Just to recap on our previous discussions, we have run through your Marketing and Selling systems. You can review these previous posts by clicking on the links below:
We are back to talk about increasing your gym or studio’s competitiveness in the crowded fitness space.
Today we are moving on to the 3rd system your fitness business needs to master to be truly exceptional, and that is your Delivery System.
You may be asking “what is a delivery system?”. The answer is simple, it is the process that delivers on the promises you have made in attracting and eventually selling to your member. If there is a gap between the messages you are using to sell your gym or studio and the experience your customer has when they start using your services, one of two things may happen.
The first is, your new member will feel that you have misled them and the trust you may have built up during your sales process will be lost. They may also feel wary about any other services you offer and the chances of up-selling them on extras will be that much more difficult.
The second, and most likely outcome, is that they will leave your business dissatisfied and in these days of social media and online reviews; an unhappy, lost customer can damage the reputation of your business. This is why your delivery system is so important. It’s first goal is to match the expectation your marketing and sales systems have created with the experience the customer has when they first starting using your services.
Your Delivery System starts with your onboarding process. Onboarding is the process of giving your member everything they need to be successful (and experience the things you have promised). Ultimately, the success of your onboarding will come down how well you meet your new client’s expectations.
It is so important to set realistic expectations of your services or membership. Don’t fall into the trap of unnecessarily over-promising only to be perceived as under delivering throughout your onboarding process.
For a fitness business, your onboarding process begins from the time your prospect decides to become a client. After they have signed your contract, your job is not finished, in fact in many ways, it has just started.
Let’s look at the onboarding activities that form your delivery process.
- Welcome pack – Depending on what you type of fitness business you are running, will determine what you put in your welcome pack. There are the obvious things like a membership card and some form of club branded merchandise. But, we strongly recommend throwing something in that reinforces the value proposition you promoted throughout your marketing and selling process. For example if you are promoting fat loss, throw in a healthy cookbook. If you are a martial arts school, work the uniform of the school into welcome pack. Remember this is your chance to impress.
- Orientation Session (the admin side) – You now have a paying member. Let them know what to expect over the next month. What day they will be billed, will they receive a reminder, how will they book and check in to the facility or class, where are the change rooms and any other information that is relevant to the member.
- Kick Off Sessions (the training side) – Again, depending on the type of facility you are operating will determine the appropriate initial session at your center. For example, if you are a martial arts school, make sure the instructor knows the name of the new member and their relative experience with training. Pair them with an existing member to make them feel more comfortable and finally make a point of talking to them after the session to get their feedback. These three little things can make a massive difference in quickly assimilating the new member into the school.
- Expectation management – Within the first week of signing up give your client a little, custom road-map of what is going to happen over the next two months. Some of the most successful Personal Training studios we work with break their training and evaluations into 2 week blocks. For example, you might have a strength test on your kick-off session. Once you have your program, you are then booked in for a body composition analysis on week 2. Your diet and training habits are discussed at this session and then you are booked in for another strength and body composition test in week 6. If you reach your goals, your new program starts at week 8. The process is so simple and keeps your client engaged and knowing what is coming up keeps them focused. Ultimately, showing them how you are going to help them achieve their goals will increase your likelihood of retaining them as a client.
- Educate your client on what they need to do to be successful – Share resources with your client that compliment your services. If you provide them with a macronutrient calorie target, point them to an app that can help track that information. If there is a fighting combination they need to master in the first month, direct them to a youtube teaching video so they can practice outside of class.
You can see why your onboarding process is so important. It sets the tone for your clients experience with your fitness business. Get this process right and you will go a long way to wowing your clients. Get it wrong and sadly, you will see your clients churn.
Any questions about onboarding? Do you have an onboarding checklist or documented process for your studio or martial arts school? We’d love to hear from you. Visit us at www.clubworx.com or just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.