22 Mar 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2022 issue 9

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Leisure Management - Life Fitness: Standing out from the crowd


Life Fitness: Standing out from the crowd

Life Fitness is helping its customers to create unique clubs all around the world

Oktopus in Tbilisi, Georgia has chosen Life Fitness Photo: Life Fitness
Life Fitness is supporting clients to innovate Photo: Life Fitness

It’s good to be different and in challenging times, gyms have to find creative ways to compete.

Members are seeking experiences beyond those they enjoyed pre-pandemic and these new types of engagement are driving member retention and acquisition.

Looking at the gym’s ecosystem is key to delivering a heightened experience, but where do you start?

“A gym experience is about more than just equipment – it involves the club’s concept and values; its people; the layout and the technology – it’s about bringing these elements together to create a holistic solution,” says Marvin Burton, Life Fitness international customer experience and training specialist.

At Life Fitness, this process starts with collaborative workshops; working with customers to understand how they view their brand and offering and where they want to take it.

Life Fitness Experience Hubs are one of the tools used for this. The Experience Hub Barcelona serves the European region to not only showcase what the organization does, but also how its solutions connect with customers’ stories.

Turning concept into reality
Establishing a brand’s ethos and values is the first step, but this needs to be well-executed. “There’s no right or wrong; our role is to help customers establish what’s best for their brand,” explains Burton.

“Staff from all departments and seniority levels should join in this process, as each one will engage with the facility and its members differently.”

Involving the team also encourages staff buy-in, “Many people are naturally resistant to change, so involving them generates positive engagement and helps establish USPs.”

Understanding external best practice is also important, and to assist with this, Life Fitness benchmarks within the fitness industry and also outside of it: “Our sector is relatively young, and we can learn a lot from other industries, such as hospitality and retail, where customer experience is a number one priority,” says Burton.

A network of experts
“We know we can’t do it all, so we co-create – not just with our customers, but with other suppliers to deliver a coherent, quality experience,” he explains.

From interior design to app development; audio visual to body scanning technologies; Life Fitness has partnerships with third party suppliers to help clubs create unique experiences. Through open APIs, Life Fitness digital solutions also link to third party technologies to improve UX functionality.

“Be proud of what makes you unique,” Burton concludes. “Our industry is very competitive, and it’s easy to look at what others are doing well and think you need to replicate it. Your club’s values should run through everything you do and that will strengthen customer buy-in.”

More: www.lifefitness.com

Photo: Life Fitness

"There’s no right or wrong; our role is to help customers establish what’s best for their brand" – Marvin Burton, Life Fitness international customer experience and training specialist

Top 5 tips
The Life Fitness guide to futureproofing your gym
1. Ask ‘why?’ five times

Too often, decisions are made without enough reasoning and it’s easy to be influenced by opinions. Asking why? multiple times helps overcome this.

2. Break down your customer journey roadmap

Explore this as a series of processes, then look at how these overlap to determine your full member journey. Define your online enquiry process; member joining journey; group exercise booking experience; even your cancellation process – you never know when a member might return and all these experiences combine to leaving a lasting memory.

3. Futureproof your facility

Fitness trends change, and gyms need to keep up with member demands. Establishing a layout and ecosystem that’s flexible and adaptable will aid your club’s ability to stay on-trend.

4. Gather staff feedback

Your workforce will have valuable insights and Impact Mapping is a way to collate this feedback. Explore the feasibility of implementing something based on agreed criteria and the result is a series of proactive short-, medium-, and longterm outcomes that staff will feel invested in.

5. Use your data!

Gyms generate a wealth of information, and this should be used to guide new plans. Core member information should be easily available from a CRM, but you can explore other insights such as equipment usage, class attendances, and informal interviews, which are all helpful ways to assess member and staff culture.

Find out more

To find out how Life Fitness can help you create a unique experience for your members, go to www.hcmmag.com/LifeFitness8 or scan the QR code.

Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 9

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