COVID-19 has hit everyone hard, but no industry more than the fitness studios. The good news is that people are coming back to the studio.
The flipside of that is that all of your pre-covid staff might not, and saying that the labor market is tight is an understatement. While you shouldn’t give up on hiring the best team possible, you have to move forward now.
Connecting with Members
You know that building relationships is the key to your success - but how many touches are required? Our data tells us it’s somewhere between 7-11 points of contact. These include emails, text messages, calls, tours, free classes. That’s a lot, especially with your now understaffed studio. That’s where technology shines, but it has to be used to enhance personal connections. Personal relationships are the very reason your members are returning. The key is to automate items that aren’t specifically personal to free you to build those human connections by allowing more time to engage personally, and leveraging technology to ensure you don’t miss opportunities to connect. We like to look at automated interactions in two different ways: High Touch and High Tech.
High Touch Business Automation
These are automations that are more personalized and involve staff tasks and prompts. They help facilitate personal interactions when you are face to face with a member or when communicating one-to-one through any channel to enhance the experience and business operations. High-touch automation is more key and critical during these times where the community is more challenging at the in-club level due to COVID.
Example: Think of all the information you get when a new member signs up or a member books a class. From class time to instructor, we can track those customers. Knowing who are taking classes virtually, going to class in the club, or doing both is vital information for your business. Knowing you have that sort of segmentation to work with allows you to differentiate between those members adjust the communications accordingly to reflect their experience and your interactions with them.
High Tech Business Automation
These automations work on behalf of the club completely autonomously. Think of SMS and email drip campaigns during this member journey. They can be triggered by a member activity, elapsed time or other events.
Examples: People thrive on attention and enjoy being made to feel special. Something as small as acknowledging a member’s name, birthday, or recent purchase within your emails or SMS can go a long way to making members tune into your message. One stat that we’ve seen is that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Birthdays, Milestones, class credits left, days before the expiration are all examples of high-tech automations that can be personalized and increase engagement without increasing your workload. Another we love is setting up a club’s automation so whenever someone checks into a class and may have a billing or payment related alert, the software is set up with a real-time trigger that texts the member an action step like “hey you owe money by the way” in case the front desk attendant is swarmed and some sort of billing issue showing on the check-in roster is missed by the staff.
Putting Technology on Your Team
We firmly believe that you can’t replace the experience that our great studios offer to members. But the new in-person experience is going to look different and face new challenges, one of the biggest of which will be staff limitations. With the right application of technology, that won’t hold back studios willing to embrace automations that build member connections. Learn more or get a demo.