According to The Sun, the most popular UK New Year’s resolution is to lose weight—and number five on the list is to become more fit and healthy. The annual cycle of shedding unwanted pounds and getting more fit drives consumers to evaluate health clubs and gyms. In fact, the fitness industry is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 3.6% from 2016 to 2021.

What can health clubs and gyms do attract members—and keep them? Our research with over 1,200 consumers gave some startling insights into their satisfaction with brands like PureGym, Nuffield Health, and Virgin Active. Although 30% of consumers gave a satisfaction rating of 5 to their current fitness club or gym, one in four said they were dissatisfied with their experience. They also provided three core answers about what they need and want in this industry:

  1. Clean, well-run facilities with working equipment. Sounds easy enough to execute on the basics, yes? But a large portion of these consumers found fault with their gyms because aerobic equipment, weight lifting equipment, and other key components of the workout experience were broken or unavailable.
  2. Trainers that inspire and motivate. Roughly half of UK consumers work with a trainer—but 25% would not recommend their trainer. Why not? Misalignment of goals and appropriate routines. Any person working to improve their health and fitness must see progress—and over a third said they could not see progress against their goals. These trainers should  be brand ambassadors and will have a significant impact on brand retention.
  3. Value for money. The cost of a membership varies widely and consumers will join clubs that meet their expectations and price points. But obtaining new memberships and keeping them are two different things. Over 30% of consumers gave poor ratings on value for money, and about 18% are likely or very likely to cancel their membership in the next 90 days. The two are inextricably linked.  

Improving customer experience in this growing industry will drive the ability to gain market share and retain customers. For tips on how to measure and manage the customer experience, download our eBook titled “Customer Experience Measurement: Best practices for multi-location businesses"—or give us a call at 1-877-329-9621. We’d love to help you improve the customer experience you deliver in each of your franchises.

Download the eBook

As Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl aligns Market Force's strategic direction with our clients' strategic objectives. She oversees the North American client base, Analytics and Insights, Winnipeg Operations and Marketing. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology and broad business experience in both private and public companies.​