Touching Base With Members

Courtesy of Shutterstock.comA month or so ago I was attempting to recover immediately following a pretty strenuous WOD when a woman next to me struck up the “how long have you been doing CrossFit” conversation. Come to discover, she had been practicing CrossFit for about a year and half, but was complaining that she hadn’t really seen the results she was looking for – such as weight loss or shrinking in dress sizes.

As we know, abs are made in the kitchen. I’m not sure this woman was so much worried about abs as she was about just wanting to lose weight. This is where it’s important that you’re in touch with your members.

I haven’t seen this woman at the gym in a while. It’s safe to say we may just miss her, but it could be a possibility that not too long after that she decided to leave CrossFit for another opportunity. What could have retained that member? Simple: a quick little follow up.

Some CrossFit classes can be fairly small. I’ve been in classes with one other person – that’s basically one-on-one training. When classes like this occur, it’s easy as a Coach to catch up with those members, but when certain members tend to frequent the larger classes, it’s easier for them to remain hidden.

Now, I’m not trying to get on you as the Coach or Affiliate. Larger groups just mean it’s more difficult. That’s not your fault or your members’. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you should add classes or hire more Coaches. What it does mean though is you need to find opportunities to touch base with your members.

A lot of Boxes will include additional classes into the membership. These classes may be during off hours during the weekend where a skilled member or Coach may take some time to educate members on nutrition, mobility, skill, etc. These classes are great because as an Affiliate you’ll be able to identify those members that have needs in certain areas. Had this woman shown up for a nutrition class, she may have been identified by a Coach or the Affiliate that she was in need of a little more guidance.

Additionally, a class may not have made anyone else aware. This is where a second step to touch base could be utilized.

When I was in college, our professors had office hours. The hours were listed on the syllabus and we knew we could make an appointment or try to drop in at that time with questions.

Are you ever at your gym when you’re not coaching a class? Are those times consistent? If so, make your members aware. No, you’re not an expert on everything, but you can help with guidance. If a member has a question about why they aren’t seeing certain results, they could possibly drop in on their way to get ice cream to ask you why. At that time, maybe you could point out their ice cream consumption, or give them some constructive guidance. Or, if you have a lot of Coaches with unique skills, simply give them a card and tell them to shoot them an email.

Taking a little extra time for your members outside of class can go a long way. And remember, in the fitness business retention is the number one struggle, but best opportunity for financial growth.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.