Once you have members signing up at you gym, you must ensure that the next step, the Member Onboarding Process, goes smoothly!
Developing a frictionless onboarding strategy will maximize your member retention and improve your member experience.
The most important time period in the membership lifecycle is the first four weeks, and you should be making contact frequently within that period. What you do immediately once your member has signed up to your gym is critical, and will play a key role in their decision to renew their membership with you down the road.
Your current member onboarding process: what does it look like?
There are some common patterns with the onboarding process: First, you set up a meeting to discuss your client’s goals, followed by an individual tour of your facility. You’ll enlighten your new member about your what services your gym has to offer and then answer any questions, doing your best to make sure they feel comfortable. You might even offer to set up a free Personal Training session to help familiarize them with the equipment. Lastly, they’ll be added to the gym email newsletter list, and you’ll exchange friendly smiles and chats throughout their membership and hope that they renew their membership when it ends.
What is wrong with that Member Onboarding Process? Nothing! However, if you really want to make a difference to your membership retention, there are a few things you can do while onboarding your new members to secure their loyalty in your gym.
1) Provide instant value to all new members
Arm your new members with education by teaching them something they didn’t know. Whether it’s showing them new stretches, a little nutritional advice, a complementary work out plan, or a thorough walk through on how to use some of the equipment they are not familiar with.
Education is a kind of value that lasts much longer than a free protein shake, and this simple, yyt effective, personalization will strengthen their decision to join your gym over the others.
2) Creative an environment of engagement with other gym goers
The number one reason that members do not renew their membership is lack of engagement.
Humans are social creatures, where friendship and a sense of belonging play a significant role in everyday fulfillment. Ask your trainers to be proactive about introducing members to each other. At the end of a fitness class, get your members to introduce each other to whoever they’re next to. Play to people’s competitive nature – get them smiling.
It’s harder to convince themselves out of going to the gym for a workout, when your member looks forward to seeing a friendly face.
3) Show your members how to hold themselves accountable
Are you helping your members achieve their fitness goals? Help your members understand the roadblocks that they have experienced in the past that have stopped them from achieving their fitness goals. Then, make some suggestions as to how they can overcome these roadblocks.
Utilize the knowledge and education that your trainers have in motivating people to achieve their fitness goals. Take the time to have this conversation with your new members during the onboarding process and next time they try and convince themselves that they shouldn’t go to the gym, they will remember that they are accountable only to themselves.
4) Track member engagement
We all know that a lifestyle change is no small feat, and relapsing can be a common occurrence – a two week holiday can have you feeling like you’re back at square one with your fitness.
Take time to let your members know you care: a simple reminder from an external force can help nudge your members to get back on the wagon.
5) Measure your success
At the end of the four week period, your member should be well on their way to crafting out a healthy relationship with your gym. Use their visitation as a measurement of your success of your onboarding process. What works for one gym may not work for another, so test, test, test!
The best approach to improving your membership retention is to add value from day one. MXM helps make easy work of tracking your members and staying in communication!