Keeping classes full and customers engaged can be a challenge for any business in the fitness industry. In a fiercely competitive arena, business owners need to adapt to changing customer demand to maximise member loyalty, and ensure sustained commitment and retention.
Introduce outdoor classes in the summer
The days are getting lighter, and summer is most definitely on its way. Recent research by MINDBODY found that a staggering 91 per cent of the nation are most motivated to exercise in summer, meaning this is the perfect season to target both new and potential members.
The study also found that spending time outdoors could be a key component in overall wellness, but nearly half of the nation (47 per cent) spend an hour or less in the great outdoors per day.
With this in mind, why not consider taking classes outdoors in the warmer months? Not only will this show that you’re dedicated to your customers’ overall health and wellbeing by exposing them to a bit of much-needed Vitamin D, but your classes will be more noticeable to the passers-by and could help to drive more footfall.
Be flexible with your membership options
The same report from MINDBODY found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of UK adults have no fixed gym or studio membership. As an increasingly fast-paced, ‘on the go’ society, people want options and variety, so why not give it to them? Think about introducing payas- you-go membership options, to encourage more people in the local area to attend your classes.
Once you’ve caught their attention, you can then look to gain their trust and ensure they keep coming back for more.
Run introductory offers
Price continues to be one of the primary drivers of loyalty in the fitness industry, and is an area that business owners should certainly be aware of.
Running offers on a regular basis is a way to keep current members happy and engaged, whilst also acting as a great way to attract a new clientele. MINDBODY customer data shows that 60 per cent of the top 15 customers run introductory offers; on average, this is four (offers) per location.
It’s a method that works, and can be instrumental in ensuring classes are full and fruitful each and every week.
Get involved in the community
Over three-quarters (78 per cent) of respondents said they don’t have a corporate wellness scheme at work. Getting involved in the local community and building partnerships with companies (and their employees) close to your business is a great way of making new connections and building up your client list.
Offer your skills and services to a local company for a one-off or series of classes before and after work or during lunch. What can you get in return? The opportunity to win new clients, grow your classes and watch your business flourish.
Make your class timetable accessible
The timetable can be a make-orbreak factor for any fitness or health institution. Getting this right will help ensure your classes are always full to capacity and your customers are engaged with your brand.
Whilst MINDBODY’s study showed a slight trend towards people attending gyms or classes after 5pm, overall there was no specific preferred or ‘peak’ time. Consider building a timetable that offers various classes throughout the day (being sure to consider your audience) - for fitness that works around their schedule.
Having a timetable that is bookable online and via an app can also help to keep your classes full. Customers want access to a class that fits around their schedule. Almost all (93 per cent) of MINDBODY’s top 15 customers have app-bookings enabled, and due to this see higher customer numbers.
Catie Miller, Founder of MINDBODY studio, Xtend Barre suggests creating symmetry in your timetable to increase variety: “On Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays we mirror the class timings and offering, so if members were to visit the studio every day, they’d experience a variety and mix of disciplines, ensuring they get an effective workout each time.”
Make it social
Make your business a sociable and invigorating environment for everyone who steps foot inside the building. Often, people see the gym as a stress-reliever and a chance to see friends. Encourage your members to work out together and attend the same classes on a regular basis.
Over a third of people in MINDBODY’s study said they consider their main form of exercise to be social, further confirming that there is a positive correlation between the nation’s exercise and social habits.
Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager, EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, added: “Wellness has gone beyond a trend in the UK and we’re now catching up with countries like Australia in terms of it being an integrated and important part of our lifestyles. It feels like anyone and everyone is jumping on the ‘wellness’ bandwagon and so it’s important to think creatively and utilise technology, alongside taking an avid interest in consumer behaviour, in order to continuously drive the business forward.
“Our recent study has provided some really useful insights that will help more businesses in the fitness and wellness sector to benefit from fuller classes – all year round.”
To find out more about MINDBODY and how it can help your business, visit www.mindbodyonline.com/business