Optimize your gym's customer experience

Discover how to create the perfect customer journey!

Optimize your gym's customer experience

The Complete Guide to the Gym Customer Experience

Understanding how your gym members feel and think, from the first time they hear about your facility until they become regulars, is essential.

It's like following their story from the moment they notice your gym until they become loyal fans who tell everyone about it.

This is where the AIDA model comes in. The AIDA model serves as a guide to understanding this story. It's like chapters in a book:

- A for Awareness: When people see or hear about your gym for the first time.

- I for Interest: When they start thinking: "Hmm, that gym looks interesting".

- D for Desire: When they want to sign up because they've seen all the great offers you have to offer.

- A for Action (Action): When they sign up and start training.

For a gym to stand out and succeed, it's crucial to guarantee an excellent experience at every stage of this model, just as the most successful fitness clubs do.

In this article, we'll explore in depth the customer journey in a gym and how you can use your understanding of the AIDA model to grow your business.

What is a customer journey?

The customer journey refers to how a person becomes a member of a gym, and the experiences they have throughout this process. This journey can be effectively visualized through customer journey maps. The map begins when they start thinking about joining a gym, and continues as they learn more, decide to join, and then continue to return regularly.

Here's how it works:

- Starting point: Imagine someone realizing they want to get back into shape or find a place to work out. That's when he starts looking for a gym or health club to join.

- Find out more: Next, he stumbles across a gym - perhaps by seeing an advert online, walking past it on his way to work, or hearing about it from a friend. His curiosity is piqued, and he wants to know more, such as the classes on offer, prices or distance from home.

- Decision-making: If he likes what he sees, he might visit the gym or sign up for a trial; this decision-making process is when he decides if the gym is right for him.

- Become a regular: Once you've signed up, you'll start frequenting the room regularly, getting to know the staff, and maybe even making friends with the other members.

- Staying loyal: If they have a good time, they'll keep coming back, become a familiar face at the venue, and might even start telling their friends about it, helping to build credible relationships within the community.

The idea is that if the gym understands this whole story, it can ensure that every step is enjoyable for members, making them more likely to join and stay satisfied.

Why is the customer journey important for gyms?

The customer journey is crucial for gyms, as it concerns the customer experience offered by the gym, from the moment someone first hears about it to day-to-day interactions as a member.

First Impressions Count

When someone discovers a gym for the first time, perhaps through a friend or an advertisement, they immediately start to form an opinion.

  • Eye-catching advertising: If the advertising is attractive and the registration process simple, they're more likely to have a positive opinion of the gym.
  • Warm welcome: For example, if your gym has an eye-catching sign or a friendly receptionist, this sets the tone right from the start and creates a welcoming atmosphere.

Personalized experiences lead to engagement

Different customers have different needs. A busy professional might be looking for 24/7 access and fast lessons to suit their schedule.

  • Tailored to needs: On the other hand, a retiree may appreciate community-oriented courses and spaces where he or she can socialize.
  • Loyalty: Understanding and adapting the customer journey for each type of customer can turn occasional visitors into committed members.

Being part of a community

Once enrolled, every training session, interaction with trainers and general atmosphere influences their perception of the gym.

  • Personalized welcome: If members are greeted by name and trainers remember their fitness goals, they'll feel part of the community.
  • Loyalty: This personal touch can turn a regular into a loyal fan.

Staying focused on the long term

Ongoing experience will determine whether members remain loyal. If the gym listens to feedback and keeps equipment up to date, members will be more inclined to stay.

  • Listening and responsiveness: For the business owner, acting on a suggestion, such as adding a new yoga class, means that members feel heard and appreciated, reinforcing the sense of community.

Share your good experience

Satisfied gym members are your best advertisement. If they have a positive experience, they'll tell their friends, family and colleagues.

  • Free promotion: For example, if a member praises your gym's new sauna or community events, that's a free promotion.
  • Word-of-mouth effect: Ultimately, if gyms understand and effectively manage customer journeys, they not only gain members, but also create brand ambassadors who help attract more customers. It's a cycle of continuous satisfaction.

The AIDA Model Explained

The AIDA model is a plan for capturing customers' attention and guiding them towards purchase. It consists of four stages:

  • Awareness: Potential members become aware of their fitness needs.
  • Interest: Expresses curiosity about how to meet these needs.
  • Desire: Develops an emotional connection with the idea of satisfying this need through your services.
  • Action (Action): Finally, he decides to sign up for a subscription.

Let's take a closer look at each of these steps.

Awareness

This is the first stage in a potential member's awareness of their fitness needs. This can happen through an advertisement, a friend's recommendation, or by walking past your gym.

  • Example: A busy professional thinking about improving his health. He notices a billboard advertising your gym on his commute, then later sees an ad on Facebook.

You use a mix of traditional and digital marketing to make sure your gym appears where potential customers are most likely to see it.

  • Objective: At this stage, it's not about direct sales, but about making a memorable introduction and raising brand awareness.

Interest

At this stage, the potential member is curious about how you can meet his or her fitness needs. They start looking for more information about your gym, the services you offer, and the potential benefits.

Interest

Once you've captured someone's attention, the interest phase consists of keeping potential customers curious.

  • Example: A student spots your gym's Instagram post about a student discount and swipes up to find out more, engaging with the brand via social media conversations.

On your website, she'll find a blog article on balancing fitness and study, a virtual tour of the facilities, and a course calendar that fits her schedule.

  • Objective: Content is designed to engage this potential customer by providing valuable information that resonates with their situation and interests.

Desire

Here, the potential member begins to feel an emotional desire to join your gym. Positive testimonials, modern equipment and a welcoming atmosphere can reinforce this desire.

  • Example: Someone wants to lose weight and reads the success stories on your website. He is moved by a story that reflects his own struggles with weight.

Your gym then sends her an email explaining how joining the community can support her weight loss journey with personalized nutrition and fitness plans.

  • Objective: At this stage, it's no longer just about a gym for this person, but access to a better, healthier life. The desire phase is all about making that emotional connection and showing the transformative potential of your services.

Action (Action)

This is the last stage where the potential member makes the decision to join your gym. A simple registration process and attractive offers can make this step easier.

  • Example: A customer has been impressed by the testimonials and atmosphere at your gym, but is still hesitating. To help her take the final step, you offer a free one-week trial, a fitness consultation, and a no-obligation membership option.

She may even receive a time-limited promotion, prompting her to act immediately.

  • Objective: This is where a clear call to action (CTA), ease of process and a strong value proposition combine to convert interest into action.

Transition to Post-AIDS: the member's ongoing journey

The post-AIDA journey involves nurturing the member's relationship with the gym to ensure they remain satisfied, engaged and loyal. This phase is crucial because it turns a new member into a long-term supporter of your gym.

Here are the detailed aspects of this continuous journey:

Welcome and integration

Induction involves welcoming new members to the gym and making sure they know how to get the most out of their membership. It's more than just a tour of the facilities; it's an induction into the gym culture.

  • Example: An effective induction process might involve assigning the new member a mentor, or enrolling them in an introductory course where they can learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed.

This sets the tone for their experience and helps reduce the intimidation factor that can accompany joining a new gym.

Commitment and loyalty

Once members are on board, the focus is on keeping them engaged. This means offering a variety of courses, updating equipment, soliciting feedback and creating a community they want to belong to.

  • Example: Organizing a monthly challenge can be an engaging way to motivate members to set new goals, and regular social events can help strengthen community ties.

What's more, maintaining communication via newsletters, updates and feedback forms shows members that the gym cares about their experience and is constantly looking to improve.

Learn the best ideas for member engagement and keeping gym customers engaged.

Churn prevention

To retain members, gyms need to watch for signs of disengagement and deal with them proactively.

  • Example: If a member who used to come five times a week now only comes twice, the gym staff could contact him or her to see if there are any problems or changes in circumstances to which the gym can provide a solution.

Offering a membership break due to travel or life events, or a personalized check-in to re-evaluate fitness goals, can make all the difference in preventing a cancellation.

Find strategies to avoid cancellations here.

Renewal and additional sales

As members approach the end of their membership period, the gym should encourage renewals and, where appropriate, offer additional services.

  • Example: Offer a discount on an annual subscription renewal or a special promotional offer including personal coaching sessions.

A gym could recognize a member's commitment by offering them an exclusive renewal rate, showing its appreciation for their loyalty and encouraging them to renew their membership.

Are you a gym manager? Discover our dedicated articles:

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Conclusion

Understanding the entire customer journey, from the moment a prospective member hears about the gym through to registration, and how they keep coming back, is essential.

But it's not just about getting new members; it's about building a connection that turns a new member into a loyal customer for life.

If a gym or fitness club owner continues to improve the experience they offer, members will be more likely to stay and recommend the gym to others.

Discover how AZEOO can help you optimize every step of your members' journey. With AZEOO, you can easily manage your customers, improve their engagement and track their progress. Join us today to transform your gym into the place to be for fitness enthusiasts. To find out more, visit our website.

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