Liz Robinson, the CEO of myVitFit, shares how to scale your human intelligence to provide members with personalized experiences.
How can clubs give members the personalization they want?
“Give me what I want, when I want it, before I ask for it.” This is what consumers have been conditioned to expect, and thanks to savvy algorithms, this is what they get, for better or worse.
How can the club industry meet those expectations, create a great member experience for everyone and still give the best, most responsible fitness solutions to each individual member?
With limited resources, the drive to provide personalized experiences may have you running to AI integration classes, rethinking your business model or hoping it’s a passing phase. If you’re expecting a shift in trends, you might want to rethink your position. But, there’s no need to scuttle your current business or jump into the deep end of software engineering. The question to ask yourself is not how to leverage artificial intelligence but how to scale your human intelligence.
Here’s what we know about the club consumer. Current fitness club members are five times more likely to turn to third party fitness apps than their club’s in-house fitness team. Reasons given for this preference are “ease of use,” the “flexibility” and “they’re cheap.” Most of these members mix and match apps attempting to achieve a personalized solution. If your club has an app, it’s highly likely members mix and match it with non-club related apps. They use one for cardio motivation another for planning workouts and yet another for learning new exercises. This is not news to anyone who’s been working in a club for more than a few weeks, but it’s worth considering in the context of scaling personalized fitness solutions.
There are many problems with a self-curated approach. Members get what they want, when they want it, but perhaps not what will help them or be beneficial in the long-term. From a member engagement standpoint, it’s problematic. Having members who are guided by apps and not a club team makes the club a commodity and not a valued resource. If you’ve invested in a club app without it being fully customized to the individual member’s fitness needs, the value may be squandered.
The most obvious solution is to create your own app that customizes the experience for each user. Of course that can be done, but it can get pricey. You could also find a software partner. But, there are immediate ways in which you can leverage your existing team. Do your onboarding activities address third party apps and offer consults to help curate them? Is your fitness team versed in the apps that are most widely used at your club?
The goal is not to endorse an app, but to re-establish your team as the primary resource to guide and support your membership. Every time your member uses a third party app that your team has helped them to personalize, they will thank your team, not the software developer. Your team gives your members what they need the way they want it.