What do Apple and Starbucks have in common?
Their consistent, high-quality customer experience.
Just like Starbucks and Apple, as a gym owner, you need to be able to provide the same high-quality service and consistent experience for every member that comes through your doors. Inconsistent experiences are significant drivers of member churn and the primary reason why members drop off the radar after their first few months, once the “shiny new experience” feeling has worn off.
– Phil Morton, Strategic Relationship Manager at Zen Planner and Gym Owner
So, how do you create a consistently amazing member experience? You need to create a member experience system and member retention plan.
To create your system, begin by gathering your team of staff together and brainstorming the most amazing first 60 days a new member could experience. Do this exercise with zero constraints; don’t worry about your finances or the resources you have available. Will the new member be welcomed on their first day by a magical Unicorn? Will they be given their own personalized barbell with their name engraved? Will they have their own special entrance song every time they walk into the gym? For this exercise to work, you need to be as creative and over the top as possible – nothing (within the laws of physics) is off limits!
After you have had your fun with this exercise, you can start to strip your “Most Amazing First 60 Days” down to what you can actually achieve, taking into consideration finances and available resources. You will be surprised at the creative ideas you come up with, following the no-holds-barred exercise!
Now, take these touch points and lay them out in a flow chart, detailing when each step needs to be completed, as well as the staff member responsible.
As a simple example:
Day 0: New member joins
Day 1: Give welcome bag in their first class (Coach on duty/ in-person)
Day 3: Email 1 sent – “Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit®” (Automated in ZenPlanner)
Day 7: Check-in by Coach at the end of Wk.1 (Mentor coach/ in-person)
Day 10: Email 2 sent – “Understanding the CrossFit® lingo” (Automated in ZenPlanner)
Now that you have created your first 60-day experience system, you need to ensure that it is followed every single time you welcome a new member. The best way to do this is to create a series of automations (staff tasks, notifications, automated emails) so that when a new member joins, they automatically enter the system. All you and your staff need to do is sit back and wait to be notified when they have a task to complete!
While automated emails are great for providing general information that everyone needs (rules of the gym, membership information, nutrition guides, etc.), you should always strive to personalize a member’s experience as much as possible. If a staff member is capable of interacting with the member in person, choose that option over automated messages. Don’t send an email that asks, “How was your first week?” when that question can be much better asked (and answered) face-to-face.
Using Zen Planner, you can automate these staff tasks to alert a member of staff when they need to conduct the task at hand, so you never need to worry if your members are getting the same experience!
Once you have the first 60 days nailed down, why not expand this system to 90 days, 120 days and beyond?
Not only is this system a way to guarantee an amazing experience for your members, but it will form the cornerstone of your member retention plan. Happy members who feel valued will stick around for the long term.