Member Loyalty Tip #1: Ingrain Yourself Into Your Members’ Existence
It’s time to shift your members’ perspective from thinking of your club as just a gym that they visit to feeling like they are a part of something bigger.
Members who “don’t feel like they’re a part of something don’t understand that if they remove themselves, it may not be there when they want to return,” Richards says.
HWNE combatted this mindset by ingraining the brand and the value of fitness into their members’ existence. When New Jersey closed gyms, Richards acted quickly to ensure members were still keeping active and engaged with the club.
“As soon as things shut down, the next day I said, ‘Hey guys, this is what we’re doing. See you tomorrow on Facebook Live, we’ll get you going until we get this figured out,’” she says.
The HWNE fitness staff ran its own mini Peloton camp as well as daily live classes that were saved so people could do them later. Richards also offered members credits so they wouldn’t cancel their memberships.
“I told them…I’m not sure how this is going to play out, so if you stick by us I’ll stick by you,” Richard says. “Just stick by us to help us get through this time so we can be here when you come back.”
Member Loyalty Tip #2: Communicate Like You’ve Never Communicated Before
During this crisis, it’s better to over communicate than risk saying too little.
“Communication is key,” Richards says. “If club owners have not communicated or haven’t put out a clear comment, that’s part of the problem.”
Your members, staff, and community expect to hear from you to reassure them, keep them updated, and keep them engaged.
If you don’t take these steps, Richards cautions, “It already sets this tone of distrust between you and your community because they're like, ‘We've seen the world falling apart and they haven’t said nothing.’”
Clear and consistent communication is one of your best weapons against member uncertainty. This approach can be especially effective when addressing club cleanliness and safety.
Richards has her 10,000-square-foot facility sprayed with an electrostatic sprayer every week and always makes sure to show it on social media. She also shares other sanitation measures, like how each member receives their own towel and spray bottle when they visit.
“Club owners just have to be proactive,” she says. “If they think it’s going to go away, it’s not. And when it does go away, something else is going to come up.”