As promised, I wanted to highlight another Fitness Center that I had the opportunity to visit while I was on my most recent site visits in Oklahoma.
One of my last stops Friday morning before heading back to Denver was a trip to Lighthouse Sport, Fitness and Health of Oklahoma City. I was warmly welcomed by Lisa Allen, Dean Murphy and Christy Walther. Impressed is not a large enough word to describe my impression of their customer service and membership care! Upon my arrival I realized they were mid Thanksgiving Dinner with their members! Each year they have a a member social near Thanksgiving, highlighting the holiday and having a pot luck with the members. Laughter filled the air and many members were there in the lobby socializing and enjoying each other's company.
I had a few minutes before I sat down with Lisa and Dean, the leadership that I would be meeting with, and I chatted for a few minutes with the front desk gal, Christy Walther. She lit up like a Christmas tree when I asked her what her members liked most about working out at lighthouse...
"Our members are here before I am, ready to go right at 5am, they workout together and sit and have coffee until it's time to workout. Sometimes they are having so much fun I have to go remind them class is about to start. This place is home to them, they come in, workout, but also spend time socializing, this is their home away from home. A lot of them go to classes, some of them have their own workout, but no matter what they have fun doing it and they get to see their friends"
I simply love it when I find stories like this out there! Not only is Lighthouse providing a place between work and home for their members to call "their gym", but they feel connected. Christy knows their names, and they know hers, they belong!
I share this storie with you for a few reasons, it is so crucial that in our fitness environments we are connecting with people, and going the extra mile to elevate the member experience. It's equally as crucial to know it's happening out there, share best practices and look at your own environment for ways to improve.
At the end of the day, people want to connect with people! we all want to be a part of something, and when you gain new members or are challenged with retaining the ones you have, put away the reports and graphs, and walk your fitness floor. Be with your people, retain them because they know you, attract them because you have an environment they want to be a part of.
While I was there we snapped the "thumbs up" picture above, our smiles and laughter were a bi-product of the environment they were creating! A fun one, that made me want to stay for a workout.
As we enter into this holiday season and continue to work on our plans for next year, I would ask you to look at how you are currently engaging your members and think of ways to go the extra mile. We all just want to "belong", don't we?
I would love to hear your thoughts, tell me, Lindsey Rainwater, what are some of the ways your members engage in your fitness environment?