How to Keep and Maintain the Strong Connection to your Members – Going from In-Person to Virtual

Are you trying to figure out how to stay connected with your members as you navigate this new tech-savvy world? It’s not easy, but many have used this opportunity to ‘think out of the box’ and grow their business in areas that they had never previously considered.

Finding Ways to Engage

Development of mobile apps saw tremendous growth in 2020 / 2021 as companies looked for ways to connect with their customers online. Most popular – according to Mobile App Development Trends 2021 were apps helping people to adapt and cope with the disease. And to meet quickly rising demand, companies had to heavily invest in development of these apps to increase their capacity and bring new features.

In addition to this trend, dozens of studies have reported that since the pandemic began, many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity. In recent weeks, that link has come into sharper focus as large new population studies have cemented the association and demonstrated that even people who are merely overweight are at higher risk. So many people are now more aware of how their body composition health can affect the way they react to the virus as well as the impact on their long term health.

But how do you differentiate yourselves in the competitive virtual space, drive foot traffic back into the club and target these awakened markets?

The Changing Landscape

Health and Fitness businesses have had to be innovative in recent months, particularly as some gyms have been forced in and out of lockdown. The ‘traditional’ fitness regime has been turned on its head with personal trainers and gyms having to take coaching and classes online to make them work. The good news is that clients appear to have embraced the change with online fitness courses and classes increasing by 16.8% from previous years and personal trainers / nutritionists by 47.5%*. This shift has enabled gyms and other health and fitness businesses to keep engaging with their members and offering value for their patronage through new initiatives such as virtual PT sessions, online challenges and tailored meal plan offerings.

Driving Members Back In

Navigating the online/offline relationship is a challenge and a proper targeted and staged plan is needed to drive foot traffic back into your bricks and mortar business. The customers biting-at-the-bit to return will be your low-hanging fruit and will be literally knocking down your door to return. Your mid and lower engaged clients will be harder to draw back and will need to be enticed with new initiatives and programs. New markets will emerge as many come to the realisation that they need to start paying attention to their health.

Utilizing your customer data will be your main weapon in your artillery. Using body scan data such as health goals coupled with gender and age will enable you to target programs, promotions and communications to entice customers back in.

A free health check or body scan to check on progress or to establish a baseline are great incentives to drive on-site engagement.

Times have changed and businesses must now learn to navigate the on and offline environments but still ensure they maintain the connection to their customers.

There has never been a better time for the Health & Fitness industry to shine and really make a difference.

What innovations have you introduced to your businesses to stay connected to your members during the pandemic?

*Fitness Trends 2021: New Trends in Fitness [Global Report]