Re-creating community in your fitness business
Across Australia and New Zealand, our towns and communities are in various stages of COVID life. Our kiwi-friends are back to life as normal and fully operating again, while some states in Australia shut down and start to battle second waves.
Regardless of what phase you’re in, the gym member experience remains paramount. And recreating a sense of community and comradery in your fitness business will be essential to attracting and retaining members.
So how can you start approaching the gym member experience in the new normal?
Understand where the gym member experience is now
As you reopen, or even temporarily close your gym again, there’s no denying that the member experience will be altered. There will be capacity restrictions, social distancing, and new booking procedures that need to be followed in order to operate safely.
Your members will take some adjusting to the new normal – some willingly and easily, while others might not be so happy. But remember, you can only do your best under the circumstances the whole world has been given. And just as they learned to adjust to working from home and using online workouts instead of the gym, so too will they learn to use your gym in new ways.
Add a personal touch
Likewise, you may have had a bit of a change up in who is part of your community now. Some members may have cancelled their memberships, while others may have jumped on board as restrictions lifted. Either way, your member base will be looking a little different.
Start off by having all of your instructors introduce themselves at the start of each class. Encourage them to have an ice-breaker game or workouts that encourage members to workout together and get to know each other. Have them chat and interact with members either at the start or end of the class. Ask them to learn names where possible for that more personalised touch that’s so important when building a positive member experience.
Recreating your community all begins by adding back in that human element members have been deprived of during lockdown.
Start running fitness challenges
It’s amazing the sense of community that you can build by bringing together a group of determined people to reach their goals together. Welcome your members back to gym in the new normal with a range of fitness challenges. These could be an intense 12-week fitness challenge with goals to either lose weight or build muscle. Or quick little mini challenges – like workouts of the day (of WOD’s) which can be posted around the gym for members to complete during their session.
Ask gym members for feedback
Never stop checking in with your members! They’re going to be the ones that can help improve the member experience and community for new gym members.
Create a quick survey in Survey Monkey (or a similar survey tool) and map out a series of questions you’d like to ask your members, or even leads who undertook a free trial but didn’t sign up. The feedback from a survey like this could do wonders in helping you improve your gym in the new normal and recreate that sense of community.
And lastly, don’t forget to keep the lines of communication open with your members. Send out regular emails and SMS. Post to social media regularly and ask questions to encourage engagement from your following.
How a gym community can attract gym leads
Having an active and engaged community as part of your gym can be a huge drawcard for gym leads. People are naturally drawn to businesses that add a personal touch, regularly communicate with them. Likewise, their positive experience is only reinforced when they see other gym members interacting with each other, class instructors, and reception staff. It shows that others are actively engaged in the gym creating an environment any gym lead would want to be part of!
If you need help keeping track of your gym leads – particularly in the new normal when there’s a lot of member movement in the fitness business industry, don’t be afraid to implement gym lead software.
MyMemberSales’ gym sales software was designed to help you manage your gym leads so they never slip through the cracks again! You can keep track of we’re they’re at in every step of the process and send them appointment reminders and prompts when you need to most.