How to Communicate Enhancement Fees to Your Health Club Members

January 1, 2012

“But I’m already paying for a membership.”

If you’ve heard statements similar to this one when communicating enhancement fees to your members, then odds are your members don’t understand how these added costs benefit them.

Think about a time when you had a bill higher than expected. How did you react? Probably in a similar way. I know I’ve run into the same scenario myself – is your cell phone bill ever the same? Because mine never is. For some unknown reason, there’s a different tax or miscellaneous expense each month. We put up with extra cell phone charges with little question – but enhancement fees may take a bit more convincing.

Health Club Management Tips for Talking Enhancement Fees with Customers

You are collecting fees for a good reason – to enhance the quality of your club for everyone. Whether or not your membership buys into that idea depends mostly on how health club management staff presents it to them. You can effectively communicate with your membership by answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” Here’s how you answer that question effectively:

  • Be specific. Don’t simply put up a sign or add a line item to each member’s invoice saying “new enhancement fee will improve maintenance and equipment quality.” This statement is too broad and will leave people wondering what exactly you are doing. Instead, discuss the specific changes being made. If you’re repairing equipment, describe each repair. If you’re buying new equipment, talk about what you’ll be buying. Describe exactly what new maintenance will be performed.
  • Show how it benefits your members. Describing the specifics helps, but not everyone will see how they directly benefit from the fees. Talk about how you’ve noticed the elliptical machines are always full. Discuss how you constantly see members waiting to use dumbbells and barbell weights. Then, tell your members how these wait times and bottlenecks will be reduced or eliminated with new equipment. The same types of tactics used in prospect marketing campaigns, ranging from email blasts to customized call campaigns, can be effective in communicating both specifics and benefits.
  • Cover as many bases as possible. At some point, someone will complain, “But I don’t even use the ellipticals. Why should I have to pay for them?” The answer to this question is indirect. Show how the enhancement fees benefit the users of every type of equipment. Then, you have a way of talking to clients who claim to be paying for what they don’t use.

Effective Health Club Management & Communication Can Ease Owner Stress

When charging enhancement fees, you never really know how people are going to react. But, communicate what you are doing in the right way, and you should be able to smooth over any rumpled feathers. Be honest, be specific and spread your message wide, and your members should be able to see why enhancement fees are in their best interest.

To learn more about the capabilities of health club software we offer, request a demo from ABC Financial.