More engaging and tailored experiences are a trend in almost every sector. Customers are demanding more of that all-important personal experience, and the leisure sector is no exception.
Members want to be seen as their own person, not a number; they want choices and customisation, not a generic one-size-fits-all approach.
To stand out and keep members engaged, leisure centres need to focus on a more personal service for their customers. There are several ways you and your team can personalise your members’ experience:
1) Tailor your offer
When you have a wide demographic in your local area, simple, generic offers like “Get fit for £30 a month” won’t cut it. By trying to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no-one.
Instead, think about ways you can tailor and personalise your offer to the core demographics you’d like to attract, with specific messaging and bespoke memberships options for those who are looking for different outcomes. You could promote:
- A low intensity, new-to-exercise programme to those just getting started,
- A stretching and relaxation offer to those who aren’t traditional gym users, or
- A cardio class-focused membership, to those worried about their heart health
Focus on promoting access to specific facilities and the benefits that come with them, and explore ways you could offer inclusive personal training as part of your offer.
2) Build a stronger onboarding process
A personalised customer experience should start from the moment a prospect walks into your centre.
Make sure they feel personally welcomed by every member of your team before they’re guided through your unique onboarding process.
Tailor that onboarding process to your new member’s preferences by including:
- Regular personalised emails to share important centre information
- Suggestions on classes a new member might like to try
- Recommendations for facilities that will support their goals
- A direct point of contact if they need any help, putting a real friendly face on your promise of personal support
Map out your members’ personalised journey using our guide to the perfect new member onboarding process.
3) Create personalised induction plans
A key part of any onboarding process should be an induction to your leisure centre; a session with a personal trainer or other qualified team member to show new joiners around and make sure they understand how to use all your facilities and equipment.
It’s easy to fall into the routine of the generic inductions, showing all new members all the same core areas of your centre, but that’s not how you’ll personalise their experience.
Instead, train your team to approach induction sessions in different ways, depending on the demographics and profiles of your members. Encourage them to focus on different facilities in your centre based on new member preferences, and build an induction plan based on individual goals.
4) Let members choose their own payment options
If you want your members to feel like they’re being treated as an individual in your leisure centre and have a more personal experience, you need to give them the freedom to make their own decisions wherever possible.
That’s especially important with regards to membership fees.
Use leisure management software like Legend to let members select their ideal membership plan, and how they’d like to pay, and then give them the power to manage their own membership whenever they need to. That could include:
- A choice of preferred Direct Debit date
- Control over who to add to their family membership
- Freedom to pause, change or upgrade plans to suit their changing circumstances
5) Automatically personalise communications
Member communications is another part of the experience that your leisure centre can easily personalise and improve, with the help of leisure management software and other simple marketing tools.
At the very least, members will expect their name and personal details in any communication, whether that’s text, email or push notification. But you can do much more than that to ensure members appreciate the time and effort you put into speaking directly to them – and not simply sending a generic weekly newsletter.
Personalise messages based on individual preferences, goals, attendance and demographics.
For example, don’t send a “Keep up the good work” email to a member who’s been absent for a few weeks. Instead, use your attendance data to send a text message that says “We’ve missed you, is everything OK?” to check up on them.
6) Free up team members’ time
Perhaps the most effective way to personalise your members’ experience is to give them more attention in person.
But that requires your team having the time to talk with members, to engage everyone as they walk in the door, get to know their likes and dislikes, and personally support them every time they visit.
Free up your team’s time by:
- Minimising unnecessary paperwork using digital forms and processes
- Automating access into your leisure centre using real time payment data
- Encouraging online bookings and sign ups through websites and apps
Legend can help you do all of this, so your team has more time to spend on the gym floor and around your leisure centre helping your members.
Ultimately, personalisation is as simple as speaking directly to members and showing them you care about their welfare, their goals and their experience. It means making sure they feel welcome, and that you understand they’re an individual, not just a number. They’re part of your community.
Leisure management software like Legend can help you take some steps to building that community atmosphere and personalising your members’ experience.