Marketing for gyms: customer experience with fitness equipment.
Author: Chano Jiménez. Author of Vended Malditos Benditos and Atracción Digital, PhD in Economics, Postgraduate Degree in Neuromarketing, MA in Sports Management, MBA, lecturer and international marketing and sales consultant for sports centres.
The fitness industry is currently characterised by two essential aspects: high competitiveness and, therefore, the need to be different from competitors, and the big challenge of retaining customers, which is complicated due to the difficulty of the majority of users without any training habit to make sense of it. In this sense, one of the most effective tools to respond to this situation is customer experience (when using our service or product).
Planning customer experience should start by thoroughly analysing the buyer’s journey. In order to do so, we need to step into our potential customer’s shoes from the first moment of contact with the brand we manage.
Therefore, we must evaluate our ranking on search engine result pages that measure the SEO of different keywords (93% of purchase processes start by searching on Google); the visual impact of our facilities and equipment; impressions our staff can give; convenience of our information and customer registration processes; technical procedures for customer service (initial assessment, frequent follow-ups, feedback, etc.); specific perceptions that the customer has while in the fitness rooms or during group classes and, in general, we should rethink all of this to avoid any reason for friction and, beyond that, cause sensory seduction.
If we manage these aspects, somatic labels that are generated in people’s minds when evaluating something for the first time will be a positive experience. This will lead to a much wider and more permissive range of tolerance in the event of possible friction. Obviously this will help us a lot when retaining customer loyalty.
Addressing everything regarding management of customer experience in an article would be endless, but we can provide some tips that can decisively contribute to improving these processes.
- OPT FOR DESIGN
People begin to subconsciously assess experiences, services and products from the very first second and based on their first impressions, which are usually visual. Attractive designs (brand image, communication, equipment, etc.) have an enormous power to connect with customers.
- DEVELOP QUICK AND EASY CUSTOMER SERVICE PROCESSES
Aspects such as an attractive website, façade of the premises, interior design and distribution of spaces are important. In this sense, hiring experts specialised in image, decoration, interior design, etc. is not an option if we want to be truly competitive.
- INCLUDE CLEAR DIFFERENTIATING ELEMENTS
Although each company must develop their strategy based on their competitive advantages, when implementing them they need to have coherent resources. For example, if a result-oriented service is offered, technology applications like software or apps that provide user feedback are extremely interesting.
- SEDUCE WITH EXPERIENCE
People only use the services they need or love, and, as an expert in neuromarketing, I can guarantee that, if they fall in love with your product or service, it will become a necessity. At this point, combining a delightful atmosphere with superb personal attention are key.
- CUSTOMERS WANT AN EXCITING PLAN
Customer experience is not complete if it is not frequent, mainly because it will not provide results. Thus, my recommendation is to use pedagogy to make the client understand the importance of committing to a long-term results plan.
- WORK ON ACQUIRING TRAINING HABITS
In fact, new customers should not have an initial goal of losing weight or improving squats. Their aim should be to acquire training habits. This is why it is essential to enjoy each training session. Therefore, group sessions can be helpful and they will be even better if there are distractions (sensory experiences such as those provided by gamification are greatly valued).
- INCLUDE TREND DEMANDS
As already mentioned, fitness companies can and must be distinctive, but they also need to respond to social demands in terms of activities and training methods, such as HIIT, HIST or functional training.
In short, when establishing our customer experience, we must bear in mind that people do not buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.