Many industries fell into a downward spiral with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world. Industries like airlines, tourism, and hospitality took a massive hit. More than 90% of gyms or fitness centers closed in the US alone due to the coronavirus outbreak restrictions. This resulted from increased cancellations, a drop in sales, and a drop in membership repurchases.
Needless to say that many centers faced quite a brunt. At the same time, others managed to find creative ways to stay relevant to the changing consumer preferences. If you are struggling to find the best ways to cope, this article is just for you.
So, let’s take a closer look at the entire process and see how it works.
Switch to an Online Booking System
If the year 2020 taught us anything, it’s that one needs to prioritize health more than anything. And since everyone is using a different digital platform to exercise, it is more important than ever to streamline the booking process to reach a wider audience.
Not only will it allow you to stay open 24/7, but it will also enable your customers to know more about your business. In other words, using booking software will help your customers to reserve a spot without waiting for you to do it for them.
The convenience of doing things on their own will give a positive boost to your business. This also highlights one point that if you serve international customers, it won’t be feasible to wait for phone calls or email replies.
Fortunately, many software providers will provide you with features like multiple bookings, payment options, schedule management, and even digital marketing to never lose your customers while keeping up with the ongoing trends.
Creatively Connect With Your Target Audience
Since the gyms, spas, health clubs can no longer function the way they used to, connecting to your members outside the usual place will ensure you don’t lose your customers. And what better way to do that than using digital platforms to provide a space where the instructors and members can embrace the virtual workout trend.
Experts believe that the online or virtual fitness market size will reach around $59 billion by 2027, which is a 33% increase in CAGR. It won’t be wrong to say that it is the future of the fitness revolution. It’s because convenience-based services are growing in popularity since these allow customers to keep up with their everyday fitness routines.
The center owners can opt for widely used apps like Zoom or Skype for live workout sessions or switch to live streaming platforms. But if you think a camera isn’t your thing, you can also share video resources, such as Popsugar, Fitness Blenders, and others. Even any in-app solutions can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Let Your Customer Know You Care About Their Goals
If you are not taking care of your customers as you did, it would again hamper your progress. So, you must keep holding your members accountable by creating personalized or group-specific challenges. This will add a bit of competition that will further drive them to work on their goals.
You can track their progress using different social media platforms. For instance, you can ask them to keep posting their pictures or videos to monitor their progress visually. It would be great to find some creative ideas to keep them engaged when you can’t physically monitor their progress.
Fitness centers can create a digital touchpoint to include personalized workout programs to enable your customers to keep doing their exercises from the comfort of their homes.
If you are still struggling with managing your fitness center, you must go for options that help you minimize churn. Don’t know what that could be? Please scroll below to learn more about it.
Tips to Minimize Business Loss
- This time is difficult for everyone. Many of your members might be facing challenges to tackle their finances. So, try reducing the membership price for the next two to three months. Consider offering some incentives or gift cards to keep them motivated. For instance, you could offer them additional classes or sessions online to show your members that you care and that you want to stick by them.
- Don’t expect to operate in the usual way even when the government lifts the ban. You need to be well-prepared to adapt successfully to the “new normal.” Besides the regular cleaning and disinfection process, you need to create policies to stay competitive.
Use the latest fitness technology to stay relevant
Undoubtedly, new technological innovations are continuously changing the way we exercise. This is further driving the health and fitness industry to adopt measures to stay ahead of the competition.
If you go by a report, more than 70% of the exercisers use technology to support their workouts. Moreover, around 30% said better access to technology acts as a critical driver in switching fitness centers even if the price or location was similar.
So, let’s talk about the technological innovations that can help fitness centers to navigate the challenges brought upon by the coronavirus outbreak.
- AI and IoT- Since the demand for fitness wearable devices is skyrocketing, many tech-enabled brands are introducing AI-enabled wearable devices. The idea is to improve user experience by providing instantaneous metrics or insights to guide the users to make better fitness choices.
So, fitness centers can go for AI-assisted CRM software solutions to improve operations, efficiencies or improve personalization. This is quite beneficial if you are into group fitness programs. It will help you track the progress of every participant.
- Chatbots- This is yet another innovation that offers convenience to the user and the provider. It allows businesses to communicate with their existing customers and potential customers. You can use this technology to assist your customers with nutritional consultants, customer service redressers. To put it differently, you can create a platform that helps every customer with their everyday issues or challenges.
Besides these, use the same technology to create winning marketing strategies to attract more customers. But how to get started?
Along with a responsive website design, an easy-to-use interface and intuitive information are critical to engaging your customers. Also, appropriate CTA or join links must be easily accessible. Further, create content that’s exclusive to your members to drive more leads.
Not only this, if you stay up to date with the latest fitness technology trends and marketing strategies, you can easily streamline your approach to grab the attention of your target audience.
In The End- It’s All About Responding to Uncertainties
Now is the time to turn obstacles into possibilities or opportunities. Don’t let the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak stop you from achieving your business goals. Like any change, if you integrate new technology into your fitness center, it will result in better outcomes, increased retention, with more financial success.
Having said that, you can deploy the existing technology and integrate new development tech side-by-side to create a smart fitness facility. Remember, the idea is to navigate the challenges you face now while preparing yourself for the issues you might encounter when things get back to the “new normal.”
You don’t have to be experts in the new technological trends. Instead, you need to reach the right providers that will help you streamline your tasks to get on with your everyday work like before.
All you have to do is embrace the “ability to adapt” and wait for things to pick up their pace.