BLOCK Plymouth: success with strong member onboarding

3 min read
Monday, 24 April 2023

As a co-working space that provides a different way of working, it’s only natural that BLOCK would adopt a unique approach to onboarding new members to its in-house gym.

In Plymouth, South West England, BLOCK combines premium co-working zones with modern private offices, event space, a café & bar, and the BLOCK gym. The 60-station gym offers a top-of-the-range cardiovascular suite, free weights area, and a functional training zone.

All workspace tenants and co-working members receive 24/7 access to the gym and benefit from a range of coach-led small group training sessions and specialist classes, including yoga and Pilates. The gym also offers a capped membership for the public.

“We have a very different business model to other 24/7 operators. We don’t sell thousands of memberships; we charge a higher ticket rate and get the right demographic in. Retention is key – we keep members engaged in the product and retain them for longer than the average length of stay,” says Gym Manager, Nathan Sarahs.

Below, he expands on just how they’ve decided to do this.

Setting up for success

With no joining fees or contracts, the retention work at BLOCK starts with a robust member onboarding process.

We’ve built a New Member Welcome Pack into our joining flow, which allows members to pay £30 for an exclusive pack (with a face value of £150) during the registration process. This includes a MZ-1 heart rate monitor, a one-hour PT voucher and other items plus a welcome letter, all nicely packaged in a BLOCK branded box.”

The welcome pack adds value by driving business to the gym’s personal trainers, which they know statistically aids retention.

“Members who use our PTs are more likely to be educated and achieve their goals and are therefore less likely to cancel.”

The pack also helps to embed Myzone’s heart-tracking technology into the first part of the customer journey, supporting the members’ goal tracking and increasing their accountability from the offset. Both were identified as critical for member retention.

“Members who use our PTs are more likely to be educated and achieve their goals and are therefore less likely to cancel.”

Embedding the technology across the member experience

BLOCK has chosen not to sell Myzone belts for profit and instead uses the solution as a retention tool.

“Myzone belts are cost-neutral to us as a business. However, we want to deliver engagement and motivation from day one and to keep our members engaged, so we have to give them access to technology. We know how important data is from a workout analysis and tracking perspective and for motivation, which is where Myzone comes in.”

The technology is embedded into small group training with screens next to the gym’s functional rig, SkiErg and its self-powered equipment. This allows the trainers to effectively coach the members through interval and strength-based training while monitoring their live data simultaneously.

“We have an education piece about Myzone in the Welcome Pack letter, which we promote in the classes. Clients see the data on the screens and the leaderboard in the facility too, which generates interest.”

Targeted technology for member retention

With more than 12 years of fitness industry experience, Sarahs was already considering how to differentiate the BLOCK gym from other 24/7 brands before he’d even interviewed.

“From the job advert and knowing the square footage and the price point we’d be looking at, I was thinking about improving things. As a premium workspace offering, we needed a premium gym to match. And that formed the start of the journey in terms of equipment selection, technology and workout tracking solutions.”

Using this mantra, he adopted Myzone, Boditrax and Smart Strength Intelligent Training to ensure technology complimented his offering in an accessible, practical, but not overwhelming way.

“We use a lot of technology here, which is all pushed towards engaging members and giving them correct data so that they can track and progress their training. And that’s all geared to helping them achieve their goals and keeping them as members longer.”

Key takeaways:

  • Embed habits, such as Myzone, from the start through your unique onboarding series
  • Educate early on; the more educated your members are, the more likely they will succeed.
  • Be selective in your technology; align your choices to your objectives and then embed them into your experience. 

Learn more about BLOCK Plymouth here. 

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