A gym member survey serves as the best way to understand what your members think and feel about your gym. The majority of the time, you have to ask to know how your brand is positioned in their minds. Many members could be teetering on the edge of leaving your gym and you would never know it until they have canceled their membership. Getting them back is much more difficult than keeping them involved.
In fact, one out of every 26 customers will speak up about an issue. The rest will move on and cancel without addressing any issues. Those other 25 people can make a huge difference in your business!
On the positive end, your members could also be sharing about your gym with their friends, family, and colleagues. Those conversations happening outside of your gym are unbeknownst to you. That’s why developing a survey for your gym members and continuing to request their feedback to know what areas of your gym are succeeding and what needs improving on.
What software to use to collect responses for the gym member survey?
These days, using a physical form of a survey is outdated. Most consumers prefer to deliver feedback through their mobile devices. Quick, on-the-go information sharing is the most effective way to collect feedback for businesses like gyms. On the go feedback is especially important to receive right after the customer has a fresh experience at your gym.
Plenty of software exists out there for building out virtual surveys made for mobile and web. Some things to consider are price, feature options for question types, automation, how you export the data, and more.
Google Forms is entirely free! This software is limited in its automated analytics features as compared to other tools like Qualtrics. However, Google forms integrate with the entire Google suite for a compilation of resources and ways of breaking down and presenting the data you collect.
If you already employ MailChimp for your email marketing campaigns, then you already have a survey collection tool at your fingertips! With MailChimp, you can build out surveys with checkboxes, open-ended, radio buttons, and email questions. Mailchimp will create specific tracking links for you when you share the survey through social media and email. After collecting the feedback, you can then export it into a CSV. file to crunch the data.
First, SurveyMonkey is an awesome resource for just about any information on data collection and customer satisfaction! But this company also provides powerful tools for collecting and analyzing data. You can try it out with their free version to create unlimited surveys. Each survey can have up to 10 questions and 40 responses from survey-takers. For a smaller gym or studio, this is a great option for getting started. Paid plans, however, start at $25 a month.
Strategically Building the Gym Member Survey
Surveys are exciting for their power and technique! When used strategically and questions are developed to yield the right information, then your gym has all the capability of attracting a large number of new clients.
First, establish what key data will help you with your marketing efforts, customer relations, and gym improvements. Surveys are most effective when setting a narrow goal for the use of the data that’s collected. Do this by setting specific goals, like understanding how to attract more members interested in strength training and are likely to purchase a personal training session.
Understanding why people attend your gym and why they purchase the services they do helps you play to your strengths in marketing and in providing services that would sell well.
Gym member surveys can help construct demographic profiles of people who attend your gym. This helps you segment them into groups that you can learn more about to communicate better with. For example, the group of 25 to 35-year-olds who come to the gym to get toned and build muscle to look better will not respond the same to marketing efforts as the group of 45 to 60-year-olds who go to the gym to prevent health conditions.
This is called identifying market segments. Market segments are broken down and grouped by overlaps in demographics, feelings/thoughts, and behaviors.
Proper messaging to the proper market segments converts more customers from the awareness stage to the member stage. Therefore, surveying, in turn, can help you to segment groups and even go so far as to help you develop the right messaging for those groups.
Types of Questions
The way that you ask the questions in a survey is vital to getting the right data and enough of a breakdown of the data to be able to use it strategically. There’s a science to developing a survey, so let’s get you covered on the basics of survey question types so you can start experimenting.
These questions help you to determine the positioning of your gym in their mind and how they feel about your gym. These questions give information about how likely someone is to do something or how much they agree with the question.
How likely would you be to attend a weekly HIIT class if it comes free with your membership?
a) Very Likely
c) Neither likely nor Unlikely
e) Very Unlikely
Get down to the nitty-gritty of your member’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with open-ended questions.
Last week we rearranged all the free-weight stations to improve organization and logic in location to strength training equipment. How did this affect your last visit at the gym? Did you have trouble finding the weights you need? If yes, why?
These questions help you gather information to understand who your audience is and learn more about their background and behavior.
What is your annual household income?
a) Less than $20,000
b) Between $20,000 to $35,000
c) Between $35,000 to $55,000
d) Between $55,000 to $75,000
e) More than $75,000
These questions help you to determine how
On a scale of 1 to 10, not including 0, how likely would you be to recommend a personal trainer from FitnessFirst gym to your friends or family?
These questions can help you see how certain aspects of your gym are positioned in the minds of your members. You can also get a better idea of how your gym’s competition stands against other gyms and what they have to offer.
What amenities in the gym do you visit the most when attending FitnessFirst Gym? Rank them from most frequent (1) to least frequent (5).
___ Strength Training
___ Cable Machines
___ Lap Pool
___ Turf Area
The goals of each of these types of questions can become very similar, so it’s important to be aware of overlap in the data you are trying to collect from each particular question.
Questions to Consider for Your Gym Member Survey
Alas, getting started with what questions to ask can prove the most difficult task when developing a survey campaign. Here are some questions to give you a basis for important information to gather:
- How did you hear about us?
- How long have you been attending our gym?
- What equipment do you frequently use?
- What equipment would you like to see here?
- How long do you spend here on average?
- Have you ever referred anyone to this gym? Why?
- Do you live within:
- A mile of the gym
- 1 to 2 miles
- 2 to 4 miles
- 4 to 6 miles
- 6 to 8 miles
- 8 to 10 miles
- More than 10 miles
- Do you prefer to bring a plus one with you or exercise alone?
- Are you enrolled in our loyalty program?
- What other gyms did you consider? Why
- How comfortable are you approaching staff members with any questions you have?
- How would you rate the cleanliness of the facility?
- What is your household income?
- What is your age? (or age range)
- How often do you attend the gym?
- What are the overall fitness goals that you feel you can accomplish by attending this gym?
- Do you participate in any classes? If so which ones and how often?
- What classes would you participate in if available at the gym?
Download an example questionnaire here and replace our branding with yours to get a quick start to feedback from your gym’s clients.
How will you campaign the survey for gym members?
Campaigning for feedback on your gym is the most exciting part! Creativity and a well-planned strategy will ensure the success of the gym member review campaign. As most marketers know, it’s also about trial and error, so A/B testing different campaign mediums and different imagery and copy when delivering the survey will help you learn what works best for generating member feedback.
Email and SMS can prove to be the most effective for directly reaching your gym members with the opportunity to share their thoughts.
Beware of Incentives
Incentivizing gym member survey campaigns can become a bit tricky and it’s typically best practice to avoid it altogether. Most review collection sites have strict policies in place to prevent businesses from incentivizing review collection entirely on the site.
As for the reviews you collect anywhere else, do not establish a lack of credibility through incentivized good reviews. Offering free swag or merchandise for anonymous reviews is okay because they will get the item regardless of what they wrote on the survey.
However, if you are offering free sessions for five-star reviews, then you are absolutely not establishing any credibility. That will no doubt come back to bite your business in the long run.
What to look out for when developing your survey for gym members.
According to SurveyMonkey, completion rates drop anywhere between 5% to 20% if the survey has too many questions. Therefore, narrow down the focus of each survey you create and develop an easy method for respondents to answer.
The more clicks the customer has to make before getting to the survey, the higher the bounce rate will be. That goes with just about anything digital! The fewer clicks it takes to lead a consumer to make a purchase, the more sales you will make. Less time for dissonance means more time for getting conversions.
Moreover, make sure that your survey is not public and that you are not collecting false information. People do not always have the wisest intent in mind and bad data can seriously hurt the effectiveness of your campaign.
Therefore, make sure that access to your gym member survey is limited and targeted accurately to your gym or studio’s members. This way, you can reduce the opportunity for random internet trolls to skew your data.
How will you use the data you collect?
We covered this a bit in strategy, but this is a huge question for any sort of feedback campaign.
Display reviews on a review page on your website. This can boost SEO by covering all the keywords that people would search to find your gym. Nothing is better than actually having real member reviews with the same wording and key phrases that other potential members would use to find your gym. To quickly create a review page, you can use services like a one-page website builder or something similar.
Use reviews to generate leads through PPC campaigns. Put your testimonials right in the forefront of people’s media consumption. You do not have to wait for potential members to find your gym first!
Segment the markets that you want to target with your ads and other outreach efforts. Breaking down the information collected from your successful audience (current members) will help you to better understand how to draw in others from that audience.
Learn the behaviors of the members you attract, then reflect on why your gym attracts those members and why they behave the way they do when considering your gym. This will help you better lead potential members down the funnel. If your gym attracts people who mostly participate in Zumba and Pilates classes, then you can accommodate that and build off of that audience’s interests.
Respond to the Reviews
Responses to the reviews left on any review collection site are the best opportunity to show the character and values of your business. 45 percent of consumers say that they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.
Therefore, no matter what method for review collection, your staff should always respond to the reviews constructively and with an open mind. Show that your gym is open to growth and feedback!
A gym member survey, or multiple, can be an important pillar for the success of any gym because businesses can do nothing but benefit from feedback. After all, gyms cannot become as popular as they do without keeping their metaphorical ears to the ground to know what their members are thinking, feeling, doing, and talking about when it comes to the gym they attend.
For more information on gym marketing check out our blog here!