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3 Useful tips for improving the service of a fitness centre

The main problem for any fitness centre is usually the high rate of abandonment of its members for various reasons, ranging from failure to achieve their goals to disappointment with the centre because of the service offered, or for external and completely unexpected reasons.

While it is useful to analyse the causes that lead to the abandonment of old members, it is equally important to understand how to keep attending members, so that they do not seek the same service elsewhere or at a better price. In other words, it is important to understand how to retain your customers.

1. Don't fall into the routine trap

Before developing ideas to increase loyalty to your fitness centre, it is important to explore a concept that sometimes causes gyms owners to lower their guard or not give the necessary relevance to the risk of user churn: human nature and the resistance to conform to routine.
Most people tend to be content with what they know – which is not necessarily a synonym for happiness - rather than exploring something new and unknown. The comfort zone that these people create around them is in fact to be interpreted as their tendency to get used to what they know, which then gets stuck into their daily routine and is hard to get rid of.

Thanks to this natural behavioural law, some gyms have a very high retention rate, regardless of structural problems, old tools or antiquated courses. It is important both for small and large fitness centres not to rest on their laurels and to fight to keep the loyalty of their users high.

2. Maintain a constant relationship with users

In medium to small sized gyms, it is generally easier to retain users’ loyalty, since an informal relationship between staff and users is formed, and maintaining a high level of attention to the user becomes something that can be easily managed.

The same cannot be said for larger centres, with hundreds of members. In this case, the user must be at the centre of a mechanism of profiling and analysis of his needs and requirements. This profiling can be represented as a list of categories, in which each user occupies one or more of them.

For example, one user can fall into the categories "with children", "choreographed courses", "spa" and "free swimming", while another can fall into the categories "functional courses", "spa" and "aqua fitness". With the categorisation of individual interests, it is possible to build a system that allows at any time and with ease to trace his information. Some of the relevant information can be: type of user subscription and duration; user frequency (not only in terms of access but also in terms of hours and activities) and relations with the club and its staff (in terms of communications and meetings).

3. Using a CRM system built on the needs of the centre

Once all this information has been collected, it must be managed. The system responsible for managing this data is CRM (or Customer Relationship Management).

While the member is attending, all actions and interactions between the club and the member must be recorded on the CRM: the member's objectives, physical tests, body parameters, emails, phone calls and their content; everything that serves to improve the service offered to the customer is part of an efficient CRM.

However, CRM does not only serve as a passive record of user information. CRM must also be programmed to send alerts and memos, separating between those to be sent directly to the member, those to be sent only to their internal contacts in the club and those to be sent simultaneously to both.

An effective CRM gives the user the impression of being constantly guided in their athletic path, thus increasing the loyalty of the member at the centre. In fact, there is a clear difference in the rate of loyalty before and after the adoption of a CRM system, measured in terms of appointments respected, renewed subscriptions and turnover rate.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that CRM does not replace interpersonal relationships between users and staff members: if it is true that CRM helps to manage the various relationships, what really helps to maintain them in the end is the ability of each staff member to understand and meet the needs of each individual user.

The 3 tips to improve the quality of service in your fitness centre

In summary, here are the 3 tips with which you can improve the quality of service offered by your business quickly and effectively:

  • Do not fall into the trap of your users' routine
  • Maintain a constant relationship with users to meet their needs
  • Adopting a CRM system, especially for larger centres, can help a lot in managing the relationship with users

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