The “Experience-Consistency” Problem at Gyms
Why it’s difficult for health clubs to deliver high-quality service every time and how LegDay’s chatbot helps.
"What we must ask as an industry is what can we be doing outside of just booking a class, outside of what is just happening in the studio, but also what are the other opportunities we can use to engage with the member?"
– Josh Lloyd, Co-founder & CTO of FitMetrix
There are three main “jobs to be done” by health club operators: First, acquire new members. Second, retain those members. And third, create ancillary revenue streams for your club. The clubs who check all three boxes realize that their most important asset in creating a standout experience is their people, the faces of their club. They drive success by leveraging passionate individuals to create meaningful interactions.
Employee churn breeds member churn
Why do gyms struggle to consistently create great customer experiences? One of the main challenges is that health clubs typically have high employee turnover. Go online to Glassdoor and you’ll see employee reviews from well-known gyms complaining about a lack of training, management and opportunity available; not to mention the minimal pay. The most concerning part for health clubs is that these reviews are coming from frontline employees! The people who interact with customers all day, every day. One poor staff experience, and customers are walking out and not coming back.
However, it’s impossible to quality-control each interaction between your staff and customers. For most club owners, there’s simply not enough time in the day to shadow and train employees in realtime. Especially for larger clubs that are typically open 18 hours a day serving a few thousand members with 20 employees––customer service interactions are usually inconsistent from employee to employee or shift to shift.
We created LegDay to mitigate what we call the “experience consistency” problem at gyms. Here’s how:
Chatbots will never come in late to work. They don’t ask for raises or paid time off, and they don’t take things out on customers when they’re having a tough day. Chatbots are inherently consistent and let gyms be everywhere all at once at a fraction of the cost of conventional customer service. Program it once, and you won’t need to spend any more time or money with ongoing training. By implementing LegDay’s chatbot at your gym, you can rest assured knowing that each customer interaction will reflect the high-quality experience you’re looking to provide.
A study by Zendesk showed that customers who received a quick resolution of their issue equated it with a good customer service experience. Chatbots have the power to provide immediate responses to customer inquiries, thereby improving customer satisfaction. They are not constrained by hours of operation or holidays. Instead, issues can be resolved 24 hours a day which shows that the gym is truly committed to serving its customers.
Nothing’s worse than receiving inaccurate information. The spin class started at 5pm when you were told it started at 7pm. That’s a terrible customer experience and it happens all the time at gyms. Any new technology you deploy must be able to talk with your existing systems so that information stays synced across the board. At LegDay, we know how important this component is which is why we’ve built seamless integrations with the industry’s most popular apps and software.
Customers are sending 72 texts per day already, so it makes sense that texting is the number one preferred channel for customer service. Compared to face-to-face communication, messaging is 3 to 8 times more preferred across all generations. In fact, the average consumer has 3 different messaging apps on their phone’s home screen alone. Although there are different types of messaging platforms available like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc., half of consumers prefer native SMS to message businesses. And 85 percent not only want to be able to receive information, but also reply and engage in a conversation. Check out our previous blog post for more reasons why gyms should be texting.
The reason boutique studios have risen in popularity is the personalized experiences they provide. From signing up for a class to being greeted by your first name, to the workout itself and follow-up at home. But how do big box clubs personalize interactions and truly engage customers beyond the four walls? Chatbots are the perfect solution because of their ability to learn about the customer’s specific goals and needs and to send contextualized messages right when the customer needs it.