As a club operator, reopening your club after a long shutdown was exciting and, in many cases, long overdue. However, your members have new fears and expectations. This is why MXM, Medallia’s Partner to the Fitness Industry, created the free Reopen Feedback System so gyms know exactly how their members feel about their procedures.
And, a common theme the text analytics data in the survey is showing surrounds the word “love,” a positive change from the two largest themes going into the shutdown and even during the shutdown — “equipment” and “wipe,” which carried a mostly negative sentiment.
“Love is a key theme in the reopen feedback we see,” said Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM. “Themes are discovered by searching open text from members who are leaving feedback, then applying Medallia’s Text Analytics and artificial intelligence. The technology isn’t just looking for the word ‘love.’ It has to look at the words around it and learn what it is people are loving. Right now, it is the biggest theme we see in the reopen feedback, and that really tells us something.”
As of September 8, 2020, there have been 118,751 feedback system responses. Based on the insights received from these responses, McHaney recommends six areas clubs should be innovating around: fresh air, space, outdoors, virtual, reservations and happiness. However, he also recommended that clubs should get creative when it comes to these areas.
“I will give one example — ‘fresh air’ is mentioned a lot and is obviously linked to ‘outdoors,’” said McHaney. “But, how might you take advantage of the love for fresh air indoors? It’s easy to do outdoors, but getting it done indoors and then getting marketing around that could be a great message. Is there a way to prove your indoor air is fresher than the outdoor air where you are? How might you brand that and talk about it?”
Another essential trend the data is showing is people enjoy when it is easy to social distance inside a gym and the diligence of other members to clean equipment and machines after they are used.
“These are metrics we track and when these begin to erode, so does the ‘likelihood to be a member in six months’ metric,” said McHaney. “People don’t love crowded spaces and they abhor watching members use something without cleaning it. They always have — now, it just appears criminal to them.”
The Reopen Feedback System is just one way MXM is helping the health and fitness industry through the coronavirus pandemic. Another way they are serving the industry is through their Visits to Virus data, which is now being used all over the world to help clubs get open and stay open. It has also inspired other companies to take a look at their own data and create positive PR and messaging around it.
“IHRSA was able to get a big PR push behind it and it seemed to be doing the job of getting reporters to pay attention,” explained McHaney. “That was the whole intent. We need people to see we are safe.”
Whether through the Reopening Feedback System or the Visits to Virus data, MXM has paved a path to best serve health club operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.