While they’re generally created for personal benefit, most fitness studios are also considered social hubs. Many people joining the gym are likely to bring a friend along with them, especially if they are particularly happy with the services. Therefore, book a buddy feature is necessary in a fitness studio app.
The ability to bring along a friend can increase motivation and morale, meaning that you get a much better shot at better retention numbers and higher new member sign ups.
White-label apps such as Hapana allow your members the ability to book a friend. Here are a few reasons why this should be a part of your studio.
1. It increases peer-referral community building
Friend referral is a very efficient way to increase the marketing of your fitness studio. After all, it gives you access to a market that you couldn’t reach otherwise. A book-a-buddy feature is the next step when building your peer-referral community.
This feature is superior to regular peer referrals as it’s more decisive. Peer referrals leave the option of booking open and act more as a “recommendation.” Alternatively, when the “Book a Friend” feature is used, the friend is definitively committed to a booking, making them an active (even if only temporary) member of the studio.
2. Book a buddy feature saves time for employees
Without some sort of electronic system to take care of things, your staff has to book every new member by hand. Let’s say that several of your members convince a friend or two to join them for a particularly popular class on the same day.
If you have a small staff, taking care of all the booking technicalities can take up a large chunk of the day, leaving less time for crucial tasks like the actual class setup and attending to other daily needs like cleaning and administrative work.
When you allow your members to book a buddy themselves, you save precious time for your employees. This will allow them to focus on important tasks that cannot be delegated, leading them to be more productive and less stressed.
3. Highly motivational for clients
One may think that when someone goes to the gym or a fitness center, they do so only because they want to get in shape. While that’s one of the main reasons, it is not the only one. Studies from all over the world show that 45% of people go to the gym for socialization purposes.
The prospect of working out is not enough to motivate many members, as they often find exercising boring. For them, workouts are a good excuse to meet up with friends.
When two friends meet up at the gym, they may feel more motivated to work out. Humans are often very competitive by nature; often, if they see their friend giving their best, they will try to do the same.
4. It helps keep the gym organized
Many gym members bring friends on short notice, hoping they can be booked at the last minute. While this may not be problematic on a regular gym day, it can lead to issues in classes and other scheduled events. For instance, if you have a fitness center and you plan on running a Zumba class, you need to know the number of expected attendees to plan appropriately.
When extra people show up without being booked, it can disrupt the lesson plan. If members are allowed to book a buddy by themselves, however, trainers can see these additions ahead of time. This way, they can make any potential modifications to the program in advance.
5. Book a buddy feature improves attendance
Lack of motivation can be a big reason for members to stop attending or, even worse, cancel their subscriptions. Many people join a fitness studio after a certain event, such as New Year. They may promise themselves that they will achieve a lofty goal such as to get fit or take better care of themselves.
The problem is that not everyone can hold on to these promises. Some members many have spotless attendance in the first week or two, but eventually become overwhelmed by the process and lose motivation. Eventually, they may miss so many sessions that they end up quitting.
If you allow them to book a friend, they may find their fitness journey less boring or overwhelming and more motivating. This benefits not only the member, who gets to achieve their goals, but also you as a business owner, as you will be able to sell more of your services.
The bottom line
Working out with a buddy is likely to increase your members’ motivation and attendance. If you want them to keep coming, offer them the ability to book a buddy from your app. It’s a win-win situation that will make things easy both for you and your clients.