When you’re operating a gym and your members are happy, everything seems easy. But we’ve all seen situations where a change in budget, management or style quickly causes gym members to sneak off and start memberships at other facilities. How do you keep your members happy and improve their overall experience? These tips will give you some ideas to help you get started:
1. Take a fresh look. Spend a day really looking at your facility. Is it clean? Are the instructors encouraging your members or pushing them too much? If you’re concerned that you’ll be treated differently because of your position, try hiring a few secret shoppers to evaluate your gym and give you solid feedback on their experiences.
2. Get the facts right from the horse’s mouth. Put together or hire a company to administer a survey to your gym members. To encourage broad participation, you may want to offer it as a contest or drawing. Otherwise you may find a lot of responders either providing very high praise or terrible issues as only people on either end of the spectrum respond.
3. Spend some time creating a special atmosphere. People don’t continue coming to gyms because of the machinery, they come for the culture and atmosphere of the place. Encourage the development of a supportive community in your gym by offering rooms for parties or meetings and provide sponsored activities based on the type of activity (basketball or water aerobics), age (Silver Sneakers is a great example of a community growing out of a class) or other similar interests (homeschoolers gym class or new mothers gatherings).
4. Offer additional services. Whether you’re adding yoga classes or a drop-in daycare facility for busy parents, it’s often the little extras that make you stand out in a big world of boring gym facilities. Consider asking your instructors if they’d be interested in doing personal training, lifestyle management, dietary consultations or similar services that really add value for your members and makes them call your gym home.
5. Maintain and replace your equipment as needed. There’s nothing as annoying to your members as going to the gym to work out, day after day, just to improvise because the leg press machine is broken — again. The same goes for dated equipment, because it looks as though their membership isn’t being used to improve the facilities.
6. Clean up your (gym’s) act. Provide paper towels and spray cleaner for your member’s use on the machinery and make sure the machinery and facility are cleaned regularly. For the less astute members of your gym, a reminder note on bright colored paper next to the paper towels and spray cleaner may help them remember to clean the equipment after they’re done using it.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to see a positive improvement in your gym members’ experiences, your referred business and the overall gym atmosphere. Put a few into motion and see what results develop.
Kevin Bryant is the vice president of global fitness sales at Accuro. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit accurofit.com.