Should I re-engage with gym members before reopening?

By Melania Armento

Published 27 May 2020

We have been talking a lot about the best strategies to face the pandemic in the last couple of months. Since all over the world facilities are  reopening again, you need to prepare for re-opening and this is all you need to know to attract new gym members.

Once you have your packages designed and built out, the next step is to invite former and existing members to your new services. It’s recommended that you make an effort to introduce all existing and former members onto a paid service, and start your outreach with existing members and re-engage with gym members who decided to pause or stop their membership due to the pandemic.

The purpose of starting with existing members is that they present the path of least resistance. This is especially true if you’re including a new package (such as the core package) already as part of their membership. Having current members on your platform will immediately create engagement, so that new members who enter on the freemium package can see the levels of activity already.  What is the importance of member retention?

This is how to re-engage customers

Often we have discussed how to retain customers who are leaving, but this time we want to share tips on how to engage with your former gym members.

If you are planning the reopening you know that attracting new members is already an important goal you need to focus on, but don’t forget to communicate your new services to your existing gym members.

How you initially invite members to your new services will depend entirely on what vendor / platforms you’re using and you’ll need to speak to your provider.

Regardless of your provider, you will need to do more than send email invites. You will need to actively reach out by phone to introduce them to your new offering. Some of the best customer retention strategies include actively engaging with your community.

If you haven’t set your Community space on your Virtuagym portal or app, make sure you read more on the Community feature here and start interacting with your customers to find new ways of improving gym member experience.

  • Reach out to your community

If you are planning the reopening of your facility you want to make sure you give clear information to your gym members in terms of when you are going to open and how you will comply with the new government regulations.

Don’t forget to mention what are the social distancing guidelines, how you are planning on keeping the facility clean and how to use the scheduling features to book the classes in advance. Human to human should be your focus here.

How you reach out to your customers will depend on how many phone numbers you have and your own schedule. However, we recommend calling twice a day every three days. For example:

  • Break all members into groups of 50.
  • Call first 50 twice the first day.
  • Reach out to 50 twice the second day.
  • Call third 50 twice the third day.
  • Repeat steps 2-4 for 12 days.

This structure will allow you to call 150 customers every 12 days, giving you the highest opportunity at connecting. It is recommended to vary your call times to maximize your chances of catching your members at different times.

  • Focus on creating a winning pitch

The next question to answer is “What should I say to them?” And this is an easy one to answer. Once you understand that your objective in the call is first to see if they’d get any value from your new packages and – if so – introduce them to your packages it’s a simple conversation. You can break the conversation into 4 parts:

  • Introduction – Explain who you are, where you’re calling from and why you’re calling.
  • Understand if there’s value – Ask lots of questions to try and understand where, if anywhere, there might be value for your new service.
  • Explain your service – Describe what your service is and why you believe it might be valuable for them.
  • Sign them up and offer Basic Training – Next, ask them if they’d like to get started. If so, then send them a payment link for the membership. Once they’ve signed up give them a quick explanation of where to find and track their workouts.

If someone says “no” to signing up then you need to understand why. It’s possible that they’re not correctly understanding what you’re offering, or that they have no desire (maybe they’re only a casual exerciser) or maybe they don’t have the ability to purchase.

Whatever the reason it’s important that you ask questions to understand why they said no. Once you understand why they’ve declined your offer you can either clarify their understanding, agree that it’s not a fit, or potentially invite them to the freemium package first so that they see the value on offer.

If you want to know more about members retention and how to survive the current pandemic recession, download your free eBook copy here.

Melania Armento


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