So, who then is your market when you look at it from a business standpoint? “In CrossFit, we want our market to be everyone and anyone,” said Silvio Schillen, the owner of CrossFit Fortress in Miami, Florida. “We really don’t differentiate market value.”
With one market no more important than the other, Schillen said advertising to specific target audiences doesn’t do the trick. Instead, his Box focuses on one thing. “Customer service is number one because word of mouth is the best advertising,” said Schillen.
While most Boxes use word of mouth to let the world know about their existence, Schillen’s point about customer service seemed to ring true as he explained how the first experience of a customer is everything. “It really depends on the individuals first exposure to what we do,” he said. “If it’s too scary and they really think it’s out of their reach, they won’t come back, and I see a lot of CrossFits trying to prove a point by killing people, and that’s just not how you do things. Not everybody lives in the CrossFit bubble.”
Educating members and the delivery of it all helps promote longevity, said Schillen. Every class’s initial exposure begins with the basics, allowing him to see what he is working with. And that’s another key factor: Each new athlete is introduced right away to Schillen, leading to his advice that Box owners need to make sure their members see them. “The second they walk in, they see things differently than you do because you live in a bubble,” said Schillen. “So, they like to see people smiling, they like to be said hello to, come on in, let me educate you, let me help you. All those things need to be in play.”
By also providing things outside of CrossFit — like Spinning, a pro shop, a lounge and a fun kids area — Schillen is building upon his mentality that people like to be serviced. “You have to constantly improve your Box, constantly improve upon your delivery,” he said.
That is true from old members to new ones. Overall, adapting to members’ needs and helping them thrive in the world of CrossFit brings a lasting impact. “It’s an emotional journey, physical journey, mental journey,” said Schillen. “It helps out in your whole life.”