Gym members expect a seamless fitness experience — regardless of the device or channel they choose. As an operator, achieving omnichannel excellence may feel like a hurdle too high to jump over. Here, we share the most updated strategy that will help you attack the omnichannel journey and grow a powerful gym member community in 2023.
What’s the connection between gym member loyalty and omnichannel models? The answer is simple. An omnichannel customer experience is made up of individual customer touchpoints, over a variety of channels. They allow customers to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another seamlessly.
Whether your members are training inside the gym facility, just browsing your business website at home, or receiving a notification via your member app, they are just one tap away from exercising with your fitness content. Let’s explore the impact of this in more detail.
Make member satisfaction your top priority
McKinsey & Company reported that “offering a compelling omnichannel experience used to be the bleeding edge of retail. Now it’s a requirement for survival.” The fitness industry repeats the same pattern.
A well-built omnichannel customer journey model simplifies getting in touch with your business and reduces your member’s barrier to participation at the gym, increasing regular adoption of your services that lead to long-term loyalty.
Improve your customer lifetime value
Omnichannel customers are more loyal and 30% more valuable to your gym over the course of their lifetime. And it’s no news that loyal members increase their customer lifetime. How can you achieve membership loyalty at a larger scale? This requires a strategic game plan.
Level up your game plan
Businesses that invest in omnichannel customer services and communities see higher member satisfaction and retention. There are many different strategies you can implement to deliver a winning omnichannel member experience. Below, we give you the essential points to consider.
Play #1: Understand your gym member’s expectations
An omnichannel journey game plan, or map, should reflect the story of your members’ optimal experience and explain what happens to support that along the way. To do that, you need to take a good hard look at your gym member’s priorities and personas.
Most Millennial and Gen Z consumers don’t think in terms of traditional channel boundaries, and they increasingly evaluate brands and gyms. If your onboarding is flexible and frictionless, they will likely consider your business as the preferred one. In other words, offering accessible and engaging digital fitness experiences in the gym, at home, and on the go is one tactic that cannot only meet, but surpass your gym member’s expectations.
Play #2: Map your member’s most preferred touchpoints
Touchpoints are the key to understanding your member’s journey. They’re where your member interactions happen. It’s important for the omnichannel gym operator to focus on providing a consistent and frictionless experience across all member touchpoints.
First, ask yourself: through which channels do we offer a personalized experience to our members today? If your answer is ‘only in the gym’ then you’re missing out on key member touchpoints that could skyrocket your retention rates.
Today’s consumer uses an average of six touchpoints. Nearly 50% regularly use more than four according to a consumer study conducted by NICE inContact. On average, it takes seven interactions with a brand before a customer purchases.
Understanding your member’s preferred channels and how they like to interact with them will help you determine which ones you need to nurture, how to personalize their experience, and is key to growing engagement and building a devoted gym community, both on and offline.
Play #3: Identify your gym’s biggest problems
A survey by Price Waterhouse identified some common challenges many businesses encounter when creating an omnichannel experience. Do you recognize any of these challenges?
- Budgets: Connecting and strengthening on and offline gym member touch points requires investment. Often you’ll need to make a business case for this that might compete with other spending such as infrastructure.
- Data: Integrated systems and data is essential for effective member journey mapping. This means assimilating all the separate information related to your member’s interactions with your services, and this can take time.
- Skills and resources: Not only does integrating and analyzing data take time, but it also requires the right tools and analytical skills. Upgrading your skills or outsourcing this to a trusted third party should be a priority in order to extract meaning from the data and create effective member journey maps.
Confronting these issues can be overwhelming. That’s why reaching out to omnichannel fitness experts can help your businesses overcome these problems with less hassle.
Play #4: Build a loyal gym member community
With multiple approaches and technologies to choose from, and acute margin pressures, gym operators can invest in the wrong thing and quickly fall into a downward spiral that can destroy member value.
It can be difficult to deliver seamless member experiences across multiple touchpoints without the right content and technology to enable it. Moreover, building this technology and producing quality content in-house can cause more problems than it solves.
Partnering with experts in digital fitness content and omnichannel technology can provide your members with an excellent gym experience across channels with less time to market. Some tools that can be used at different member touchpoints include:
- Member apps: Not everyone can make it to the gym on a regular basis. Maybe some of your members prefer to workout at home or outside, but are seeking more guidance from a trusted source. You can offer these members virtual classes and digital workouts they can access anytime via a member app is one of the best ways to keep them engaged and allegiant to your gym.
- In-gym displays: Gyms can be an intimidating space for many people, not just first-timers. Streaming on-demand content in your group workout spaces and gym floor provides these members with additional support and guidance, leading to more confidence and trust with your gym.
- Customization tools: Delivering an outstanding omnichannel community experience cannot be achieved by simply providing seamlessly connected touchpoints, it’s also about offering personalized experiences that meet your member’s expectations. Using a digital fitness content platform to customize your member workouts and training plans before delivering them to your member’s preferred channels will give your gym the midas touch.
Key takeaways for gym operators
Omnichannel community excellence requires a laser-like focus on value creation. As the online-offline divide dissolves, adopting an omnichannel model is a ‘requirement for survival’ that will help you to keep your member experiences seamless, personalized, and beyond satisfactory. We know that higher member satisfaction leads to higher member retention, and the more loyal your member community is, the more lifetime value they will give back.
Ready to ace your omnichannel member community?
At Funxtion, we believe offering an omnichannel fitness community is key to member retention, and seamlessly connected in-gym and at-home digital solutions are here to help operators cater to all their members’ expectations. After over a decade, Funxtion has developed more personalized content, tailored to different fitness levels, preferences, and member touchpoints. Visit our Open Platform for more information or contact us to try our demo.