Communication and engagement is the key to any relationship including those with your members. That extends beyond the face-to-face interactions you have, to other moments outside of your four walls.

That's especially true now, but as your business grows, it can be a lot to manage and still deliver that personal touch. But true to form, leading clubs are finding a way to make it happen.

We asked Chris Gallo to share some of the unique ways he's seeing studio operators continue to build their connections with personal communications, especially SMS messaging. Watch the fourth part of this video series below (you can see the first one here) and read a quick Q&A.


Question: What is the value of SMS communications now and how has it changed recently?

During this time period, I'll use the word playbook, some businesses are running a successful business with more of a hybrid and virtual model and some people entirely remote. Obviously, you've had to pivot and change how communications go out. But you can do that when you build into good software automation. It can act with triggered responses from you and your staff. It tells you where somebody is during their journey. Are they a prospect? Have they been to a class? Have they not been to a class? Have they taken a class in the club or remotely? How long have they been a member? Have they finally made it to their 25th class - and was it done remotely? Well, I want to know that from my software. I want to make sure that I am notified on my dashboard when things like that occur so I can send somebody in one click, a private one-on-one text.

I think in this time period, we have a chance to use technology less as high tech, which is tons and tons of automation in simple non-personalized  – "We want you back" or "Great workout" – types of messages. That can be almost a little techie and computerized versus let's send my general manager a task that says, "Hey, so-and-so just completed their fifth virtual workout or their 25th total workout." And my task is to send them a one-on-one text SMS from the software that says something along those lines. You create more of a personalized experience. I call that a high-touch playbook, but again, it's driven by you creating a standardized operating procedure that will best run your facility and can incorporate all of your staff. I know in most cases the staff is pretty small right now, but whoever is on the floor, at the desk, or teaching a class, and of course the people that are managing and owning the business, making sure that you are reminded of when to communicate and having the software where you can do it from one solution without having to connect the dots with several different providers. That's key and critical right now.

Really that's a way of creating a community. I think that everyone that has gotten those kinds of marketing texts can tell when something is written by someone in a personal style and when it's done by something that may be automated. I believe in automation obviously, there are all sorts of reasons to automate touches. But in this time more than ever, I believe in doing things in a personalized manner and making it efficient by having software to back it up again is critical and hugely beneficial.


Learn more and get some of the most current stats in the industry in the ebook "Building New Growth."