How often are you shopping your competition? The reality is most health clubs don’t. Having been in the industry for the past few decades I’ve had the opportunity to speak with and help many new fitness concepts open their doors to the public.
One of the most important tasks as a new fitness business owner is to do a competitive analysis. That doesn’t mean you just critique their website. It means you should actually try and visit as a perspective new member. This will give full context as to what people are or are not attracted to.
“I love fitness and all types of fitness are wonderful,” said Britt Canady, the CEO at Volofit. “Other concepts offer their version and it is important to remain grounded that you are not the only ones out there.”
Here are three keys to look for when you are shopping your competition:
1. Digital Sign-Up Experience
This is a very interesting one and I find most owners/GM’s do not pay much attention to it. In other words, what is the experience like to try and either sign-up for trial or membership? Are there multiple screens you have to click on before even getting to some type of check out page or is it quite simple to sign up? This makes a big difference whether a potential member drops off of during the process or not. Having the right CRM and digital widgets are crucial to keep a prospect engaged.
2. Sales Experience
Although you might consider membership price as the most important comparable, I am here to tell you it is NOT. In fact, according to a study performed by superoffice.com, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. I can’t tell you how many times I have shopped around for a gym and although the equipment and price were great, their experience was non-existent.
Here are some key elements of a great sales experience.
- Name: It is always great when the front desk attendant asks and speaks to you by your first name. It makes the experience more personal.
- Goals: The most important reason why someone joins a gym or studio is to reach a goal. Therefore, it is crucial the sales team has a conversation about your goals and what you are trying to achieve.
- Tour: This might seem simple, but I am not talking about a standard museum tour. This is when a sales associate walks you around the entire gym with no purpose. A great tour is more personalized, showing areas you would be using more often and relating it to your goals.
Yes, of course price matters, but once again, it’s not the most important. It is, however, important to know what your competitors are charging for various services. It is also important to see how many membership options they have. This could be crucial when formulating your options as you think about what customers are looking for and that they can get it anywhere else.
Understanding your key competitors will keep you relevant in the community. With so much competition, your business needs to offer unique services and options but most importantly, provide a great experience. That is what keeps members coming back.