In recent years improvements have been made to technological infrastructure allowing businesses to reach, interact, and communicate with customers in ways that have never been seen before. In this article, we are going to overview the 5 S’s of adopting a modern, digital strategy into your gym and the benefits which each of these offer your club.
Digital technology has given businesses an unprecedented opportunity to advertise and sell products and services (like gym memberships) to customers. Online additions such as incorporating a gym member portal into your website allowing potential gym members to research and sign up to your club, make inquiries, make bookings with personal trainers and scheduling their classes allows you to sell these services to your members from wherever they may be.
Adding value to your service through online platforms with a tailored, continuous dialogue with customers. This could be useful in terms of extending offerings of your club, such as going live online through social media or your website with tips and tricks members can use to be healthier, or with exercise advice. Personalized and automated emails, or push notifications from a gym member app can help build relationships with clients through increasing their touchpoints with your business while keeping content timely and relevant to their needs.
Exercise equipment now also utilizes digital technology to serve members with granular information and visualizations of their workout, and if they include log-ins for the members, many can also report their progress over time. This is highly valuable to the member (and therefore your club) as it can help motivate them to work out, set effective goals and view their progress towards reaching these goals.
The digital age has vastly improved the ability for people to be able to communicate with one another, but also with gyms as well. The addition of social media, video communication channels, and website integrations such as contact forms and chat-bots offers gym owners opportunity to engage, build relationships and research or understand their customers in a way that was previously unseen in business.
This is incredibly useful as this improved connection and understanding can allow you to identify problem areas and pain points to be addressed, while informing you of opportunities or new ideas to pursue. All of which enables you to better tailor your business to the needs of your clients, resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction and subsequently improving your brand image.
Social media also opens a forum for discussions between a group of members, or between members and your club – allowing people to ask questions and receive information about your business very quickly, and sometimes without your involvement. For some businesses, this can be scary, as it removes their ability to control the narrative of their business if a prospect is easily able to communicate directly with your members with a simple post on a community page–however, this is also a very powerful tool. The information gained through word of mouth advertising, such as recommendations given in an online forum from existing members, is much more trusted and powerful towards shifting someone’s opinion than if your business was to respond themselves. In essence, you have the ability to advertise for free (and with much higher effectiveness than most other methods) if you have a strong and satisfied brand community to support your business online.
Utilize digital products to make cost reductions while maintaining or even increasing your available free time and the level of interactivity with clients. Opting to utilize software systems over the old-fashioned and more traditional means of running a gym business can eliminate administrative timesinks and even bring you closer to members through facilitating a hands-off approach to communications. Platforms that combine numerous software systems such as all-in-1 gym management systems allow you to cut costs even further, by reducing the number of systems that you must manage, maintain and pay subscriptions for, with the added benefit of having everything in one place.
Extend coverage and involvement of your service to the digital servicescape to add supplementary offerings alongside offline brand activities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in recent months, extending to the digital servicescape has been especially useful to maintain the relationship with gym members and keep them in their fitness routine. Tools such as Zoom and Facebook live have helped bring fitness clubs to their members while they were stuck in their houses during lockdown by allowing personal trainers and class instructors to continue their training sessions via live streaming. For more detail on this, and how GymMaster can be used to make live-streaming fitness classes easier, click here.
Many gyms, for a few years now, have also been incorporating internet technology to help gym members get more motivated to workout (and visit their club). Wearables and fitness trackers such as bracelets and belts can be used to gamify workouts and make them more competitive, through presenting this information in a fun way to participants, such as through mobile apps, or projecting them in front of the class. Gamification such as this has been shown to increase engagement, enjoyment and effort exerted during workouts from participants,