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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/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
HCM magazine
Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
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Generations rarely have the opportunity to reset public opinion and effect behaviour change for good, but post-pandemic two unequal movements with a lot in common will be the focus of governments, says David Minton
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Running booms when health clubs and gyms are closed. Could this enthusiasm result in treadmill training becoming the new spinning? Kath Hudson reports
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Supplier launch
Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next-generation LED console with intuitive functionality and digital connectivity
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Statistics
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
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Sponsored
Active IQ is launching courses to upskill fitness professionals to work in social prescribing, extending the reach of the industry
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Sponsored
Billed as the ‘2021 Experience Tour’, Egym has taken its connected gym floor experience on the road around the UK
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Editor's letter
The appetite for health clubs is strong among consumers and investors – to take advantage of this, operators must figure out how to meet key challenges in operationally sustainable ways
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Tokyo Olympics
GLL is best known for running leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities across the UK, but a lesser-known part of its remit is its GLL Sport Foundation which supports Olympic hopefuls. Liz Terry finds out more
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HCM people
This partnership with F45 is an exciting business venture for me
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Latest News
Boxing-inspired fitness operator Rumble has signed a master franchise agreement in Australia, which could see ...
Latest News
Hotel giant Accor has launched a new bespoke, premium fitness service for its upmarket Pullman ...
Latest News
People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss ...
Latest News
Sibec Europe, scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany, from 2 to 5 November 2021, ...
Latest News
Swim England has warned that 2,000 swimming pools could be lost forever unless the government ...
Latest News
Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness ...
Latest News
A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health ...
Latest News
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Company profiles
Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/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
Boxing-inspired fitness operator Rumble has signed a master franchise agreement in Australia, which could see ...
Latest News
Hotel giant Accor has launched a new bespoke, premium fitness service for its upmarket Pullman ...
Latest News
People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss ...
Latest News
Sibec Europe, scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany, from 2 to 5 November 2021, ...
Latest News
Swim England has warned that 2,000 swimming pools could be lost forever unless the government ...
Latest News
Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness ...
Latest News
A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health ...
Latest News
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see ...
Latest News
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it ...
Latest News
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
Latest News
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Company profiles
Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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