After several years of on and off lockdowns and social distancing, people are craving community. Fitness club members especially miss engaging in-person experiences. In IHRSA’s 2021 Media Report, 42% of club members reported that they miss working out with other people and 36% miss their gym’s sense of community.
Filling that social gap for your members through your fitness club is an important strategy for overall retention. In the second episode of the ClubWise Fuel for Thought webinar, “Fuel Your Community Strategy for 2022,” Fuel Bootcamps founder and fitness expert Jersey Giambrone went over his six pillars of a strong fitness community. We’ve recapped them for you below, so you can use his knowledge to start shaping your club community!
1. Make Sure Everybody Knows Everyone
A personalized club experience makes a big difference in your retention numbers. According to a 2021 research report from McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. In the fitness industry especially, customers want their experiences to be personal, since their fitness goals and journeys are personal to them.
Make it a point to learn the names of all the members who join and frequent your facility, as well as check in with how they’re doing. “They don’t want to be a number,” says Giambone of fitness club members, “they want to be known.”
3. Encourage Members to Reach Milestones
Celebrating member milestones is a great way to help them feel engaged and motivate them to keep coming back to your club. Don’t you feel better about the hours you put into a work report when your boss gives you a shoutout at the company meeting? Doesn’t it make you want to continue working hard? The same goes for your members when you celebrate that they’ve attended 25 classes or lost 10 pounds.
Top Tip: Encourage members to work harder and faster toward milestones by incentivizing them. With ClubWise’s FitSense rewards program, members can earn points for club check-ins, class attendance, and even logging body fat percentage loss.
4. Use Social Media
Consistent communication is another integral part of continued member engagement and retention. When they hear from you regularly (but not too often), members will feel like they’re a part of your community. Giambone recommends using something like a private Facebook group or a member app to communicate with your facility. “Members want to be communicated with,” he says, “they want to be in the know.”
5. Incorporate Technology
Part of offering your members the best value and club experience is staying up to date with the latest trends and industry advances. Fitness tech — such as fitness apps, wearable devices, and on-demand workouts — has taken the world by storm, especially after the COVID-19 lockdowns. Take advantage of new fitness technology by incorporating it into your club. New equipment and high-tech services and engagement tactics can be effective motivators to get members more involved in your club community.
6. Create an Inviting Studio
When members walk into your club, they should feel welcome and at home. Your studio needs to be comfortable and give off the right energy to get people moving. The more time people want to spend in your community space, the stronger your community will be. Giambone asserts that a strong community is the key to member retention. “Because if you have a strong community… I guarantee you will have a client forever.”
All-In-One Club Management Solutions Help Provide a Connected Member Experience
When your members have a seamless, cohesive, and engaging experience across all interactions with your club, they’re more likely to feel like a part of your community. From automated email and a branded club app to streamlined admin that lets staff focus on members on the floor, ClubWise’s club management solutions can help you provide that all-in-one member experience.
To learn more about how ClubWise can help you with acquisition, engagement, and retention.
Book a free demo today!