Support Your Franchises, Satisfy More Members
When fitness buffs love their gym or fitness center, they keep coming back. Simple as that. But if it was that simple, all your fitness franchises would be swimming in happy, loyal members with no problems whatsoever, right?
Ensuring member loyalty is a difficult job — especially when you’re responsible for a franchise network with multiple locations and a variety of needs and a corporate office that oversees the strategic direction of the business. To improve member loyalty, you first need to define member loyalty and understand what it entails. It starts by creating the right environment and incentives so that all your franchises can prioritize and serve existing members effectively.
Here’s a closer look at the strategic value of member loyalty and some of the most important strategies for helping your franchises build long-term member loyalty.
Member Loyalty: Your Most Valuable Strategic Asset
Member loyalty is so important that:
- Eighty-six percent of consumers will pay more for a terrific member experience.
- More than two-thirds of businesses compete mainly on member experience these days.
- More than a quarter of consumers say they stopped buying from a business because of a bad experience.
With all things “member” so directly tied to revenue and competitive advantage (or lack thereof), it’s no wonder that member loyalty is considered a business asset. If your members are satisfied, you can grow your franchise network and beat the competition. Boom. Economic value. If your members aren’t satisfied, you lose economic value and opportunities.
It’s not enough to say you want to make improvements, though. Fitness franchise owners and managers are busy with day-to-day operations. They have their hands full just keeping the gym or studio running. Given this reality, the corporate office plays an integral role in clearly laying out member loyalty objectives and supporting franchises in achieving them.
5 Strategies to Build Member Loyalty
Loyal members don’t just happen. It’s the result of thoughtful, high-level strategies and everyday practices that work together to attract new members and keep them coming back. Here are five practices you can put into place at the corporate and franchise level to help build member loyalty.
1. Invest in member-centered leadership
Member loyalty starts at the top. One of the most important things you can do is to invest in corporate leaders that value the member experience. Whether it’s hiring a Chief Experience Officer or stacking the rest of the C-suite with member advocates, when leaders are champions for putting the member at the center of business operations and objectives, it’s easier for everyone else to follow suit.
2. Congratulate and replicate
Some of your franchises already have member service figured out. Congratulate the ones that excel in member service and study what they’re doing so you can replicate their success. What practices are they routinely using to achieve high member loyalty? Do they have a loyalty program in place? What can other franchises learn from them about member retention? When you recognize and promote successful member-centered work, you give your entire network the tools they need to do the same at their own franchises and begin building member loyalty.
3. Award and reward
Franchise employees are on the front lines of member service. Encourage your franchisees to award and reward the employees and managers that go above and beyond for members. This type of positive reinforcement helps build a healthy workplace culture in which employees at all levels are empowered, supported, and rewarded for delivering excellent member service. When employees are confident and happy, they make members happy too which contributes toward a loyal member base.
4. Balance fixing with building
Member loyalty is a give-and-take of solving problems and building better experiences. Though it’s easy to do, don’t just focus on what’s going wrong or needs to be fixed. Spend equal time or more on what’s going right — and do more of that to increase member loyalty. You reap what you sow when you give quality attention to building and expanding positive member experiences. You get more positivity and happier members — which means you end up with fewer issues to fix down the road.
5. Find out what the problem is with NPS
Of course, none of this is to say you won’t have dissatisfied members at times. If you see that members are unhappy, find out more. Franchises can do this by sending their members Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, to find out the likelihood that members will recommend the business to others. This will give you a straightforward understanding of how your franchises are performing overall. This industry-standard survey also includes a follow-up question to elicit specific member feedback about what’s going well and what isn’t.
Using member feedback, franchises can pinpoint exact issues and come up with solutions that lead to overall improvements in member loyalty.
Get Started with Listen360
In your fitness franchise network, measuring member loyalty and optimizing the member experience can turn all your franchises into top performers. To get started, consider Listen360’s member engagement platform. Backed by an experienced team, Listen360 can help you survey and collect important member data and make smart business decisions that keep members coming back.
For more information, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to chat.