It's the first week of the new year and people are actively pursuing their resolutions. Have you gone to the gym yet this January? It's packed. For P & R agencies, this means that your classes and programs will be filling up and people will be looking for things to do.Now is the time to capitalize and keep your community members involved after the resolution bug wears off. Here are five ways to achieve this:
1. Don't make them wait in line
One thing that deters people from signing up and participating is long lines. Registration for your classes and programs should be offered online so people don't have to travel and deal with any wait times.
Class schedules, times, and availability should also be posted on your website so your staff doesn't get bogged down with front desk questions. And speaking of questions, offer some FAQs on your website and create a way for people to receive answers online. Twitter or Facebook can be used for customer service - try it out and be sure to keep up with the questions as they come in.
2. Make sure your staff is ready
As mentioned in #1, you don't want your staff flooded with questions and menial tasks that can be automated or handled online. One way to free up some serious staff time is to use a system that centralizes all of your data. This way, you and your staff will be able to instantly view real-time information about members, class sizes and schedules, and more. No more hunting down information or doing calculations by hand - membership management software will do the work for you and your staff can keep info up to date online or can easily access it with a few mouse clicks.For example, let's say your Monday night Zumba class fills up quickly. People should be able to access that information on your website and staff should be able to view wait lists in real-time.
3. Inform them through marketing
January is a great time to ramp up your marketing. People are focused on their resolutions (many exercise or family based) and you can capitalize on that. First, put together an email with information and links to your upcoming programs so that people can choose what works best for them. Second, use social media (like Facebook posts or tweets) to inform your members about your calendar.
4. Use reporting to make decisions
Use a software program that not only stores of your information in one place, but also provides easy-to-read reports and organized data summaries. You can track which classes are filling up and which ones are empty. Make changes to your schedule and marketing based on this information. For example, let's say you are part of a campus recreation group and you are hosting a basketball game. You can access statistics on what doors people are entering through and staff more people there. Data helps you make better decisions (and we know bosses like clean and organized stats).
5. Set up retention programs and offers
Retention programs and offers are a good way to keep your members motivated beyond their resolutions. For example, if someone signs up for five classes, offer a discount on the sixth. Or, build a point system for your members. For example, offer a point every time a member visits a facility and offer a prize after reaching 50 points. With timely deals and retention programs, your members will accomplish their resolutions.