Leisure centre customers are demanding a bigger, better experience. They want more fitness options, more facilities and more benefits from their leisure centre…but they’re also highly cost-conscious.
Our exclusive research surveyed over 1,000 gym and leisure centre attendees, and 72% said health, fitness and wellbeing has never been more important. Despite that, consumers are hesitant to spend any more on fitness than they currently do.
So how can leisure centres give customers what they want without increasing prices or breaking the bank?
1. Streamline Operations Across Your Leisure Centres
The first step towards maximising value is to reduce your costs. Ideally, your leisure centre team should identify as many ways as possible to streamline your operations and cut unnecessary processes.
- Eliminate manual processes – like joining procedures, payment changes and class bookings. They cost time and money that can be easily reduced with the right leisure management solution partner
- Improve stock management – with integrated software that syncs inventory, ordering and POS systems
- Automate onboarding processes – setting up new, streamlined workflows for both new members and new trainers or instructors. This will help minimise admin costs, keep engagement rates high and deliver a stronger experience to customers and team members
2. Improve Efficiencies At Every Possible Opportunity
When you’ve transformed those unnecessary processes, the next step is to improve efficiencies in other areas of your operations.
You’ll need to identify where your centres are losing money, where they’re performing below standards, and where revenue is falling behind.
To do that, you need relevant insight. The accurate, real-time data on your operations.
With the right leisure management software, you’ll get the oversight you need to make better decisions. You’ll ensure you’re tracking the right KPIs to see where efficiencies can be made, and understand if you need to increase conversion rates, improve retention or sell more stock, for example.
3. Showcase Everything Your Offer Includes
More often than not, customers don’t realise the full value of their memberships because they’re only focused on one or two aspects of it.
Maybe they only use the gym and pool and don’t know about outdoor classes. Perhaps they only attend fitness classes and don’t realise they get discounts in your cafe.
So one of the easiest steps you can take to maximise value for your customers is to simply shout about your facilities more.
Communicate with your customers as regularly as possible, promoting every part of your offer, big and small. For example:
- If you have a small unused room or quiet space, encourage customers to use it for individual meditation
- Remind customers they can pre-book classes so they never miss out on a slot
- Promote bring-a-friend weekends so customers can show off the facilities they use
Sometimes, just the smallest of things can add massive value, like a set of armbands behind reception that little ones can use in case they forget theirs.
The key is making sure your customers know just how much value they’re getting.
4. Give Your Members More Control
As with many other industries, the rapid developments in technology have seen more and more of us looking for ways to ‘self-manage’ our experience. From taxis and takeaways to mobile banking, we’re all using software, apps and technology to have more control over services and facilities.
Your leisure centre should look to embrace this too, as your customers value the ability to manage their own health and fitness journey. They want the freedom and flexibility to make changes themselves.
With the right leisure management software, you can easily let your customers:
- Join online
- Book their own classes and sessions
- Update their own payment details
You’ll give them more value, and reduce costs for your own operations.
5. Embrace The Socialising Aspect Of Your Centres
It’s all too easy for leisure centres to focus on the health and fitness and overlook the importance of socialising, but it’s an area that’s integral to our overall wellness and wellbeing.
And it’s highly valued by customers.
That was made clear during lockdowns, when many customers – particularly those from older generations – missed the socialising aspect of their leisure centre visits. Of those who reported a negative experience during the pandemic, 22% said it was because they missed that community feel.
It’s unsurprising then that almost half of those we surveyed (46%) said they wanted more community and social elements from their leisure centres in the near future.
So how can your leisure centre maximise value for your customers here?
- Create new areas specifically for socialising, or add a dedicated ‘Chatty & Natter Table’ to encourage conversations
- Run community events like fun days or monthly themed evenings
- Start a weekly coffee morning
These events and ideas won’t cost you much – especially if you ask for suppliers and team members to volunteer their time and services in support of the community. Most importantly, they will have a huge impact on the value your leisure centre offers.
6. Improve the Entire Customer Experience
Ultimately, if you want to maximise value for your customers and give them more for less, you need to focus on improving their experience in every way possible.
That’s the finding of our latest report on The Expectations and Demands Of Leisure Centre Customers.
From better hygiene to easier access, simple joining procedures to quicker payment management, your customers want a streamlined experience surrounded by an incredible health and wellbeing offer.
One that isn’t just focused on fitness.
If you can anticipate those demands from your customers and exceed their expectations – you’ll have no trouble delivering more value and offering the services and facilities your community wants.