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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Opinion: Engage and retain

Myzone’s Tamara Bailey says finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at how successful your member engagement really is

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 4
Some operators are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement
Some operators are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now

Most of my career in the industry has been spent focused on the challenge of retention and strategies to improve it, either as an operator or as a consultant and supplier of retention tools.

Throughout that time, I’ve seen operators fall into four categories:

Denial
While some operators have a handle on member engagement, anyone who says “we don’t have a retention problem” has always been a red flag to me. It’s usually quantified by “we get great customer satisfaction scores” (not a measure of retention), “our attrition is low” (not a measure of retention) and “we make great sales” (not………you see where I’m going!)

Silver bullet hunters
Those who accept they need to improve retention but think a single step/tool/change will bring about immediate results. That isn’t how retention works.

Best intentions
Most operators fall into this category. They know retention is critical, that they need to improve and that it will take time and the creation of a strategy they are willing to work on. Unfortunately the urgent overtakes the important and it slips down the priority list to end up on the back-burner.

Doing it
There are some clubs and operators who are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement, who have teams driven by their central purpose and who live and breathe it daily because it’s who they are.

I don’t know where you believe yourself and your organisation were sitting up to 20 March 2020 but I highly recommend you ask yourself the question and be honest with the answer, because you will have noticed that shit just got real!

In a matter of weeks we went from the New Year influx of new members and implementing our 2020 plans to having to consider exactly how we could keep our business and our teams afloat.

The reality is, the coming weeks and months are going to be extremely challenging for us all and, if you didn’t have a real and effective strategy to stay connected to your members before the 20 March forced closure, there’s a real risk to the future.

However, as a good friend and ex-colleague once quoted to me, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now”.

The real opportunity here is the chance to use the closure time to focus on the business rather than just working in it. It’s unlikely we’ll ever be given this chance again, so we need to act and act fast and be aware of the facts:

There is demand
The European Fitness Market has grown by 3.7 per cent in the last four years and was worth €28 billion in revenue in 2019, according to the Deloitte European Market Report.

€4.9bn of this was attributed to the UK, making it the second largest region for growth of revenue and member penetration.

Tech is the future
According to market experts, two of the top three trends for growth were apps and wearables (the other being indoor cycling). These are the future of fitness.
People want to exercise on their own terms

Fitness aggregators are growing, allowing people to have more choice about where and how they exercise and potentially removing the connection between member and club.

The only certainty is change
Whatever happens, when we finally open the doors, nothing will be the same.
So what now? We have an opportunity to shape our fitness offering and turn the challenge into something positive.

Be honest about your situation
Consider how connected you are to your members – you need to acknowledge your starting point and recognise both the gaps you need to fill and any good strategies that are in place already.

Acknowledge the ‘new normal’. When we reopen our facilities we can’t expect to operate as we did before, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

For a long time, we’ve been trying to force people to exercise a certain way. If nothing else, the last few weeks have shown us the potential of meeting people where they are and enabling them to exercise on their own terms.

Embrace Digital
Over the last few years the growth of digital has been well documented, but not well adopted. All this has changed in just a few weeks.

Build a virtual strategy, use apps and devices that build membership value.
Remote PT, programming and advice, at-home workouts and live streaming won’t just be for lockdown – smart operators will make them part of their offering going forward.

Member retention has always been about building connection, habit and value, that won’t change, but how we do it must. It can open the door to people who can’t – or choose not to – come into our clubs.

Map strategies to your purpose
Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle remains relevant and is a fundamental key to success. If you know the ‘why?’ of your club or organisation, the ‘how?’ and ‘what?’ become clear and align all departments and messages.

This doesn’t mean facilities will be obsolete. People will always crave face to face experience – maybe now more than ever – and will continue to want to attend classes with their favourite rock star instructors.

There will still be value in the one-to-one support from trainers and a desire to take part in gym floor workouts, but by creating a more holistic experience, allowing people to exercise when, where and how they want, we not only improve the chances of them building and maintaining habits, we also potentially start to draw in a wider population of exercisers and increase member penetration and revenue streams.

The challenge ahead is real, but so is the opportunity.

Tamara Bailey is group account manager, UK, at Myzone. @tamarab44

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Wearables and apps are two of the top three fitness trends
Wearables and apps are two of the top three fitness trends
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/142411_427510.jpg
Finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at your member engagement strategies, says Tamara Bailey
Tamara Bailey, Myzone,member engagement, member retention, health club, gym
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HCM people

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Featured supplier: Digital education: TRX trains more than 14,000 professionals for free using live virtual training
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BMF with Bear Grylls - Mission to reboot the fitness industry
British Military Fitness
BMF with Bear Grylls has put up a £1m fund to get personal trainers, fitness instructors and class instructors back to work and earning money. Read more
More videos:
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Company profile: Myzone Group Ltd
At Myzone we reward Effort to solve the pervasive problem of ‘diminishing motivation within exercisers’ ...
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Company profile: Les Mills UK
Committed to creating a fitter planet, Les Mills UK works with clubs and instructors to ...
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Supplier showcase - Speedflex
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
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Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
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Exercise equipment
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Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
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Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
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Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
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21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
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03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
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IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
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Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Opinion: Engage and retain

Myzone’s Tamara Bailey says finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at how successful your member engagement really is

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 4
Some operators are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement
Some operators are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now

Most of my career in the industry has been spent focused on the challenge of retention and strategies to improve it, either as an operator or as a consultant and supplier of retention tools.

Throughout that time, I’ve seen operators fall into four categories:

Denial
While some operators have a handle on member engagement, anyone who says “we don’t have a retention problem” has always been a red flag to me. It’s usually quantified by “we get great customer satisfaction scores” (not a measure of retention), “our attrition is low” (not a measure of retention) and “we make great sales” (not………you see where I’m going!)

Silver bullet hunters
Those who accept they need to improve retention but think a single step/tool/change will bring about immediate results. That isn’t how retention works.

Best intentions
Most operators fall into this category. They know retention is critical, that they need to improve and that it will take time and the creation of a strategy they are willing to work on. Unfortunately the urgent overtakes the important and it slips down the priority list to end up on the back-burner.

Doing it
There are some clubs and operators who are fantastic examples of commitment to member engagement, who have teams driven by their central purpose and who live and breathe it daily because it’s who they are.

I don’t know where you believe yourself and your organisation were sitting up to 20 March 2020 but I highly recommend you ask yourself the question and be honest with the answer, because you will have noticed that shit just got real!

In a matter of weeks we went from the New Year influx of new members and implementing our 2020 plans to having to consider exactly how we could keep our business and our teams afloat.

The reality is, the coming weeks and months are going to be extremely challenging for us all and, if you didn’t have a real and effective strategy to stay connected to your members before the 20 March forced closure, there’s a real risk to the future.

However, as a good friend and ex-colleague once quoted to me, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now”.

The real opportunity here is the chance to use the closure time to focus on the business rather than just working in it. It’s unlikely we’ll ever be given this chance again, so we need to act and act fast and be aware of the facts:

There is demand
The European Fitness Market has grown by 3.7 per cent in the last four years and was worth €28 billion in revenue in 2019, according to the Deloitte European Market Report.

€4.9bn of this was attributed to the UK, making it the second largest region for growth of revenue and member penetration.

Tech is the future
According to market experts, two of the top three trends for growth were apps and wearables (the other being indoor cycling). These are the future of fitness.
People want to exercise on their own terms

Fitness aggregators are growing, allowing people to have more choice about where and how they exercise and potentially removing the connection between member and club.

The only certainty is change
Whatever happens, when we finally open the doors, nothing will be the same.
So what now? We have an opportunity to shape our fitness offering and turn the challenge into something positive.

Be honest about your situation
Consider how connected you are to your members – you need to acknowledge your starting point and recognise both the gaps you need to fill and any good strategies that are in place already.

Acknowledge the ‘new normal’. When we reopen our facilities we can’t expect to operate as we did before, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

For a long time, we’ve been trying to force people to exercise a certain way. If nothing else, the last few weeks have shown us the potential of meeting people where they are and enabling them to exercise on their own terms.

Embrace Digital
Over the last few years the growth of digital has been well documented, but not well adopted. All this has changed in just a few weeks.

Build a virtual strategy, use apps and devices that build membership value.
Remote PT, programming and advice, at-home workouts and live streaming won’t just be for lockdown – smart operators will make them part of their offering going forward.

Member retention has always been about building connection, habit and value, that won’t change, but how we do it must. It can open the door to people who can’t – or choose not to – come into our clubs.

Map strategies to your purpose
Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle remains relevant and is a fundamental key to success. If you know the ‘why?’ of your club or organisation, the ‘how?’ and ‘what?’ become clear and align all departments and messages.

This doesn’t mean facilities will be obsolete. People will always crave face to face experience – maybe now more than ever – and will continue to want to attend classes with their favourite rock star instructors.

There will still be value in the one-to-one support from trainers and a desire to take part in gym floor workouts, but by creating a more holistic experience, allowing people to exercise when, where and how they want, we not only improve the chances of them building and maintaining habits, we also potentially start to draw in a wider population of exercisers and increase member penetration and revenue streams.

The challenge ahead is real, but so is the opportunity.

Tamara Bailey is group account manager, UK, at Myzone. @tamarab44

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Wearables and apps are two of the top three fitness trends
Wearables and apps are two of the top three fitness trends
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/142411_427510.jpg
Finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at your member engagement strategies, says Tamara Bailey
Tamara Bailey, Myzone,member engagement, member retention, health club, gym
Latest News
Today (10 August) is the last day for companies to enter the follow-up survey to ...
Latest News
A significant proportion of leisure facilities in England have not reopened since lockdown measures were ...
Latest News
Industry body, ukactive, has questioned the decision to close gyms and health clubs as part ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid a surprise visit to a branch of The Gym ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness' share price on the New York Stock Exchange has remained steady at between ...
Latest News
Two of the largest health club operators in the US have announced that members and ...
Latest News
If you're a personal trainer working in the UK, you can now get online PT ...
Latest News
A member of SAGE, the government’s independent group of scientific advisers, has said gyms, pubs ...
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Following approval to build a £250mn wellbeing resort in Manchester, Therme Group has revealed plans ...
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Europe's largest gym chain, Basic-Fit, has provided the European fitness sector with some optimism, after ...
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DW Sports is going into administration saying it's working to save its 73-strong gym portfolio. ...
Opinion
promotion
Data-driven businesses are some of today’s greatest global success stories, providing blueprints for success.
Opinion: Up your ‘data game’ to successfully relaunch your fitness business
Opinion
promotion
Evidence suggests that over many years personal trainers have been forced to leave the fitness industry because employment patterns are erratic, earnings are inconsistent and it is difficult to build up value needed to secure an appropriate lifestyle.
Opinion: Personal trainers need support as employment opportunities diminish: FREE on-demand webinar
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Digital education: TRX trains more than 14,000 professionals for free using live virtual training
In response to the pandemic, TRX, the global leader in functional training equipment, world- class training content, and app-based training technology, transformed its TRX Suspension Training Course into a free, live virtual edition via Zoom.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass partners with F45 Training to bring functional team training to world's largest corporate fitness platform
Gympass, the world’s largest corporate fitness platform, has announced a partnership with F45 Training, one of the world’s fastest-growing fitness franchisors that will give its corporate members access to their global network of workout facilities.
Video Gallery
BMF with Bear Grylls - Mission to reboot the fitness industry
British Military Fitness
BMF with Bear Grylls has put up a £1m fund to get personal trainers, fitness instructors and class instructors back to work and earning money. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone Group Ltd
At Myzone we reward Effort to solve the pervasive problem of ‘diminishing motivation within exercisers’ ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Les Mills UK
Committed to creating a fitter planet, Les Mills UK works with clubs and instructors to ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Speedflex
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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