How Software can Help Group Fitness Directors Improve Communication and Connection with Staff & Members

How Software can Help Group Fitness Directors Improve Communication and Connection with Staff & Members

As a Group Fitness director, your life is not easy. You have the traditional challenges of scheduling, finding subs, running a large operation. Overall you are constantly working to upgrading your classes, be better than the competition and have high member retention rates.

Even so, the most important part of your role is to stay connected with your members and staff. Make your members feel that they can reach out to you anytime. Make your staff part of a close knit team.

And with technology permeating every aspect of our lives, from you the expectation is to be connected and available literally 24*7 over multiple channels.

In this article, we will explore how using the right software solution will help you deliver a lot of this more easily.

Connection and communication are some of your critical challenges

We had an opportunity to speak to a few Group Fitness Directors and ask them what is the biggest challenge they face in their jobs.

Their answer was: Making our members feel cared for and member retention.

To elaborate further, they said as a Director, we need to make our members feel that I care for them, and that the instructors care and the club cares. Further you need to make sure all types of members, seniors, GenZ, families all get the same feeling and care.

The reasons why these challenges become difficult to solve is that you may have a large team, spread across more than 1 location. You also have your own classes to teach and a whole lot of other responsibilities.

A related and equally important challenge they speak of often is about communicating and staying connected with staff. Whether you are managing 30 instructors or 100. If member retention is your ultimate goal, your staff will need to work in concert towards the same goal.

A new challenge they mentioned is the number of digital tools being used at the club for staff communication, such as BaseCamp, Slack, Email to communicate with the director, peers.

This can become so serious that they often get confused about which channel they received the question and where to go and answer.

Keep reading to discover some best practices on how you can build connections and communicate well with your members and staff without getting burnt out and exhausted by using the right software.

Use software / member App to strengthen connection and communication with your members

Communication should not be only about updates. Like the Swimming Pool is closed next Sunday from 6 am to 10 am, or similar things. You have a chance to actually build connections with the help of the right type of communication. Here are some ideas and best practices to make it happen.

Post, Post, Post

As the Group Fitness director, you could communicate directly with all members by posting on the Feed. The SHC Feed feature works just like Facebook feeds and helps you communicate effortlessly and reach all your members.

The Group Ex Director at Catalyst Athletic Club, Ellen Coleman posts regularly, such as:

  1. Bring a friend for free
  2. Any questions, comments, message me
  3. A new Zumba class at x location on 15th September, 5 pm. Try it.

She uses this to reach a lot of people at different club locations. And then after posting she checks the feed for the Likes and Comments and interacts with members on the Feed itself. Other members also respond, and it becomes a conversation!

Interact with members on the App.

With a software like SHC, members will be able to message you directly on the App if they have any issues with the App, any issues with the class or the instructor or any questions or ideas. And even if you cannot answer them right away, you can answer them later or simply meet them if they are passing by and have a quick chat at the club.

This is of special value in a multi-location club as it gives members in other club locations as much of a chance to interact with you as the members in the club location you go to every day.

Members can directly message their instructors, too. For example, they could say, I wasn’t comfortable with this or I loved this about the class today. Again, the instructors can respond on their own time. This helps because sometimes members do not want to speak up in class in front of everyone.

Asking for feedback regularly via tools like NPS or any other forms is one thing, but giving your members a very simple way to drop a message to you or their instructor at any time is a different level of comfort.

Instructors can build excitement and market themselves.

Instructors can use the SHC App to connect, build excitement and market themselves, Examples of how they do it at Catalyst Athletic club, Buffalo:

    1. “Hey, we are doing a Hill Climb class tomorrow. Make sure you have 2 bottles of water.”
    2. “We are doing Britney Spears vs Taylor Swift in Zumba today”.

As the Director puts it, “It is a nice way to interact that we never had before. They go to the Class Booking page and send a message before the class starts to everyone booked for the class.”

Get Gen Z on your side right now.

This group is more tech savvy than any segment you have ever worked with. And this group is going to grow in size and importance in every health facility. I am referring to the GenZ segment.

This segment does all its communication on Apps. In fact they are more comfortable buying anything or booking a class on an App versus picking up the phone or walking up to the Front Desk.

Today you might see them doing their own thing at the club, focusing mostly on weights. You have a chance to catch them young with the right software.

Your members don’t love surprises.

So timely updates are key. Use the SHC Push Notifications to inform members about class updates, weather updates, promotional/limited-time offers, and much more.

For example, the last thing a member wants to do is rush to class only to find out that their favorite instructor isn’t teaching that day. They didn’t know their instructor had been replaced or wasn’t available because no one told them!

On the SHC App, you can simply send a push notification message or make an announcement that a specific instructor will be unavailable on a certain day. And an explanation why a class is being discontinued. No manual texts and emails which take up hours. No slips through the cracks.

Use posts, emails or push notifications. Mix it up.

Use posts on Groups. Use push notifications for updates. Mix it up. Maybe even design a multi-channel campaign for How to detox after the Holidays. The SHC Marketing Campaigns Solution is especially designed for helping you run multi-channel campaigns. It allows you to segment your audience based on their history, interests, age and more parameters and run campaigns.

Use the App to engage and motivate instructors.

You may have more than 30-40 instructors at your club. And they all keep different schedules. For most of them this is not a full-time job. Some of them have school going or younger children and you work around their schedules. Keeping in touch with them and staying connected cannot be easy.

Be smart / efficient in your use of Groups.

With the SHC app, you have many options to create different group types, and it also comes with some pre-created groups like All Members, or All Instructors. Use the All Instructor Group for updates and announcements. Encourage more and more people to join your public groups.

Create groups for your rockstar instructors – both public and private. Using the Groups feature on the SHC App can help you create the forums and spaces required to keep your team connected.

Create interest or speciality based groups to prompt conversations.

For example, create a Private Group to include all Pilates instructors and create a cohesive space. Using the Groups feature on the SHC App can help you create the forums and spaces required to keep your team connected.

Your Pilates instructor, for example, can create a special interest group on the app and have her yoga students participate in the community discussions, share milestones or useful information about her upcoming classes. Your instructor has the ability to build these communities right on the app to engage and create connections among their clients.

Automate instructor sub to save precious hours in your day.

Looking for subs especially at short notice can be a big challenge for you. All the time you spend managing subs is time taken away from observing classes, reviewing classes, choreography, music, queuing, Not enough time getting feedback from members.

The Instructor Sub Solution on the SHC App allows your instructors to find subs with a single click. You can decide if you want to have the final approval right or you are good with auto-approval.

Summing Up

The most important part of your role is to communicate effectively and stay connected with your members and staff. Using the right software like SHC Member Retention Software enables you to form connections with members that can lead to lower attrition rates and higher member retention.

Click Here if you’d like to speak to someone from our team and see how SHC Group Fitness software can help you.

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