As New Year’s resolutions get set each year, fitness is top-of-mind for many people. In fact, data from Nielsen found that staying fit and healthy, and losing weight are the top two New Year’s resolutions among U.S. consumers.
The New Year is sure to be a profitable time for your fitness franchise – but how can you ensure you’re offering the best customer experience possible and encouraging members to stick with your fitness franchise for the long haul? We’ve pulled together some tips below.
Staff Up on Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors
While your fitness center will see a spike in business and foot traffic during the New Year, one drawback is that it can leave both longterm clients and those looking to achieve New Year’s resolutions frustrated by the crowds. Make sure your fitness franchise is staffed up with enough personal trainers and group fitness instructors to go around at this busy time of year. And consider scheduling extra group fitness classes throughout the week if your fitness center has the capacity to do so.
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), 68 percent of gym members have stopped working with a personal trainer because of a poor experience, meaning hiring the best team possible should be one of your top priorities. To prepare for the New Year make sure your fitness center is equipped with great employees, so customers will get excited about coming in for their next personal training session or group fitness class. The more your employees create a compelling customer experience, the less likely your members will be to join another fitness center or opt for a mobile app instead.
To get prepared for the New Year – and other busy times of the year – make sure to always keep positions open for roles you know are frequently in high demand. This can help you build a network of potential candidates so you’re not starting the hiring process from scratch when the New Year rush hits full force. An added benefit of continuous openings is it will get prospective personal trainers excited about the possibility of working for a growing brand.
Encourage Client Retention
Despite fitness being a top New Year’s resolution, 80 percent of members who join fitness centers in January end up quitting within five months. But with the right retention plan in place, you can ensure your clients stay excited about coming visiting your fitness franchise for months or years to come.
One way to encourage retention at your fitness center is to offer discounted long-term memberships as part of a New Year’s resolution promotion. For example, consider offering clients a free month after they’ve been a member for six months. Or offer similar perks for client referrals. If one of your clients recommends a friend or family member to join your gym, reward your client with a discounted month or free personal training session.
Another way to increase client retention at your fitness center is by tapping into the latest technology. For example, many fitness centers today have their own mobile apps. In recent years, mobile app usage has increased 168% and fitness apps in particular have seen a 62% increase in daily usage. In addition to helping your clients schedule personal training sessions or book group exercise classes, your fitness center’s app can be used to incentivize active clients. If a client checks into your fitness center a certain number of times each month, for example, consider reward the member with a free or discounted group fitness class or complimentary massage in your spa. The incentives will encourage members to frequently visit your fitness center and, ultimately, increase member retention.
On the other hand, if a client stops checking into your fitness center for a period of time, make sure he or she doesn’t end up in the 80% that quit within the first five months. Send friendly notifications via email or your mobile app such as, “We Miss You” or “Are You Reaching Your Fitness Goals?” to encourage members to get active again.
To learn more about how to hire the best team at your fitness center year round, download our eBook, “Staffing Up for Success: 4 Things to Do When Hiring at Your New Franchise.”