Re-Engaging Lost Members: Learnings from the Fitness Technology Summit

Steve Ayers

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February 8, 2021

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PUblished

February 8, 2021

In December I had the privilege of helping to host Motionsoft and Club Automation’s Fitness Technology Summit. Over two days, we brought together some of the best minds in the industry to re-imagine the future of fitness. More than 250 participants came together to confront and innovate for the challenges of a rapidly changing marketplace.

Our featured industry leaders led panels and discussions where they provided powerful insight into a number of topics, from what to expect in the aftermath of the pandemic to how to reinvigorate the traditional customer experience. I learned so much from each session, but one in particular that I keep coming back to was our “Re-Engaging with Lost Members” discussion.

In a time when many clubs are experiencing freeze rates of up to 60%, industry leaders Frank Ancharski (Club Coaching Services), Meredith DeAngelis (The Village Health Clubs & Spas), Katie Bossie (Listen360), Chris Craytor (ACAC Fitness and Wellness Centers), and Todd Scartozzi (Retro Fitness) discussed the best ways to re-engage members who have become distanced from their clubs.

Here are my five favorite takeaways from the session:

1. Take “overcommunication” out of your vocabulary.

Our panelists agreed that the most important skill learned from the pandemic was effective communication. With local policies and mandated closures changing by the minute, regular communication was essential. Members not only needed to know the new rules surrounding re-opening, but they also needed reassurance that clubs were making every effort to put their safety first.  

As vaccination rates increase and people begin returning to their regular exercise habits, your lost members will be craving communication from your club. Some things they’ll want to hear more about: your new sanitation and social-distancing protocol, special offerings like virtual fitness and outdoor classes, and how they can effortlessly re-engage in your community.

2. Recommit to listening.

Listen360 is dedicated to surveying, collecting, and analyzing customer engagement and customer feedback. Listen360 Senior Business Manager Katie Bossie says during times of great change or duress, member feedback is more important than ever.

By implementing more touchpoints and surveys for the different member groups in your club, you’ll gain a fuller understanding of why they might be disengaged. Inactive members, pending cancelled members, frozen members, and cancelled members are just a few groups you stand to win back once you’ve heard why they have left or are considering leaving your club.

3. Don’t let perfection impede innovation.

Navigating the membership experience coming out of COVID-19 requires quite a bit of creativity and extreme flexibility. With so much in flux on a day-to-day basis, innovation has become imperative to survival. Simply put, there’s no time for perfection when it comes to launching new offerings or processes.

When trying to engage lost members through innovation, authenticity far outweighs perfection. Give members a behind-the-scenes look at the path you took to your new offering and explain why you think it will benefit them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and earnestness in trying to serve them as best you can.

4. Position your club as essential.

Todd Scartozzi says if the pandemic has any lasting effect on the fitness industry, it should be in solidifying fitness clubs as part of the greater healthcare continuum. When working to re-engage lost members, emphasize how living an active lifestyle with the help of a health club can impact overall wellness.

With services ranging from group fitness classes and customized nutrition planning to wellness practices like massages and meditation, health clubs are the ultimate resource for living a happier and healthier life. The services health clubs provide are as essential to health as visiting your doctor for a yearly physical. It’s your job to remind lost members of exactly that.

5. Tailor your win-back messaging.

This tip works hand-in-hand with recommitting to listening. Health club member bases are extremely diverse. As a result, there are infinite factors contributing to lost members canceling or freezing their accounts.

Maybe they found a new workout your facility doesn’t offer. Or maybe they recently had a baby and need childcare to continue their regular exercise routine. COVID-19 brought an entirely new set of factors in play. Some members cancelled because they didn’t feel comfortable exercising indoors. Others didn’t want to exercise with a face covering.

To win back a member, personalizing your approach greatly increases your chance of success. Find out the “why” behind a member cancellation or freeze, and then provide them with solutions and tailored messaging that proves why you’re the best fit for all their needs.

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  • Just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection
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Into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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