The customer journey refers to the path prospects take to become customers. Mapping out this process is a useful exercise because it allows you as the business owner to identify the stages you’re currently communicating with your prospects and where you may be dropping the ball.
Depending on the stage the prospect is in, you need to approach them using specific channels with slightly different messaging. The goal for each touch is to help move the prospect closer to becoming a member. Taking the time to master this process will directly impact the success of your prospect funnel and help you sell more gym memberships.
Understanding your customer’s journey and mapping it out can also be a powerful step in helping you prioritize marketing dollars. There are countless ways to spend a buck, but if you’ve decided mailers are not an effective way to create awareness with your target audience, that’s one less decision you have to make when that mailer salesman approaches your door.
The customer journey can be broken up into 5 stages:
Your focus should be getting your name in front of your target audience and establishing your brand. Let prospects know who you are and the services your business provides.
To accomplish this, use channels where you can broadcast your message to a large audience. Think social media, search ads, display ads, local print, television, radio and email.
During this stage, prospects are looking into the types of services you provide. Because they are in the research phase, being searchable is huge. There are many factors that can affect your searchability, including quality of your website and optimizing your website for search, but start with items you can easily address and tackle quickly. Make sure to create local listings in directories like Google, Yelp and Bing and consider putting some money behind search ads.
At this stage, the prospect is aware of your business and likes what they see. This is where a little virtual credibility can go a long way. Things like your blog, social media conversations and reviews on Google and Yelp will help differentiate you from your competition and show the prospect why they should choose your business over other alternatives.
The prospect is ready to make some level of commitment. This could be in the form of downloading your newsletter, requesting more info, signing up for a free trial or purchasing a membership. The goal here is to make it easy for the prospect to become a member using clear calls to action, lead capture forms and a simplified purchasing process. The importance of a professional website cannot be understated here as it is where most prospects will first become acquainted with your business and take their first action.
5. Post Action
For each dollar spent to keep a customer you already have, it could cost 10 times more to attract a new customer. That’s why post action is instrumental in making your marketing dollars go further. This stage provides a great opportunity to develop a relationship with that new customer and keep them engaged and coming back to your facility. This is usually done through more 1-on-1 communication in the form of emails, texts, or calls. Things like confirmation emails, instructions on what to expect for first class, courtesy calls after the first class or new programs being offered can be useful in keeping the relationship going and creating a lifelong customer. Check out how Zen Planner can help automate some of these tasks.
Lastly, the customer journey is not a linear path. Prospects may dip in and out of different stages on their way to becoming a member. The mission is to provide clear and concise messaging at the right stage to help them understand the value of your services. In turn, following the customer journey will help you sell more gym memberships and build credible relationships with your members.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide to marketing at your gym, check out our 10-Step Marketing Guide below.