As a club operator and as the CEO of MXM, my heart goes out to all club owners, operators and organizations. I am not only living this with you in our own two clubs (Worx of Wenatchee Valley), but I have daily calls with many of you. Some of you are struggling to figure out if you should reopen at all. Some of you have already reopened. Some of you are in areas (Los Angeles and New York City) where reopening seems like a long way off. I think of the conversations we all had in January that would close with “see you at IHRSA,” and those conversations seem like years ago. It makes me realize what an important touchstone Club industry and IHRSA are in our industry. It is hard to imagine these events without handshakes and hugs.
At MXM, we think about member loyalty every single day and the behaviors it takes to create it. That’s why we offered our member survey for free to the industry during this time. So this week, I scoured the 140,000 member responses that have come in across 653 closed clubs in order to piece together a love letter to our industry. I am using actual comments from the collective voice of these members to show what loyalty sounds like right now. I am including only one area of concern because it is so important across the entire base of members. Forgive some redundancy and a little choppiness in this letter. I wanted to keep it to the actual member comments as much as I could.
So, here is what your members love about you…
Dear Fitness Industry,
Thank you so much for seeking our input. It shows you truly care about us and our concerns, and I’m so appreciative of that. I hope you and your families are safe. I can’t wait to hit the gym again. I have not been that disciplined during the shutdown fearing reinjury and need guidance on altering my exercise routines. Home workouts are a large struggle for me, and I do not have all the equipment that I’ve become comfortable with using. I miss the gym.
I've been doing your on-demand workouts, and that's great. I can understand why it is so appealing for so many people, but I really miss coming to the gym. For me personally, on-demand isn't nearly as appealing. However, you have done a fantastic job with our online workouts. If I can’t get in due to max capacity, I’m happy if a similar online workout is available. I also want to say how happy I am with how you handled our membership without even waiting for us to ask to suspend them for the time being.
I miss the staff and their positive energy. It’s hard to find young and awesome people with an attitude of being kind and helpful, and I miss embracing my routine, feeling the support from others, and seeing the magic that takes place at the gym every day. I lost 56 pound and completely changed my eating habits. I didn’t do these things by accident or by staying locked up at home. I did these things by soaking in the support and the commitment of my fellow members, and most of all, the staff. This is my home away from home.
Gym-wise, I feel comfortable that the equipment and facilities can be sanitized, but none of us can control what the other person is doing. Even if the gym owner and employees maintain the sanitization of the gym, all members must also do their part in continuing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and all other viruses and infections. It is so important for us to be able to clean up after our own personal use and help to wipe equipment down to ensure everyone’s health. I am so happy to be part of this gym family, but we need clear guidelines: should you spray a clean cloth with cleanser and wipe the machine down or spray the machine and then wipe it down?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything everyone is doing to help the community and keep members in the loop. You are all amazing, wonderful and kind people. I hope you have all the employees be like they were before the shutdown. Best group of people I’ve met throughout my year of 2019 to present day, amazing group of people.