As a gym owner, customer service may be one of those catchphrases you don’t think about much. To stay competitive and keep costs down, you’ve leaned into online sign-ups,
digital keytags, and reducing employee payrolls.
It’s working, too. With an emphasis on cost reduction and adapting services to customer needs, small gyms have stopped disappearing from the landscape.
Truthfully, if you’re a gym owner reading this blog, you’ve survived quite a clean-out.
In 2019, gym ownership hit record levels, with more than 41,370 gyms in the United States, according to Statista’s research. Today, that number hovers at about 31,000 clubs.
Now, let’s talk about how to keep those customers.
At Gym Insight, we know a little about customer service. As a privately owned gym management company, we are happy to report a thriving – and very satisfied – customer base of gym owners. It’s sort of what makes us special.
Just recently, Abbe Hockaday, owner of Abb’s Muscle & Fitness Gym in Dallas, GA, told us Gym Insight is the greatest gift the previous owners could have left her when she bought out an existing health club. GI’s Anthony Pasquale, she continued, was “like my new BFF.”
Looking at research into customer service, and how companies keep clients happy and loyal, we found three interesting parallels between how we do it, and how the big guys suggest it should be done.
#1. Good customer service starts with the human touch.
PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022 found “at least one-third of respondents said human interaction is important to their loyalty, and for many types of businesses it was more than 50%.”
What is good customer service?
For most people, it simply looks like a person. A human who can answer a question without a prompt. Who will listen even as the customer may struggle to express the right term or idea.
At Gym Insight, our current customers are as important as our new ones. That is why when they have a question, Anthony in sales, or Jason in customer service, will answer their call and questions immediately. We don’t leave our customers hanging in an endless phone queue with automated answers designed to solve generic problems. Or, even more frustrating, forward links to knowledge-based articles created to sideline customer inquiries. No matter what the concern, we work directly with our customers through a process of elimination until the situation is fixed.
We understand manpower is one of your largest expenses, as it is with most companies. However, your best investment is still ensuring your members can speak with an empowered employee — or an owner — when they are experiencing a problem or need to vent a concern. It sets you apart from the competition. Humans still need humans. Pretty simple combo.
#2. Proactive customer service keeps small fires small.
Recent research by a national marketing company shows that proactive customer service is a great way to retain customers. In other words, how can you ensure your customers’ everyday interactions with your company turn out well?
At Gym Insight, we do this by providing a completely transparent voicemail system. Every employee in our company can see — and answer — a message or phone call. For us, customer service is all our jobs, not just the responsibility of a particular department.
But that’s our value system. From our CEO Lawrence Fagan to a humble blog writer, we believe in keeping customers happy. As your health club strives to live its values, sharing the belief that “We are all responsible” will translate into lower customer churn and higher member loyalty.
#3. Good value for the price still matters.
In spite of the COVID-19 inspired rush towards incredibly expensive consumer and luxury goods, individuals still prefer a reasonable price for a good product. Most people still keep to a budget and your product must fit within it to make the cut.
The PwC survey indicated more than half of their 4,000 respondents “said getting good value for the price of a product or service is a top reason why they keep using or buying from a business.”
Our gentle boast reminds you that we are a subscription-based service — Our prices start at $49 per month and grow along with the size of your member base. You always know how much you’re paying for our product, and it remains one of the most reasonable in the industry. Software upgrades, full-service customer care, and (most) client list transfers are included.
What value do your members receive for their monthly investment? Is it a number they can boast about, too? It’s a delicate dance – good service, good product, good price – but it still adds up to the winning combination necessary to run a successful and lasting operation.
Our best to you, and we look forward to your feedback. For more info on how our customers run their businesses, check out our Gym Owners Podcast and social media feeds. If you’d like to give us your feedback, contact us at 1-855-FOR-GYMS and let’s chat.
We design gym management software for new and existing health club owners, as well as for personal trainers. Our easy-to-use, affordable software features sales tools, member management, class scheduling, payment processing, access control, and club management. All of our software and hardware is managed in-house – no third-party vendors. We are here for you as a team, every day with a single goal – to create software that makes it simple for you to run a successful fitness center.
[CM1]Rose, this whole paragraph can be eliminated. What do you think? Not sure it is necessary.