Many of your members missed your gym just as much as you missed them, however… In order to regain trust and confidence, you will have to find different ways to get in touch with your members and show them how happy you are to welcome them back. But also, to assure them that you have followed all the rules. It is vital to reassure your members that you have done your homework.
You can feel the tension: generating sales during a period of extreme economic hardship is not easy, at all! This tension is very real, particularly for newer ventures or smaller businesses that may not have the resources to survive long periods of diminished cash flow.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
It is key to understand you will have different types of members with different expectations and behaviors, you need to communicate properly to each of them. Members will be divided in the following categories:
Optimists: “everything will be the same.”
They are hoping to go back to the situation as it was. Optimists may not follow the rules.
Pessimists: “it will never be the same again.”
They will probably take a longer time to visit the gym. Pessimists will only come back if they feel safe.
Realists: “it will be different.”
They will be skeptical and eager for information. They will also get frustrated at rule breakers and with lack of enforcement. Realists will follow the rules.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP
With the right customer-focused attitude, you can strengthen the relationship with your members to gain long-lasting goodwill. Even when social distancing will minimize personal interaction.
Let your members know that you understand their circumstances and care about more than profit, not just during this difficult time. Make sure your members understand that you care about them, at all times. Don’t forget to focus on health! That’s what it’s all about.
You have most likely already informed your members about the steps you are taking through social media and/or e-mails. Be sure to keep your messages brief and classy, don’t overplay your softer side. Eventually, your members will care about the value you create for them. Define the reasons they became a member of your gym in the first place. Remind them of all the functionalities and benefits.
HOW SHOULD YOU COMMUNICATE FOR THE REOPENING?
- Be efficient and concise: people receive many Covid-19 related messages these days. Make sure you communicate with meaningful messages.
- Be transparent about possible changes: with the uncertain situation, members have to understand that there could be more changes as society adapts to the evolution of the pandemic. “We are going to do this until we are told otherwise”.
- Be agile: have a clear line of communication and make sure you keep members up to date. Don’t surprise them with new changes they did not expect.
- Personal communications: it is not common to communicate the same message to a member that was coming in 4 times a week and a member who didn’t visit the gym at all lately.
Remember: we’re in this together. You, your members, your employees and your fellow gym owners!
At Life Fitness, we’ll be sure to add material for you to use, such as attract-screens on your cardio equipment that say ‘welcome back’ or ‘cleaning guidelines’. We’ll provide in-club marketing materials such as posters as well as marketing materials for online purposes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help!
Do you want to have more practical tips & tricks on how to prepare for the reopening of your gym? Download our free e-book here.