What We Can Learn from Other Industries
June 4, 2009
I’d like to start a regular blog that will look into the best practices of other industries. The idea is that we can learn quite a bit by looking at some of the best practices that other industries have used, which are applicable to the health and wellness industry.
Gym Memberships and Cell Phone Contracts
The first entry will deal with the similarities of gym memberships and the cell phone contracts.
Let’s lay out the similarities (we have already established my love of lists! ):
- Both businesses require members (users) to sign an initial term contract of 1or 2-years;
- After the term of the contract (the obligation), members (users) are switched over to month to month;
- At this point members (users) can choose to join another gym (port their number to another carrier);
- In most cases you never hear from your gym (the carrier) unless you are late with a payment;
- And the biggest similarity is the cost of keeping a member (user) is less then the cost of acquiring a new one!
I want to spend time today discussing the last two items AND really focusing on how the similarity we have with the cell phone industry is the mistakes we all make!
At a high level, the mistake is a lack of communication. I mean how many times have you heard a courtesy call from your cell phone carrier in the last two years? I think if I ever get one I’ll go into cardiac arrest!
That being said, as gym owner you have an advantage because your members must come to you, to use your service. This gives you and your staff an opportunity to WOW them. (Sometimes just saying “hello” will WOW them. )
“We fear that by asking the questions, we won’t like the answers.”
I think we all know that communicating with our clients is good business. So why isn’t it done more often? There are two main reasons (and both are clichés):
- Let sleeping dogs lie.
- The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
To put it another way – its fear, time, and lack of confidence. We fear that by asking the questions, we won’t like the answers. If we take their suggestions to heart, we often times don’t have time to make the changes, or worse we can’t make the changes fast enough. And finally, we are concerned that we don’t have the tool set or the right people to make the changes.
Ultimately, I think the problem lies in that gym owners are afraid to contact their members lest they cancel their memberships. Perhaps it’s the same reason my cell phone company never calls me. This mentality is just wrong!
The solution is simple: Implement a communication strategy with your members that’s not just predicated on “selling them stuff.” It needs to be consistent. Consistent in its recurrence, and consistent in its tone. We will discuss communication strategy in an upcoming blog.
Get, Keep, and Know your members with MoSo
June 4th, 2009 4:10 pm