Owners and managers of fitness studios and gyms have stared down massive disruptions and changes in their industry over the last two years. For many, it was difficult to cope with the unexpected lockdowns and member limits while still striving to deliver a great service. However, sometimes a bit of disruption is exactly what’s needed to inject some energy into a business. Drawing from critical research conducted with gym goers by Resamania, we look at what sets the best gyms apart and what members expect going forward.
What was it like going to the gym during the pandemic?
In broad strokes, 38% of respondents had a poor experience at their gym during the pandemic, 41% reported that things stayed the same and, finally, only 5% felt that their experience improved. This reflects an industry that could have done more to ensure their members were kept happy and safe during this challenging time.
To retain current members while also recruiting new ones, it is vital that your gym delivers great service and is a good value for money. You must go above and beyond to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers and prospects as being ‘okay’ or mediocre is no longer acceptable.
At was found that there were three commonalities for gyms where members reported and improved experience:
- Value for money
- Carefully controlled access
- Commitment to cleanliness
Value for money
Everyone wants to believe that they are getting good value for their money when they purchase something. This was especially true for gym members during the pandemic when you may have been paying and getting less for your subscription fees. The gyms that excelled during this time found ways to ensure their clients felt they were getting value for money.
This could be accomplished by increasing class slots or ensuring you have the latest and greatest equipment. You could even look at ways of incentivising attendance or performance through some kind of reward scheme.
Carefully controlled access
Most people didn’t want to be in a crowded environment with other people when the pandemic was in full swing. Access control capabilities were essential not just to prevent overcrowding at gyms, but also to prevent gym users from being annoyed that they couldn’t work out when they wanted to.
Managing this delicate balancing act was a difficult task that many gyms failed if you look at the stats. These individuals were almost certainly equipped with effective gym management software, which allowed them to see a comprehensive picture of current attendees and appointments.
Having access to real-time data on your members may help you make adjustments in the present while also helping you plan for the future
Commitment to cleanliness
It should come as no surprise that, during the outbreak, hygiene became a key point of focus for many people. It was also the most often mentioned cause for persons who have reported having a more favourable gym experience through this time.
Exercise facilities needed to maintain the highest levels of sanitation in order to guarantee that members felt comfortable and secure. The best gyms understood that it was not enough to just do a complete clean of equipment once a month. It needed to be a constant area of attention.
What do people now expect from their gym?
In addition to understanding what helped gyms stand out during the pandemic. The study, conducted in December 2021, also highlighted what people expected from their gym and fitness facilities going forward.
Make the booking process as simple and straightforward as possible.
The process of discovering which classes are offered and reserving a space in one of them should be straightforward for your members at all times. In this day and age, there is no longer any excuse for using a manual booking technique for reservations.
Find balance for proper hygiene
While many gym-goers appreciate the strict hygiene standards that came into force during the pandemic, others thought they were a touch too harsh. If you want to keep both categories of members happy, you’ll have to find the right balance to keep both of them happy.
Increase operating times and capacity
Fitness centres can breathe a sigh of relief as they can increase general access numbers as well as overall operating hours. Make sure you let your gym members know that there is more time to work out again.
Make your gym a welcoming environment
A gym may be more than just a place where people go to lift weights and get sweaty, for many individuals, it can also be a place where they can meet up with friends. Adding extra value to your members lives by offering a hang out space, like a coffee shop, can be a great benefit to keep them coming back.
Get ahead of the curve by embracing technology
As a result of technology improvements, many gyms are discovering entirely new ways of doing things: From member management to platforms that provide tailored workouts and assistance. You can stand out by ensuring you’re integrating and taking advantage of these new opportunities.
It’s clear, when it comes to the future of gyms, there is a lot to be enthusiastic about.