When choosing which customers to include in your success story campaign, be sure to choose wisely. The goal of your campaign should be to make all your members feel like no matter who they are, they can get fit at your gym. Generally, it is a good idea to have a mix of customers who are both seasoned and novices that will resonate with different people.
Seasoned members could be someone who has gone to your gym for years or came to you after going to a competitor’s gym. These members know the territory and what to compare their experiences against. They can say what your gym has that others were lacking, giving you a competitive edge. However, this can appear abrasive and not reach the everyday member. Instead of promoting just your gym, promote a healthy lifestyle. For example, a now experienced member who uses your gym to help relieve her chronic back pain. She came in without knowing what to do and thanks to the helpful staff, easily fit in and learned how to use the equipment. Doing so shows empathy and promotes exercise to help relieve pain and improve overall quality of life. It also reassures non-veterans that they don’t have to have years of experience to benefit from the gym.
Novice members could be people who are new to the exercise experience or gyms in general. Their testimony gives credence that your gym is friendly and anyone can use it to get results regardless of experience or level of fitness. They regularly go to the gym to stay healthy, but are casual members. In fact, everyday users who are using your gym to get healthy are usually the main focus of success stories. These members represent your everyman—those who want to get healthy, but are not “gym rats.”
If you have a customer that is well known, like a well-respected community leader, it adds credibility to your establishment through targeting a specific group, like office workers, and attracting new members But don’t discredit everyday customers, as they represent your fitness facility’s diversity.
Get a customer’s permission before you feature them. No one likes to suddenly see their face in an advertisement when they knew nothing about it. Be respectful. Most people aren’t comfortable with their bodies and experiences being shown in public, so you have to make sure that they are comfortable with the idea first. To get members warmed up to the idea of them being featured, have a face-to-face chat with them and go over everything that will happen. Don’t keep them in the dark. Knowing exactly what will happen makes people confident and more prone to participating in something. If candidates are still uncomfortable, do not push them into accepting.
After candidates have agreed to be featured, have them fill out a short survey. The survey should include information like:
When you have this foundational information, you can then begin tracking their progress. Remember to do a follow-up survey about their results and conduct a short interview about their experience.
After participants have filled out a short survey about their experience and have turned them in to you, thank them for their participation. Showing your gratitude and sending them a personal thank you note and a promotional item will make them feel appreciated and valued as a customer.