Becoming a member of a gym these days can be a large financial commitment, to some fitness fanatics it can be an absolute necessity, a must have in their lives regardless of the cost. To others it forms part of a wider lifestyle choice and choosing a gym can be a more difficult decision to make, with both the cost and quality of the overall service an important consideration.
Either way potential members should be convinced that the gym or fitness centre can fit comfortably around their personal circumstances and is an investment in their future health, fitness and wellbeing. Projecting the key benefits in the right way can be an important factor in conversion and can be key to increasing gym membership sales in a competitive environment.
Tern utilises mystery shoppers as mystery gym members to help evaluate health and gym club membership managers’ ability to convert individuals and families alike into long term brand advocates who select a club to fit around their lifestyle.
So why do gyms invest in mystery shopping?
The size of the health and fitness industry in the UK is impressive and growing with the figures revealed in a recent report.
‘State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that the UK health and fitness industry has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before. For the first time ever, member numbers have exceeded 8 million, market value is over £4 billion and the penetration rate is at an all time high of 13.2%.’ http://www.leisuredb.com
With wearable sports tech becoming mainstream in 2015 consumers awareness of their own fitness levels will become even greater, increasing the opportunities to engage with new potential members.
Rioch Brewer, Senior Statistician at Kantar Media Custom comments: “The health and fitness wearables market is still in its infancy, and brands targeting younger audiences as well as those in the sport and leisure categories are leading the way. These figures are set to increase as brands innovate in this space as a means of attempting to engage with consumers and extend the overall brand experience. It is also interesting to see that consumers are happy to pay for apps and devices, which opens up additional opportunities for manufacturers and developers.” http://www.kantarmedia.co.uk
Getting the view from the customer or member can help to tutor managers to the selling points they have been trained in. They can view the results objectively and see if they are managing to deliver against the embedded sales or member mentoring process. The quality of the human interaction in this process is key, converting people who are not regular gym goers can provide a big increase in revenue and profit for a gym membership manager.
The benefit for mystery gym members
Of course there are some benefits for the mystery shoppers as well. As part of our mystery shopper service for gyms we send our potential members in to measure not only the initial member consultation we also look at how well the member on boarding process commits the customer to a long term relationship with their gym of choice. This allows gyms to understand the reason for any potential high churn rates that they might be experiencing.
Our approach to health and fitness centre mystery shopping
Building strong relationships with your gym members through social media, phone calls, text messages, or face-to-face communication, can all help to increase attendance among members and get them involved in regular classes.
These social nudges can dramatically increase member visits. Increasing the attendance levels also increases the points of contact they have with the gym, building points of contact can increase the customer lifetime value of your members.
A typical mystery member gym programme might include:
- New gym member consultation process.
- Member show round visit to the health club, gym, fitness suite, tour.
- Initial visits, training inductions and advice based around health and preferred sporting activity.
- Relationship building within the trial offer period.
- Membership advisor assessments
If you own or manage a health club or gym, you’ve no doubt already learned that great customer service is a pre-requisite to running a successful business. With everyone these days seemingly involved in a triathlon, marathon or some other sporting event we can help to ensure that your gym can convert and retain new members effectively.
We conduct mystery shopping visits in a range of approaches. Evaluating face to face interactions with Video Mystery shopping or testing your online, telephone and social response success with our online and call centre mystery shopping.
To find out a little more read our client testimonial for our gym mystery member programmes.
Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin 13/05/2015