Learn more about our exciting new look and unrivaled approach to the market revealed at IHRSA.

How Technology Can Be Your Secret Weapon To Boost Your Business

by Bill Davis, President and CEO, ABC Fitness Solutions 

Embrace a Total Fitness Experience

If you are like many of the 16,000 fitness club operators and gym owners that ABC supports, creating opportunities for revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind. Beyond that, you want to boost your business as we move into a post-pandemic world.

For health and fitness clubs, this means delivering a personalized Total Fitness Experience. Recently, I walked through 10 ways you can leverage technology to boost your business and enhance your member experience. You can view this session on demand or read a summary below.

10. Create safe, simple access to your facility.

Consider implementing contactless check-in to make it easier for members and staff to enter your club at any time of the day or night. Not only does this reduce the potential hours that you need to allocate your staff, it also reduces the cost to replace lost key-fobs and boost security.

Combined with capacity management, which helps the club operator manage how many members are on the premises at a given time, we have seen clubs expand their operating hours—without adding more staff hours—to give the members the flexibility to sign up for the most convenient time slot.

9. Focus your marketing spend and increase your Return on Advertising Spend.

“Return on Advertising Spend”, or ROAS, is a concept that you and your marketing team should have top-of-mind. This is a metric to measure the efficacy of your advertising campaigns. It’s the ratio of how much you spend versus the revenue generated by your ads.

Before you spend another dollar, do a quick audit of your ad spend. Use your sales automation technology to understand which campaigns are really working for you, whether radio, print, e-mail nurturing, or social.

8. Reallocate staff hours and improve productivity.

A recent ClubIntel report shows that 50% of US operators have not yet brought back all of their staff. Europe is even higher, at 60%. Motivating and keeping your staff productive could make a huge difference in your business, your member experience, and ultimately, your bottom line. When it comes to optimizing staff hours, time saved per salesperson adds up quickly. Consider sales automation that includes an automated dialer. On average, it takes 10 seconds to make a sales call. If your staff makes 50 calls per day, that’s 42 minutes per week they can spend on tours or engaging with your members in new and different ways.

7. Outsource member care so you can focus on your business.

We’ve all heard the examples of how a poor member support experience can damage your business, brand, and reputation. The reality is, member support is much more than just answering calls. It’s understanding the nature of their call, the ability to reference their membership information quickly, troubleshoot, and help with sensible next steps. Training a call center staff is time consuming and costly—and keeping your call center staffed and effective requires ongoing focus. Understanding the true cost of maintaining a dedicated call center is another reason to consider a holistic revenue-cycle management solution that’s more than just payment processing.

6. Find missing revenue from current members.

With the closing and reopening of your business, a clear understanding of your membership base and collection status of your members can be a quick way to identify missing revenue by profit center. Utilize your club reporting to identify key factors, such as:

  • Hard declines on membership payments
  • Dues out for collections by type of recurring service
  • Establish recurring subscription services
  • Variance in revenue by program over several months

5. Recover revenue from frozen gym memberships.

Engaging and communicating with frozen members is the biggest opportunity club owners and operators have to proactively and successfully unfreeze memberships and reinstate payments.

There are several possible outcomes from the communication, including:

  • Members want to wait longer, therefore asking for a longer freeze
  • Members want to activate because they didn’t realize the club has reopened
  • Members do choose to go ahead and cancel their membership

Consider different calls-to-action in your marketing plan, segment your frozen members, and make sure your sales team is armed with the information to personalize every interaction.

4. Redesign programs and offerings to match new fitness consumer expectations.

There is no universal solution when it comes to programming, because it’s a reflection of your brand and what your members are looking for. There are general best practices, like adjusting scheduling based on your capacity management data. For example, you could create an automated waitlist with effective member notifications for every class so you can automatically get full capacity. We’ve seen other clubs minimize no-shows to classes and appointments by implementing reminder emails and texts.

3. Create as many self-service opportunities as you can for your members.

While many clubs may have relied on walk-ins for new membership joins or phone calls to manage member inquiries, this may no longer be a recipe for success post-pandemic. Your website and social channels are your most powerful tools for prospect and member communication – make sure an intuitive online join is integrated with or linked from your site.

2. Elevate the personal training experience.

By having your member data in a centralized solution, you also keep every engagement branded and you won’t have to worry about losing those clients if a Personal Trainer leaves. We’ve even seen this approach positively impact trainer retention.

Trainerize powered by ABC is a mobile solution that can deliver custom training, nutrition, and habit coaching packages through a branded club app, allowing you to capitalize on new membership plans and offer home exercise options including a video library and habits tracking. Even as PT appointments dropped during the pandemic, we saw a rise in nutrition planning and coaching sessions – don’t neglect this demand!

1. Digitize your brand and fitness offering.

Finally, let’s talk about digital and virtual offerings. You have likely heard a lot about this subject over the past few months. We must all consider digital as a complementary and necessary component to your overall Total Fitness Experience strategy.

You can start by offering a low-cost, digital-only membership as a way to keep members part of the club without physically being inside the club. Keep your offer simple and motivated to maintain a level of member engagement. Don’t over-bundle the upsells or packages. Consider a “freemium” or “free trial” option to get adoption started, and consider upsells for coaching, on-demand training, 1:1 video sessions, and more.

Step into the next new normal.

Are you ready to take your member management to the next level? Reach out to one of our experts to find out how you can get started with ABC Fitness Solutions.