“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.” Today’s fitness business members have more options than ever before when it comes to choosing a gym. So what makes them choose — and stay with — yours? It all comes down to the customer experience. Which begs the question: Is your fitness business delivering the customer experience you want it to? If not, your member recruitment and retention goals may be at risk.

Here’s a closer look at key components of the customer experience, along with how to perform an audit to see how you measure up.

What Is Customer Experience? 

As a fitness business manager, you’ve probably used the words “customer experience” when talking to your staff. However, have you stopped to think about what those words really mean? Customer experience futurist Blake Morgan digs a bit deeper into the customer experience concept in a Forbes piece. She writes, “Customer experience can include a lot of elements, but it really boils down to the perception the customer has of your brand.”

“Perception” is the operative word here. “Even if you think your brand and customer experience is one thing, if the customer perceives it as something different, that is what the actual customer experience is,” Morgan continues. It follows that optimizing your customer experience can help you improve your customer satisfaction and create a competitive advantage. It can also increase member loyalty and thereby help you harness the power of their brand advocacy toward your member recruitment initiatives. 

The takeaway is clear: Managing customer perception is essential to brands looking to attract and retain customers by delivering on a brand promise. 

 Conducting a Customer Experience Audit

“You can’t transform something you don’t understand. If you don’t know and understand what the current state of the customer experience is, how can you possibly design the desired future state?” proposes internationally recognized customer experience thought leader Annette Franz. Enter the customer experience audit. This may sound like a complicated endeavor, but it actually comes down to something relatively simple: looking at your fitness business through the eyes of your members. 

IDEAfit recently zeroed in on four main aspects of the member experience for fitness business owners and managers to include in their audit, including the following: 

1. Awareness

Can members and prospective members easily find information about your gym or health club? Your business should have an accessible and accurate website and social media accounts that clearly and consistently showcase your hours, schedule, amenities and offerings. 

2. Action/Conversion

Today’s customers are all about instant gratification. If it’s not easy for them to sign up for a class, book a personal training appointment, or purchase a product, they’re likely to grow frustrated — and thereby to take their business elsewhere. 

3. Loyalty

Member retention is significantly cheaper than member recruitment. Are you doing everything you can do to boost customer loyalty? Everything from warm and welcoming staff to automated email campaigns filled with valuable and customized content can help keep members engaged and connected to your fitness business.

Two people looking at a fitness brochure together.

4. Advocacy

Satisfied members aren’t just members; they’re also brand ambassadors. Are you doing everything you can be doing to make sure that your members not only love coming to your fitness business but are also eager and empowered to share that love with others? Asking happy customers to leave reviews is a simple endeavor with massive payoff potential. Introducing bring-a-friend programs or a reward system for referrals can make the process mutually beneficial. 

Amazon founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos offers an interesting perspective on the customer experience. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better,” he says. 

Conducting a customer experience audit can help you ensure that you’re throwing your members the best possible party every time they step foot in your club. Wearables are one increasingly vital way to deliver a fulfilling customer experience to your members.   Request a demo today to learn what Accurofit can do to support your fitness business’s member experience.