What is important for the member experience at a Box? According to Juliet Starrett, the CEO of San Francisco CrossFit, all you really need is fantastic coaching. But, a few perks don’t hurt either.
Starrett’s office overlooks a 500-square-foot lounge complete with WiFi for members. It not only helps to build community by providing a place where people can socialize, but the lounge offers an area for members to get caught up on work and to keep them from being totally off the grid when they come to workout. “It has couches and tables and some standing desks … we basically wanted to create a space where people could hang out before or after class, or if they need to get here an hour early, turn on their laptop and answer some work emails before class, they can,” explained Starrett. “I’m just standing here looking into it right now and we have five of our clients sitting here working on their laptops working in our gym because they are going to our noon class.”
In the beginning, CrossFit Boxes built a reputation for being hard core or against the typical commercial gym. But Starrett said as the industry has matured, especially over the past five years, she has seen more Boxes looking to add member experience additions, or what a commercial gym would call an amenity.
Starrett explained that San Francisco CrossFit hasn’t truly embraced a lot of those out-of-the-box concepts, no pun intended. But, now that they’ve garnered their indoor facility, San Francisco CrossFit has incorporated his and her showers and bathrooms, which Starrett said has helped land some of those early morning risers.
“We have a lot of athletes, especially in the morning, who want to hit the gym and go straight to work from there,” explained Starrett. “I think that’s actually helped with our membership because we’ve had some people that were like, ‘I’d love to come, but I have to be able to shower; I can’t go home.’
“I know, it sounds silly, but a shower has been a big change for us in terms of meeting the needs of our members,” she said.
The final piece of the member servicing puzzle that Starrett said San Francisco CrossFit does well has been its virtual member portal. “Having a seamless way for people to sign up for classes and maintain their members, for me … having that set up and functional is an amenity because people don’t want to spend time dealing with writing a check, not knowing when their membership is up or it not being clear how they sign up for classes.”
San Francisco CrossFit also uses Beyond the Whiteboard, a workout tracking tool that allows members to track their own personal progression.
Although all those things make a membership at San Francisco CrossFit convenient and enjoyable, in truth it comes back to great Coaching. When you have great Coaching, you have to allow it to thrive in your Box. And as you grow, think about some of the other areas where you might help improve the member experience outside of class.
Photo by Brian Slaughter