Imagine you’ve just been seated in your favorite restaurant. Perhaps the waiter greets you by name and remembers your drink order. The familiar smells excite your senses and add to the anticipation of your meal. When the manager comes around to ensure that you’re enjoying your meal, your mouth is too full to respond with anything other than a smile and a nod. This kind of rapport is what customers build with their preferred brands. It starts out as a pleasant experience and transforms into brand loyalty that will keep the restaurant in business. If you own a fitness studio, you’re in the same position as your favorite restaurant. Your company must provide great customer experience to win the loyalty of customers. This can be achieved in many ways, but good fitness studio software will get you started.
The Meaning of the Customer Experience
We live and work in a consumer-driven economy which dictates that every business should establish a digital presence. The main purpose of taking your business online is to give consumers basic details about your business. Potential clients need to know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It’s also beneficial to add content that helps customers build a base of knowledge around your industry. For instance, you might post content on hot stone massages, diet, meditation or outdoor activity to engage your customers. Introduce your fitness and lifestyle-conscious audience to events and opportunities that speak to them. In the customer’s mind, this will connect your business with what they value.
Building Your Brand
So, you know that you need a website and that you must continuously add relevant content. How does the site help you reach customers and build a brand? We came across a useful webinar by Luke Williams, Head of Customer Experience (CX) at Qualtrics, on the Harvard Business Review website. He observed that the key differentiation is CX, which refers to when consumers interact with a company. This could be a mom shopping online for clothes or calling a satellite provider to complain about a weak connection.
What You Can Do
Certainly, you should focus on building better customer experiences with the people you greet every day at your studio. Create a way for clients to book training sessions online and allow them to view their schedules on their phones. It’s smart to invest money in building a website and app that will help make your customers’ lives easier. After all, the workout should be the hard part. It sounds overwhelming, but some perks can be offered easily by choosing the right software. There are many different fitness studio software options available to choose from but finding the one that offers the services you need will provide a big boost in customer experience.
Branding is Important
You might be thinking right now that your business isn’t a “brand” and you won’t need to devote as many resources to customer experience. That might be true, but a relatively small investment in your online presence could make a big difference in how customers perceive and interact with your business. It may take a bit of trial and error, but there are fitness studio software available to gym and studio owners for free or for a small subscription fee.
As an owner of a fitness and wellness studio or gym, healthy revenue is as important as healthy clients. So be sure to give your business a financial health checkup. You want to ensure you’re not missing out on any key revenue opportunities. One way to increase revenue is to find the right gym and fitness management software to keep your gym running efficiently. In addition to great software, there are three ways to help increase revenue including revamping your website so that it is responsive, SEO-friendly and streamlined for sign-ups; expanding your offering so that your studio or gym takes full advantage of its valuable space; and selecting precisely the right price for your offering in your area.
1. Revamping your site
Nowadays, chances are that most of your new customers and clients are first finding your business not through your brick-and-mortar studio or gym, but through your website. The odds are also good that they’re looking at your site on a smartphone, and performing a local search. With these factors in mind, you’ll want to ensure that your website is up to speed with Internet user behaviors and expectations for today. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Take a good look at your site on several tablets and smartphones. Is everything from your logo to your primary call-out to your sign-up button clear, readable and compelling? If not, you may want to hire a designer to ensure that your site is responsive, which means that it automatically adjusts itself to look great on any device.
SEO today is not just a matter of having relevant keywords and inbound links. Google, in particular, has made it clear that the new approach to SEO is all about great content, fast-loading pages and a user experience that is tablet and smartphone-friendly. If their algorithms find thin content, slow-loading pages or a cluttered experience (on any device) this will damage your site’s ranking.
How many clicks or taps does it take for a new customer to sign up at your studio or gym? How many fields does the user have to fill out? Two, five, ten, twenty? Does your sign-up page allow users to sign up with their Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts, or do they need to start from scratch? These are the kinds of questions you will want to ask yourself as you consider a redesign of your on-boarding process for new customers. A well-designed, streamlined onboarding process could make all the difference in your sign-up numbers and your bottom line.
2. Expanding your offering
Your studio or gym is, first and foremost, a valuable space for people to achieve their fitness and wellness goals. And if you’re not using that space at every opportunity, then you’re missing out on some real revenue. For example, suppose you’re primarily a Yoga studio and you’re only using the space at certain times of the day when the demand for Yoga sessions is strong and attendance is high. During the off-times, rather than close your studio, you could use that same space for another popular fitness and wellness activity in your area, such as dance or martial arts, with an entirely different peak-demand schedule.
3. Rethinking your pricing
This is a popular time for fitness and wellness studios and gyms. This means more business, but it also means more competition. Your customers can easily perform at-a-glance comparisons of your pricing for memberships, daily sessions and so on with your competitors. So it’s wise for you to do the same, and see how your studio or gym stacks up. Of course, you will always want to consider your location, instructor experience, and other factors when deciding who your true competitors are. But once you have that worked out, you may find that you are pricing yourself out of reach of a much larger customer base. Alternatively, you may be underpriced and leaving money on the table. Lowering or raising prices can both be a way to increase revenue.
As a fitness and wellness studio or gym, it may be time to give your business a health check-up. First, make sure that your site works perfectly on any device, follows the new approach to SEO, and has a streamlined sign-up process. Second, if you’re not using your valuable studio or gym space at every opportunity, consider expanding your offering. Third, compare your pricing to competitors in your area, and make any adjustments necessary to bring in a steady stream of new customers and clients.