Operators: Why It's Important to Have a Customer Success Strategy

For Gym Operators

Operators: Why It's Important to Have a Customer Success Strategy

Fitness consumers have many options these days, from specialized boutique experiences to compact equipment that makes home gyms possible in small spaces. However, many devoted fitness enthusiasts who work out at home choose to supplement their workouts with a gym membership.

The gym -- with specialized equipment and programs -- can appeal to a large audience. Meanwhile, the gym experience also provides an environment where exercisers can design an evolving fitness routine that fits their changing needs. In fact, IHRSA's 2014 annual report found that 50 percent of respondents cited "a variety of cardiovascular and strength equipment" as their top reason for continuing their membership.

Why you need a customer success strategy

For the DIY fitness consumer, a full-scale health club is an option that can't be beat, offering up a variety of experiences in one setting. But if exercisers aren't able to access these experiences because they aren't educated on the facility, equipment and programming available to them, they won't have a successful fitness experience.

If the consumer isn't succeeding by using the facility, membership costs will never be a good value. That's why you need a strategy for customer success in your gym.

How education can help support your strategy

Educating the customer about the variety of programming, equipment and its features is the work of customer success in fitness. Here are six ways to help your customers feel comfortable using all the amenities:

1. Email

Fire up your marketing automation platform and keep your members informed about new classes, community events and fitness news. Break down the latest advances in sports medicine and science into actionable tips to help them stay motivated. Consider breaking down a "move of the month" or analyzing a popular workout trend.

Consider checking out these three free email templates for fitness professionals.

2. Introductory training session

Introductory training sessions have disappeared from many gyms or they are used to sell training packages. Instead, use this training session to help members use all of the facility and equipment.

For example, some people want to use free weights but are intimidated by the equipment. Show new members how to rack weights, adjust benches and introduce them to a few basics. More experienced exercisers can be introduced to more sophisticated equipment. Moreover, on cardio machines, introduce members to the console and show them how to use features to personalize their workout with Preva.

3. Video Catalog

It's likely that your gym's equipment has tutorials that exercisers can view and learn from (our Discovery Series Strength line features QR codes on the equipment that are linked to how-to videos). No client should ever be at a loss for how to use a piece of equipment in your facility.

4. Apps

Apps like Preva that allow members to access gym schedules, check-in and track progress are a wonderful way to engage members. Members can track and log information about at-home and outdoor workouts. This brings together their fitness activities in and out of the gym into one cohesive experience.

5. Weight clinic

Many people join a gym to lose weight, meaning a weight clinic is a great way to build community and help people feel accountable for their progress.

You can build additional fees into the membership to fund it. Include an educational class and weekly weigh-in. Don't hard sell this program, but make it available to people emphatically focused on weight-loss. The class can help refocus members on other benchmarks of fitness progress, including increased strength, energy and overall wellness.

6. Training

Train employees to have a customer success mindset. Hire impassioned fitness enthusiasts who are interested and excited about fitness, and train them on the facility's equipment so that they can help your customers succeed.