Using Customer Satisfaction Surveys to Create a Member-Focused Fitness Center

June 01, 2018 | Danielle Browne

member satisfaction survey

Having an on-site corporate fitness center doesn’t necessarily mean you have a captive audience who will use the facility on a regular basis. What's your member retention strategy?

Much like a commercial facility, you need to nurture your members and provide them with a variety of reasons to regularly use the gym and participate in activities. But how do you know what they want? A customer satisfaction survey is a good place to start.

Here are topics you should cover:

Space

How is your fitness center laid out? Do your equipment configurations make sense? In addition to being ADA-compliant, does your facility follow ACSM space recommendations? If there isn’t room for members to move around because the space is packed with equipment, members might be deterred. Members should have ample room to perform their own workouts without dodging equipment and other members. Ask members if they have the space to perform their workouts properly.

Equipment

Does your equipment look like it belongs in a 1980 Muscle and Fitness Magazine? If your fitness center is older than 10 years and still has the original equipment, it’s time for a change. That doesn’t mean you have to stock your fitness center with every single fitness trend. It does mean you should do an audit of your equipment and include questions in your survey to see what equipment is getting used and what equipment people would like to see in the facility.

Programming

What kind of classes do you offer in your fitness center? Diverse offerings will mean more engagement by a wider demographic of members. Programming questions should be added to your survey, including questions on days and times members would most likely take classes. Yoga, boot camp, HIIT-style and mobility classes are popular with many people and can be tailored to a variety of different fitness levels.

Staff

Is your staff welcoming, punctual and knowledgeable? Are they qualified to work with a corporate population? Corporate fitness center staff should be adept at training to the unique needs of the office worker. How do your members perceive your staff? Do they see them as experts in their field who truly care about member results or people looking to earn a paycheck and nothing more? Members will almost never give critical feedback directly to a staff member but will open up in an anonymous survey.

Services

Do you have enough staff to meet the needs of your members? For example, do you offer one on one personal training but have a waitlist a mile long? Lack of access to services will deter member participation. A survey can help you determine if other fitness services, like small group trainings, would be amenable to members.

Operating and Staffing Hours

Do your facility and staffing hours meet the needs of your population? A well-crafted survey will help you dial in operating hours and get the most out of staffing and programming.

Cleanliness

Is your facility clean? A janitorial service should be doing a light cleaning of the facility (sweeping/vacuuming floors, emptying waste bins) on a daily basis. If your facility is staffed, we recommend creating an equipment cleaning schedule. Not only is a dirty facility off-putting, it’s unsanitary and unsafe. Your members notice, even if they don’t say anything. A survey can help you determine gaps in your cleaning.

What about locker rooms? Are they clean and well-stocked with toiletries? A survey can also determine what amenities are most prized (soft, large towels anyone?) and which ones you can do without.

Communication

How do your members and the rest of the population find out about facility activities? A survey is a great way to find out what communication channels work best for your members. It can also help you determine if you’re communicating too much (or too little).

Timing of Surveys

No need to nag your members with constant surveys. Annual surveys are best for a deep dive into member wants and needs but shorter program and service-focused surveys done on a more regular basis (monthly or quarterly) can help you continually fine-tune your offerings as your membership evolves.

In Conclusion

A well-crafted member survey will show you where you’re succeeding, what challenges you face and provide you with a roadmap to creating a fitness center your members will actually use.

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