It’s one of the telltale signs that you’re about to see a lot of member cancellations in your studio pretty soon. And yet, many studio owners get surprised when it happens.
But it’s only logical, don’t you think?
See, when you’ve got low attendance rates in your studio, that means your members aren’t loving their time with you. It also means they don’t feel good enough after your sessions to want to keep coming back.
And if members don’t see the point in showing up to your sessions… then it’s only a matter of time before they leave your studio for good!
So, if you want to fix the issue of high churn, your goal should be to consistently hit record attendance. To do that, you’ve got to create a 5-star experience for your members.
5 Things You Need for a 5-Star Session
Creating a five-star experience for your studio members… It seems a bit arbitrary, don’t you think?
Let’s say you just had a group session. And your trainers and coaches feel pretty good at the end of the session – so much so that they’d rate it four stars out of five.
But does that mean your team actually delivered a four-star experience for your members?
No, not necessarily. And it’s because what you and your trainers feel is subjective and might not reflect the actual experiences of your members.
So, what we need to go after is a consistent, objective goal of giving your attendees a 5-star experience. And the best way to do that is to create a formula. That means assigning one objective for every star.
That way, if you are only successful in hitting three out of five objectives, you can correctly conclude that your members just had a three-star experience. And if you were able to hit all five objectives, then you can rest assured that it was a 5-star experience for your members, too.
Now, to kick things off for you, I’m going to share the 5-star session formula my team uses. These are the five key objectives we strive to hit at every session so as to create a five-star experience for our attendees:
#1. A Big Community
No one signs up to team training to just train on their own in the corner. Chances are, they’re looking to be part of a big community.
That’s why your job is to be the light and the fuse that brings your individual members together, forming a community.
As the studio owner, you must take on the responsibility of being a community manager. This means you should be able to break the ice for your members and have them bonding and connecting with each other even before the session begins.
Now, it really does take some time before strangers warm up to each other. But you can speed up the thaw by playing games and connecting people who have similar interests.
For instance, you can ask your members to tell you one interesting fact about each other… or else they all get extra time on the treadmill after the session.
You can also break up the big group into smaller groups, but make sure you team people up with other members who might have the same interests as them. Then, spark some conversations by dropping tidbits like, “Hey, I think both of you are headed to Bangkok for the summer!”
As you watch those conversations start to take their natural course, you can tell you’ve succeeded in planting the seeds for a big community.
#2. An Electric Atmosphere
Now, this is not about being loud or being a cheerleader-type of trainer to create the illusion that everyone’s having an awesome, electric session in your studio. What this is about is playing to your team’s strengths and designing an actual great experience for your members.
For example, you might want to pair one coach who has a gift for raising people’s energy with another coach who’s talented at spotting individuals who need help with their form or execution.
So, while one trainer goes around the room helping individuals out with the workouts, you have the other trainer holding the room and keeping that electric energy flowing. And they’ll do it by shouting out things like, “Now, don’t you dare drop that ball! I can see what all of you are doing right now!”
#3. A Tailored Touch
Here’s an objective for you:
Every time you walk up to a member in every session, you need to add value to their time. It’s either a progression, a regression, or a target that you give them.
Never walk past someone without giving them a specific, tailored touch.
You should let them know that you are well-aware of their goals. And that you’re hell-bent on helping them achieve those goals.
If you took the time to learn about your members’ reasons for being in the studio, providing this tailored touch should be easy for you… but it’ll be absolutely mind-blowing and life-changing for your members!
You need to communicate to every member that even though they’re in team training, their individual needs and goals are accounted for. If they feel that way, you can expect them to keep coming back to your sessions – because they actually see the point in doing so.
#4. Education and Empowerment
Apart from being adept at workouts and helping members achieve their physical goals, you need your trainers to be inspirational.
They should be able to educate and empower your members. And an important way to do it is by helping members adopt a better mindset about going to your studio and creating habits that help them get fit.
Admittedly, this is one thing that your coaches might struggle with a bit, so help them out. Have them listen to motivational podcasts. Get them to follow fitness TikToks. And put them up to the task of sharing one thing they learned about mindset training during your team meetings.
#5. An Explosive Finish
It’s easy to start your workouts with a bang when everyone’s still in high spirits. But the real challenge is ending the session with a bang when both coaches and members are already exhausted.
There’s nothing worse than the timer running out for the last part of the session and everyone’s just looking around, saying, “Oh, is that it? It’s done?”
You don’t want your session to just peter out. What you need is for your members to leave your studio in an ecstatic mood so they’ll have the motivation to show up in your studio the next day.
So, don’t let your sessions end with a whimper. Always go for an explosive finish.
Time to Get Record Attendance in Your Studio
One final thing…
You have to understand that the magic is not in knowing this 5-star session formula. The magic is in being able to implement it.
So, I want you to take what you’ve learned from this article, then go out there and make it your own.
Sit down with your team and brainstorm what your studio’s five stars are. Once you’ve identified your own formula, the hard part comes next: putting those five stars up there and creating 5-star experiences for your members.
It won’t be easy—I’m not going to lie.
But it’s the best way to hit record attendance and maintain low churn in your studio.
And in my book, that makes the hard work worth it.
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