Last week we talked about how actively tracking attendance can enable fitness business owners to improve their schedule. But attendance data can help business owners do much more than just that. With close monitoring, it can also help increase member engagement and retention and improve your business overall.
Enhance Member Engagement
Humans have an innate need for consistency. According to Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion, people strive for consistency in their commitments. Apply that fitness memberships and it translates to people who reserve their classes ahead of time are more likely to show up, based on their need to be consistent with their commitment.
You can encourage participation for reserving classes by allowing members to see who else is attending class. We recently introduced a “Who’s Coming” feature within our popular Gym App. This allows your members to see who else has received their spot in a specific class. Members have had an overwhelmingly positive response to this feature, which has proven to drive participation in class, and increase the likelihood of attendance.
Another great way to increase engagement and encourage attendance is through game-ifying the process. This can be done by pretty easily by rewarding member with the most attendances per month. This provides a great opportunity for an up-and-comer to “win” and creates friendly and supportive community interaction and competition.
Finally, actively tracking attendance along with monitoring workout tracking, can help you more effectively coach your members. These two data points will help you quickly discover which members are missing their goals because they’re not attending enough classes to actually see progress. It can help you identify if certain members are hitting a wall due to overtraining, and could use encouragement to take a step back and take a rest day each week.
Increase Member Retention
By actively monitoring attendance in your gym management software, you’ll be able to quickly identify when certain members with spotty attendance are in danger of dropping. Our Welcome Desk now shows staff, at the point of check-in, how long it has been since each person in class last attended. This is a great opportunity to touch base with people who haven’t been in for a while and make sure you keep them engaged.
Just as you can identify those with spotty attendance, you can also recognize loyal members who attend most frequently, and reward them or encourage them to send referrals your way. Your most loyal members don’t always speak up or interact with you or your staff, but they’re likely ready to sing your praises outside of the building. It’s easy to pick out zealots you may have missed by reporting on your top attenders.
Improve Your Business
Class attendance is a great measure of instructor quality and success. Measure the success of your instructors by their ability to fill classes. Which staff members are your top performers? Do you have data to back that up from your gym membership software, or is it just your gut feel? Don’t have any standout coaches? Offer incentives to instructors who constantly keep their classes full.
Making it required that members check-in as soon as they walk through the door will allow you develop other important processes to run a better business, such as:
- Late payments: Make check-ins the touch-point where anything that needs to be addressed is sorted out. If check-ins are an required activity, members will come to expect that any issue with their account (unpaid bills, membership renewals, etc.) will be addressed at that time.
- Signed waivers: Worried your members might be working out before signing a liability waiver? Throw an alert in Zen Planner at check-in if someone hasn’t signed a waiver or contract, so they can do so before working out.
By creating a process to resolve issues at check-in, you’ll no longer feel like you’re hounding members about important things like overdue bills, unsigned documents and expired memberships.
Tracking attendance and requiring check-ins does a lot more for your business than keeping class sizes optimal. If you’re not able to implement any of these recommendations, schedule your demo with one of our Software Pros.
Your gym management software should make member reservations and check-ins a breeze. Get your copy of our checklist, 9 Things Your Gym Software Must Have to help guide your software research.
Director of Product Management
Matt was a fitness business owner and Zen Planner customer before joining as one of the company’s first customer advocates in 2013. After building out Zen Planner’s customer implementation team, Matt became Zen Planner’s first Product Manager in 2015. He now leads Zen Planner’s product team. Matt lives with his wife, Terra, and dog, Carl, in Denver, CO.