Design Memorable Exercise Experiences That Last - The Fitness Business Podcast Blog

The blog was originally written for the Fitness Business Podcast. If you would like to read it in its original location click on the link at the bottom of this page.

 

While most people today know me more for work on retention, attrition and member loyalty, the first half of my career was as a fitness instructor, a personal trainer and a trainer of trainers. Much of this time was focused on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and exercise program design. I thought I was pretty good at exercise program design but I could never understand why customers and clients wouldn’t stick to these programs that I had crafted for them, and that’s why I began to study psychology.

Two masters degrees, numerous short courses, workshops and a PhD later I am still just a focused on improving exercise adherence and retention.

Much of what I have been reading in the past two years has been in the area of experience design. My rational is if members have a better experience they stay...

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Managing member behaviour as you transition back into gym life

 

What’s the best way to build confidence amongst members when it comes to reopening the doors of your club? How can you communicate rules relating to Covid-19 and ensure they are followed by all?

There's an increasing amount of speculation and information about the process of reopening gyms, but very little so far to do with training staff on how to cope and deal with reopening when it comes to the actual member experience.

 

Visual prompts to guide members

One of the things to be aware of, is that we often take our cues from visual prompts. When we see a red traffic light, we know it’s a signal to stop, but the traffic light doesn't actually stop us. It's just a signal.

When it comes to reopening gyms, we can use visual prompts to help our customers behave the way we need them to behave at this time.

Visual prompts need to be both before, during, and after their visit. Adam Zeittsiff's team at Gold's in the US are preparing to open some of their clubs and have...

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CoachAi product review

 

Each week I get contacted by suppliers who have developed products that claim to improve retention. Some are existing companies and others are start ups. So I have decided to review them and publish those reviews. This is the first is with Shai from CoachAi. I discus the product, how clients are using CoachAi and the result they are getting. I summarise and give my evaluation a the end. 

You can also download the one year case study hear.  https://www.coachai.com/pub/coachai-one-year-case-study-2019.pdf 

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Keep your customers using these three phases.

 

Considering the current situation globally I decided to make a short video for my clients to help them understand what they need to do to retain customers at this time. It ended up being a little long than I had planned (14 mins), but in it I describe the three phases of change that need to be managed. 

These are the phases you need to manage as a health club operator 

  1. Reduce Exercise Phase
  2. Isolation Phase 
  3. Returning Phase. 

As this week progresses I am sure I will have more ideas about what operators can do and will update within our lunchtime lesson posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you have any questions email me at [email protected] 

Please share the video 

If you are not comfortable sending people to this website to watch the video you can download the video from Vimeo and embed it somewhere you feel more comfortable. 

https://vimeo.com/397627889 

Paul Bedford PhD

Retention Guru Ltd

+44 (0) 7956 311 899 ...

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Staff who help retain members:

No staff who sit on treadmills while clients workout are NOT what I am looking for in staff. Our research has shown that staff to member interaction has been hugely effective at increasing member retention. One of the characteristics of clubs who retain their members for longest, is the staff they hire.

The most effective clubs hire employees with specific traits and characteristics that will enhance the business. Hiring the ideal member of staff is not just about who is the most knowledgeable because information, technique, and systems can be taught. Recognising the best qualities of an ideal candidate is important in order to determine who will work best with other members of staff, who is most apt, and who will also become a strong asset. Assuming that our fitness staff have an appropriate qualification to do their job the following 10 items become the essential criteria for recurring staff that can assist in the development of a member and increase retention.

Here are 10...

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Learning from Gamers - Why Big Box Clubs will still be around for years to come.

 

In gaming infinite variability are games that no matter how long you play them for you never repeat the same experience. The highly successful and very addictive Fortnite is just such an example. Many games have finite variability where players can become very accustomed to the landscape and challenges placed in their way. Some of this is by design, so that game producers are able to release further additions of popular titles or new versions every year.

The more niche you are the more finite your variability. The challenges that may be faced by boutiques and single activity studios over the long term is the concept of finite variability, a posh way of saying nothing new. Which can only combated by larger population density and frequent turnover of inhabitants. 

Now no business can ensure that its customers will use its products or services forever, however the more limited the options or choices the quicker someone reaches the point where the experience just becomes...

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Seven areas of Persuasive Technology to Aid Retention - Part 2

SuggestionIntervening at the right time

The major difference between suggestion and tailoring is that suggestions have a time element. They are designed to build on peoples existing motivation, they are also compelling and timely. Amazon and McDonald’s have very clear examples of suggestions at the right time. Amazon have the section of their website that is ‘people who bought this also bought this’. In McDonald’s just before order completion,’ they ask ‘is that a meal or do you want to go large with that?’

Of course once you have ordered your 2050 Kcal burger you will want add-ons and fries. How kind of them to ask.

At various times throughout the year you can see the efforts made by many companies. New year challenges, summer offers, and Black Friday discounts are some of the most obvious marketing approaches. We also get suggestions from technology as well, when the oil light comes on in your car it's a suggestion that you need...

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Seven areas of Persuasive Technology to Aid Retention - Part 1

We are living in an age where technology is all pervasive. While we marvel at some of the technology and digital solutions released each year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, much more technology is never presented openly to the public.

Much of this technology is designed to ease our lives, reduce friction and make us more productive, but over the last decade technologists and designers have been creating services and products that are a lot more persuasive and addictive.

Now that doesn't mean they are EVIL. I see nothing wrong with technology that improves the quality of our lives, encourages us to engage in healthy activities and supports us in achieving what we set out to achieve in fitness. Yet so many operators that I speak to recognise the need to increase their technology capacity, but have yet to decide what to consider and what to include or exclude. That to me suggests that you/they need to answer a few questions before deciding on a course of action.

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The other SaaS Model - Software as a Solution

The last five years has seen a proliferation of membership software systems, with cloud-based systems gaining ground. We’ve also seen an increase in software solutions such as personalised exercise data, nutritional coaching, virtual personal training platforms and staff-to-member engagement systems.

While this extra support can produce extraordinary results when implemented well, some lay dormant, costing money and producing nothing. It’s at this stage that the software is accused of not being effective, when it may well be a lack of operator focus that’s the issue.

For example, whilst CV equipment has become more sophisticated, most operators haven’t considered adapting the induction process to incorporate these advances. Apps, websites and wearables provide additional information to all parties, but also require explaining and teaching to maximise their effectiveness.  It appears that very little time is given to training staff or even update training...

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