and what they are trying to achieve rather than speaking mostly about what you are selling. This needs analysis should occur on the first conversation.
- When you tour a potential new member around your facility ask them, “What area of the club would you be using the most?” And then take them their first.
- When you pitch a membership, make sure your reasoning for recommending a particular membership option includes their goal and not just based on price.
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2. Member Nurturing
This is an area I believe everyone in the fitness industry can get better at. One of the reasons the fitness industry has poor member retention is because of the lack of nurturing there is at a club level. The tendency is, once we sign you up we forget about you. If you want to capture the modern member you need to make sure you recognize them constantly as part of your club community.
- 30-day check-in: Have your head trainer call all new members 30 days in. This allows you to also see what is working and where there might be opportunity in additional programs with the member.
- Challenges: I have spoken often on the longevity of a new member and the urgency in keeping them motivated. Running quarterly fitness challenges will help to keep them engaged.
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