Think that the days of great personal member experiences over? Think again.
They matter more than ever, but how they're delivered is changing. Just because you can’t greet members in-person doesn’t mean you can’t create the same concierge-level fitness experience you’re accustomed to providing - and that lead to business success!
Our resident expert and industry pulse-taker, Chris Gallo, offers his take on how smart players are enhancing personalized member engagement even as face-face interactions are limited. Watch the video below, the third in our four-part series on the topic.
Are the days of great personal member experiences over?
I believe those communities and those people being a part of that club has become more and more important than ever. So I do believe in the studio play, people will always, always benefit from an in-club experience. It's a better workout. There's more energy. Most of those people want the community that join it, and that's not going away. Even in the larger gyms. There's no doubt. There are many, many people that'll work out in a gym, but some of those aren't going for the community. Some of those individuals are going just to work out. They're looking at those factors, the personal environmental and social factors, that got them into the facility that day to work out for their health. For some of them, yeah, we may lose them. They may find out they learned something like a yoga class at home that they can do a little bit better from home, because they weren't glued to that fitness club or studio experience.
I don't think you can ever replicate an indoor cycling class at home. It's very different. I don't think you can replicate an incredible Pilates reformer workout at home. I don't think you get the hands-on attention from a personal trainer that you could get with all the equipment in a gym at home. There's too much to fitness inside the four walls of these brick and mortar facilities that truly move people to join and create success.
What are some ways you see studios interacting with existing members?
The strong operators who pivot and can get more virtual in these times and just stay afloat. Those members, certainly most of them, the majority will want to come back. And maybe like we said earlier, maybe just, maybe they'll learn that, "Hey, maybe I can join and only go to the studio once a week, but I can do at home workouts twice a week. I'm not doing it with some, some yoga platform that's based in California when I live in Massachusetts. I'm doing it with my community and I'm doing it with my instructors who I trust and who I will trust now when things are a little bit dicey and trust later when I am ready to go back into that studio or my state allows me back into that studio.
What are some other ways that technology is impacting workouts?
Another thing that we did at ClubReady two and a half years ago, was purchase a phenomenal company Performance IQ. It has really been an amazing thing for all of us and at a great time where the idea of performance tracking is to enhance member engagement. It can make sure when I go home or after my workout, that I get an email saying, "Hey, great workout. You did this, this and this." I go home. I open up my mobile app and I can see my history of calories burned. My average RPMs. I can see how I'm doing in competitions and where my trends are going. We believed in this member engagement outside of the four walls of the studio years ago. I do believe that performance is still absolutely critical in the walls of the store. And why is it because it gets people back
What’s the state of the industry now and going forward?
As an industry, we have to be fighting for every dollar to keep it away from the traditional in-home workout options. We just have to make sure that the community, which right now is very virtual, doesn't become exclusively a virtual community. It does not become more attractive than what I would consider the nucleus of a real community, which is the people at a brick and mortar studio that are in your area, your friends, your experts, that you actually get to see in person. They actually know you. They know how you ride. They know your tendencies. They keep you accountable. There is nothing that can ever completely replicate an in-person experience in fitness.