Last year, I made a trip across the pond to the UK and had an interesting experience I want to share with my friends in the fitness industry.
My trip was last minute. I was scrambling to get a clean, well-reviewed, affordable hotel that was convenient to where I needed to be. As I searched for hotels on Google, I came across the Premier Inns.
I immediately thought of the fitness industry and how delivering good customer service in gyms at a similar satisfaction guarantee would be nearly impossible. That troubles me. The value of this type of customer satisfaction guarantee is so obvious to many in the industry but few companies are doing anything meaningful to address customer satisfaction or retention.
Consider my experience at the Premier Inn:
- I arrived after 7 hours on an overnight flight
- Went straight to the hotel,
- Passed out due to jet lag and
- Woke up several hours later feeling great.
A good night’s sleep is easy to guarantee. By contrast losing weight or getting back into shape is much more challenging. Ultimately you’ll feel great, but the first 90-days after sitting on a couch for 5 years and eating Cheetos … not so much.
So how do you provide good customer service in gyms and fitness centers in a way that nurtures customer satisfaction? There are several fitness companies who seem to have a plan in place but Equinox Fitness, a Motionsoft customer, is leading the way. Since 1993, Equinox’s Fitness Training Institute (EFTI) has been committed to delivering success and results using three fundamental principles: movement, nutrition and regeneration programming. The program focuses on training the trainer with applied exercise science education and more importantly customer engagement success. If you take a moment to think about it the plight of the aforementioned couch potato, it really makes sense.
The first element, movement, is pretty basic and most gym operators do it well. Get the prospect off the couch and into your gym or if you are using our MyClub Join Online onto your website and sign them up for a membership.
Unfortunately, that’s where the customer engagement seems to end at most facilities. Consider our friend who is eager and ready to get into shape. He shows up at the gym on January 2nd, heads right over to the treadmill for a quick ten minute warm up then on to the bench press where is completes three sets at 225, and then to the leg press, dumbbell rack etc. etc. He then heads home and of course after having busted his backside for two-hours stops for a quick “snack” at the local Sizzler. January 3rd is not much different, except for the fact that the pain in the pecs and biceps limit him to the treadmill and so it goes for about a month until our warrior throws out his back and the attrition slide begins.
The issue of course is that there is no direction. Imagine walking into the doctor’s office and being handed the stethoscopes and pressure cuff, few people would know where to begin! Part of good customer service in gyms is showing people how to succeed and teaching them how to achieve their goals.
The fitness industry needs to understand that while selling memberships is important, extending our reach outside the four walls of the gym is critical. Few would argue that nutrition is the most important element of success and ensuring that our bodies have time to recover is also critical.
The health and fitness industry has the ability to become the voice of influence for wellness in people’s lives, and we can deliver the results that are promised during the sales process with a plan to support good customer service in gyms. Is customer satisfaction part of your customer guarantee?