Experience

10 Gym Improvement Ideas to Boost the Member Experience

Jenny20Weller
Jenny Weller
21 April 21
11 min read
weights loaded on a barbell

Keeping fit and healthy has never been more important. Physical and mental health is important to your overall well-being and happiness. As health continues to be a priority, it’s essential that you stay on top of changing consumer expectations and demands. Otherwise, your brand may get left behind. 

Your member experience is what makes you unique. You need to adapt to the new ‘normal.’ The era of digital content is really upon us. As the member experience goes beyond traditional fitness, you can evaluate your current position and find ways to improve your fitness business. In this article, we talk about what gym members really want in 2021 and 10 gym improvement ideas to boost the member experience. 

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What Do Gym Members Want In 2021?

There are various elements that make up an incredible member experience. As much as gym members want results and to achieve fitness goals, there is so much more to think about. They want to feel a sense of community. At the same time, your services need to be convenient and flexible. 

Now, people want to get back to the gym. After a year of lockdown, they are ready to get their hands on a glimpse of normalcy. Although countries throughout the world are experiencing different levels of lockdowns and restrictions, fitness remains a key part of staying healthy. The gym doesn’t just represent physical fitness, but a place to socialize, connect and meet other people. 

Members want complete reassurance that it is safe for them to return to the gym. That means enhancing cleaning and new safety measures to create a COVID-secure fitness environment. As the vaccine continues to roll out across the world, creating that reassurance for members is key to developing the right environment. 

As convenience and flexibility continue to be major factors in the member experience, online fitness will remain big. The recent adoption of home fitness as an effective form of fitness looks set to stay. The smart fitness brands that delivered a home fitness model not only survived but thrived throughout the pandemic. Those online options will need to compete in a growing marketplace with the digital experience being just as important as the in-person experience. 

Digital Content, FitTech, and Member Experience 

Gone are the days of just offering a building for fitness. Your brand will be left behind if you’re not running as a hybrid business, or have some sort of digital offering. Those using FitTech, leveraging technology, and offering remote services will come out on top. 

Wearables, artificial intelligence, and business intelligence can enhance the member experience and allow you to streamline your business. When looking at fitness trends, fitness technology plays a huge role in being an innovative fitness brand at the forefront of the industry. 

This year, we will continue to see high-quality digital content in all forms. From streaming live content to going live on social media, digital content is essential. Technology continues to weave throughout fitness brands. Consumers now expect a high-level digital fitness experience with a user-friendly website portal and brand-specific app that integrates seamlessly with your facility. By blending in-person and digital experiences, you can create the ultimate hybrid experience. 

The Fitness Founders Podcast has an excellent episode from our virtual conference Glofox Connect on the hybrid experience. A panel of industry experts talks about how the fitness world has changed and how fitness brands need to learn how to go hybrid or get left behind

Member Experience in a Post-COVID-World 

Contactless gyms, digital fitness, flexible gym membership fees, and complete convenience look set to grow in the world of fitness. With a new awareness of how germs spread and feelings of worry around the thought of a packed-out group fitness class, the member experience needs to adapt to consumers changing behaviors and mindset. 

Digital Era 

The coronavirus pandemic has sped up the acceptance of digital fitness. Although the digital fitness revolution had already begun, the widespread adoption of digital within fitness is a recent occurrence. This has led to digital-only fitness and yoga studios that are offering completely virtual and remote fitness and personal training services. It will be interesting to see how innovation in technology and fitness continue to weave together to enhance the member experience. Brands like Orangetheory Fitness and F45 Training already use heart rate monitoring technology to create the ultimate fat-burning workout. 

Hygiene and Safety 

Hygiene and safety are an integral part of the member experience going forward. In terms of changing consumer priorities and behaviors, health and hygiene are experiencing significant impacts. As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, companies will need to shift from fighting a crisis to managing the eventual recovery of their gym business. Hygiene, safety, and cleaning protocols will play a big role in the member experience. By identifying how your target market may have shifted, you can adjust your current offerings and accelerate digital transformation. 

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Fitness is Evolving 

Fitness is evolving with wellness and fitness concepts merging. Mindbody practices and the dimensions of wellness are becoming part of the overall fitness offering. A year of trauma has forced many fitness brands to adapt to their member’s needs. From brands stepping up for social equality and creating more inclusive and diverse fitness environments to more people seeking help for mental health issues. The fitness industry is in a state of change. 

For industry advice on how fitness operators can deliver a winning hybrid experience, Adam Zeitsiff, the President and CEO of Intelivideo, explores the topic further on our podcast. He talks about how to create value in your online offering and how to get ahead of the competition with hyper-personalization. 

10 Gym Improvement Ideas and Strategies to Boost the Member Experience 

Now is a great time to evaluate your current member experience and see how you can implement new strategies to enhance it. The best brands continue to innovate and adapt to stay at the forefront of the industry. Here are 10 gym improvement ideas you can integrate into your fitness business. 

1. Enhance Cleaning and Hygiene Protocols 

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, you need to create and implement a cleaning and sanitation plan. A good starting point is to research your local government guidelines. You and your team should have a clear understanding of what needs to be disinfected and to what level to ensure you’re meeting the requirements set. Your new protocols will include cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing. You may also have to remove certain high-touch points and create a more contactless experience where relevant. 

2. Foster Positive Relationships in Your Community 

Find creative ways to foster positive relationships in your fitness community. Feeling a sense of belonging and being a part of a community enhances the member experience. Exercise can bring people together and strengthen relationships. Building a fitness community is key to creating the kind of environment that members feel comfortable in. By hosting community-building events, both online and offline, you can continue to engage members. In turn, this boosts the member experience and increases retention. 

3. Evaluate Your Current Offerings 

Evaluate and analyze your current offerings. Are they still relevant? Do they offer a solution to your member’s problems? By looking at your offerings and finding out what works and what doesn’t, you can develop an offering that really drives value. By improving your services and adapting to member needs and demands, you can thrive in one of the toughest markets right now. You should continue to offer fresh fitness offerings to keep members motivated and seeing results. This could be a one-off class with a star personal trainer or creating new fitness challenges to incentivize members. 

4. Leverage FitTech to Enhance the Experience 

If you’re not using technology to enhance the member experience, you’re missing an opportunity. Whether it’s leveraging wearables so that your members can maximize their workout routine or using smart gym equipment paired up with your branded fitness app. Fitness technology has the power to simplify fitness and digest a ton of data in a way that allows members to understand their progress and their current fitness level. 

5. Make Data-Driven Decisions 

Data is everywhere. Data-driven decision-making is key to the growth of your business. You can use data points to evaluate which parts of your business are successful, what needs improvement, and what you need to remove. Utilizing member management software gives you access to digestible data that you can use to improve your health club. Use data to gain a competitive edge, increase profits, and enhance the member experience. By analyzing data, you can gain insight into potential business opportunities, predict future trends, and make an actionable plan. 

6. Ask for Feedback 

Your members are a fantastic source of information. Ask for feedback at key points along the member journey. Ask them questions after completing your onboarding process, after booking a training session, following a visit to your fitness center, and after purchasing something from your fitness brand. Set up a referral program so you can evaluate member satisfaction. Continue to gather as much information as possible by asking simple and quick questions. The insight you gain from your existing customers can help you adjust your offering and improve your gym. 

7. Implement Ultra Personalization 

If you’re not already using personalization, you’re missing an opportunity to engage with members. Now is the time to take your personalization to the next level. It’s not enough to use a first name in an email. Ultra personalization is about delivering the right content to the right people. By segmenting your members, you can offer the latest class information and a new workout stream that is completely relevant to them. Personalization in your fitness offerings and marketing strategy can help to boost engagement and create a better member experience. 

8. Take Your Workouts Outdoors 

Outdoor workouts are set to be big this year. Taking fitness outdoors means that you can benefit from the fresh air circulation. It’s also easier to socially distance when you have a large outdoor space. While some members can’t wait to get back to your fitness club, others are hesitant. By creating an outdoor workout offering, you can continue to serve your members’ needs in an environment they find more comfortable. With restrictions changing regularly, hosting outdoor workouts allows you to continue to generate revenue even if your facility has to close. 

9. Streamline Your Business Operations 

Streamlining your business operations has multiple benefits. When you can work more efficiently, you have the ability to evaluate processes and identify areas for improvement. By digitizing your paperwork, using gym management software, and really leveraging attendance tracking, you can streamline your processes. This frees up your time to do other tasks and avoid working on redundant tasks. Remove repetitive jobs and pinpoint potential opportunities to improve your business and the member experience. 

10. Evolve and Adapt to Consumer Expectations 

If there is one lesson to take away from the pandemic, it’s that the brands who evolve and adapt quickly will come out on top. This applies in all industries, especially fitness. Brands that pivoted to a digital way of working and continued to generate revenue even in the height of lockdown are at the core of a resilient fitness industry. Changing consumer expectations and behaviors will impact your fitness business. It’s crucial that you continue to evaluate your member experience and offerings so that you can identify opportunities and stand out from the competition. 

In Summary 

Great member experience retains loyal customers, boosts member retention, and allows your business to grow. By taking the time to implement new ideas and strategies, you can improve your member experience and continue to adapt to a fast-changing world. Create the kind of experience that attracts new members, builds a loyal following, and fosters positive relationships in your fitness community. As your member’s priorities change and your business evolves, it’s essential that you still deliver an incredible member experience. 

The 6 Crucial Steps to Opening a Gym or Studio

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