You absolutely want to avoid the scenario where you're showing new members around your gym, but have several pieces of kit with hideous "out of order" signs on them.
Sure, you won't be able to predict and avoid all breakdowns, but getting your kit serviced in time for the rush means that you will have taken precautions, allowing your kit to start the new year just as freshly as your new members.
In order to plan this properly, plan in time between the service and the beginning of January rush to allow for any potential repairs to be carried out. Get in there early, as service engineers in your area will probably be booked out across December.
We have touched on the importance of the customer journey several times in the last few months, and that's because it is incredibly important. You want to make sure that every new member has the same, awesome experience when they are introduced to your facility. Here are a few pointers to give you some focus for this time of year:
This January will stretch you to your limits, and you may not find time in your schedule to give every member the same personalised experience they deserve. Preplanning communications upon their joining, 1, 2, 4 and 6 week marks etc will keep the customer engaged with minimal effort on your side.
Make sure that your pre-planned communications remain relevant by updating these to reflect new classes, campaigns and kit if required. Having the master communication plans in place for January will take a lot of pressure off you.
Revisit all touchpoints
Take December to walk through all the touch points your new customers have with your business and review these in detail. How are they welcomed when they walk through the door? If they have any questions, do they know who they can approach? When they visit your social media, is your tone and content recognisable and consistent across the platforms?
Getting these details nailed before January begins will allow you to relax and concentrate on other things throughout the beginning of the year.
Make sure you plan your classes and other activities at key times throughout the day to avoid member overload and potential disappointment. If a particular class is proving more popular than you expected, reconsider your schedule to accommodate the members as required. Being hesitant or slow to react in situations like this will result in slowly growing frustration and ultimately – unsatisfied members.
Though a busy gym can be fun, it can also become noisy and quickly disorganised. Make sure to gauge the atmosphere in the space and plan activities accordingly to avoid negative experiences at certain recurring peak times.
Ensure that all your staff are aware and engaged with the latest trends in the industry. With the vast amount of specialist in-depth content available online, new members can often come armed with very topical questions, so prepare your staff well. Good front line staff is the ultimate sales tool and essential for retention.
Take the run-up to the new year to get your staff up to date on industry trends if required, and speak to them about any ideas they might have to make your facility and service stand out. After all, your staff will be in contact with your members on a daily basis and will have a unique perspective on what your gym might require to get ready for the new year.
If appropriate, consider treating your staff to a training day with a Master Trainer. These can serve to update them on general form and technique, while also introducing them to new training styles and trends.