Happy New Year! Historically, the new year is a busy time for the fitness industry. Consumers use January as a reset point and vow to make changes, many of which revolve around health and fitness.
While this year will be different, I still believe gyms are going to see an influx of new members. Our industry is not back to pre-pandemic numbers. It is our responsibility as health and fitness providers to make sure we create environments where people reach their goals. To create these environments, we need to make our own “resolutions.” Our resolutions will not be about losing weight or getting toned, but about improving our facilities so members can succeed with the goals they set.
Below are four resolution ideas for you to consider as we boldly head into 2022.
R1: Create an annual theme
At clubs I have owned and operated, we always had an annual theme. It is a rallying cry for the entire organization. It bonds team members around a common goal and complements the vision, mission and values of the company.
A few years back, our Net Promoter Score was 77. Our theme the following year was “Go to 80!” The entire team knew this. We communicated it, put up posters and addressed it at every meeting. This got everyone on board with improving the member experience at the club. Consequently, we didn’t “Go to 80.” We went to over 90!
Other themes we used included “Good to Great,” “A Culture of Gratitude” and “An Attitude of Service.” An annual theme is a great way to motivate and engage your team.
R2: Reimagine the customer journey
While this is always a good thing to do, the curveballs thrown at us by the pandemic make this “resolution” more important than ever.
The customer journey is every touch point a member has with your organization — from brand awareness to becoming a raving fan. When examining the touch points, look for ways to create the best technological experience combined with the best human interaction experience.
Énergie Fitness clubs are a UK brand with whom I have done some work. They developed an innovative system for the check-in part of the customer journey, using technology to allow members to check themselves into the club. Then, an alert is generated to notify a “host” to properly greet the member. This is a great example of using technology and human touch to create a great experience.
Examine your customer journey in the new normal and search for ways to take it to the next level.
R3: Try new programming
There is no better time than the new year — particularly this new year — to try new programming options.
People tried many new things throughout the pandemic. They took their training outdoors and online. They tried 30-minute classes, new formats and wellness-related programming such as meditation. Fitness-oriented technology and apps became a regular part of people’s routines.
Maybe it is time to add an outdoor class or a meditation class to your offerings. Perhaps deliver a seminar to teach people how to get the most out of their Apple Watch. The bottom line is, meet members where they are and where they want to be. Survey members. Get creative and have fun.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you market it! New Year. New Programs. New You!
R4: Strive to improve cleanliness standards
I have always prided myself on having clean clubs. Members often shared how appreciative they were that our club was clean.
It is ironic because cleanliness should be a given, but our industry is notorious for being dirty. Members didn’t like it, but they tolerated it. The pandemic changed that. The key is to maintain this clean expectation as we come out of the COVID era. Clean clubs are not only better for the members and staff, but they also elevate the status of our industry.
Exercise is medicine. We are preventative medicine. Increased standards will elevate the reputation of our industry. It will take a team effort. Consider making “cleanliness” an annual theme. Add adherence to cleanliness standards to performance reviews. Consistently express gratitude to your team for doing a great job in this area. There are so many great reasons to make cleanliness standards one of your New Year’s resolutions.
In summation, try creating an annual theme to get your team fired up. Choose a theme that improves upon something you are currently doing or allows you to add something new.
Audit your customer journey to see how the new normal has changed it and what you can do to make it the best experience possible.
New Year’s is a temporal landmark for people, making them more willing to try new things. Your business should be too.
Finally, keep it clean. Help elevate your facility and the industry by delivering next-level cleaning standards.
Try using any or all of these resolutions, or come up with some of your own. It’s a new year, and the future looks bright. Resolve to be great!