In a recent episode of The Club Industry Podcast, The LAB owner Michael Piercy said a strong and healthy fitness business culture ultimately fosters retention among members and employees.
Thus, enter the concept of onboarding: the process in which new members are integrated with the business's existing culture. This was the topic of Club Industry's latest free webinar, as this important moment can make or break a relationship—and, over time, a business.
In “Onboarding Your Way to a Million-Dollar Personal Training Department," Mark Koester, director of fitness at Active Wellness, said that many people drift away from their club because of boredom, a perceived lack of results or not feeling like they have people or a place that truly welcomes them.
"With competition on every street corner, there is no more important time to get this right," Koester said in the webinar. "Second, for many people, the gym can be a scary and intimidating space. ... This is true of your new members and your new hires."
Koester shares many onboarding best practices throughout the webinar. Below is a short list of several ways in which he recommends you engage new members during the first three months of their membership.
- Offer a free needs assessment (biometric screenings, etc.).
- Based on the assessment, recommend a programming prescription (personal training or specific group classes).
- Invite members to complete detailed feedback surveys.
- Direct new members to an existing member advisory board.
- Consistently touch base with new members at the 30-, 60- and 90-day marks of their membership.
For more onboarding insight, click here to view the on-demand version of this free webinar.
This webinar was the first installment of the Club Industry Master Class Series, moderated by Maria Turco. The next webinar, "Member Retention Strategies that Fuel Growth," is at 2 p.m. Eastern on April 16. Register here.
The Master Class webinars are brought to you for free because of the generous sponsorship of the following companies: Honor Yoga, ABC Financial, Listen360, Myzone, Simple Again and Upshow.