Whether you operate a gym, offer personal training, or sell fitness gear, understanding your customers and being prepared to serve them in the most impactful way are essential to growing your business.
Everyone has different goals and different reasons for pursuing physical conditioning. Some people want to lose weight. Some want to be their healthiest. And still, others are training to be the best athletes they can be.
Whatever the reason, understanding each customer as an individual will help you scale your business to new levels.
1. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Sales-tracking and customer experience have come a long way in the last decade or so. With new technology and easy-to-use software, businesses have been able to track their customers’ habits in ways previously unimaginable.
Electronic point of sale systems makes transactions easier than ever. The best ones record your data, allowing you to make spreadsheets and charts to analyse where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what your customers love the most.
Having a comprehensive ePOS system in your toolkit gives you everything you need in order to know what your customers want, be prepared to offer them the best of what you have, and make them feel good about choosing to do business with your company. You can keep track of inventory, set up automatic orders, stay in contact with your customers, and set your VIPs apart for special offers and recognition.
In today’s fitness market, a complete ePOS system will help you stay ahead of the race to retain and gain new customers. You will have all the resources you need to personalise and tailor your service to the individual customer and stand out among the competition.
2. Know Your Customers by Name
Because technology makes it easier than ever to offer a personalised customer experience, people have come to expect it. Customer service is becoming more and more important in today’s frazzled world. Because there are so many options for where the consumer can spend their money, poor customer service is a sure-fire way to lose business.
It is especially important in the fitness industry, to make your customers feel appreciated. Fitness is deeply personal. And people just at the beginning of their fitness journey do not always feel good about it. Whether your customer is new to exercise or looking to up their game to the next level, you must always remember that fitness is hard work.
One important way you can help your customer feel acknowledged is by using their name. Studies show that using a customer’s name will almost invariably cause them to rate you higher on the customer service scale. Using your customer’s name shows you are paying attention, and you are grateful for their choice to trust you with their fitness needs.
Knowing the names of all your customers may be easier said than done, but you can use a few tricks to help. Make eye contact with your customers. Use their name at least three times in your first conversation. Associate their name with a certain attribute. For example, if you meet someone named Eric and he has striking eyes, you can remember his name more easily by thinking to yourself, “Eric, eyes.” And of course, the final option is to use the name on the credit card they hand you when checking out. Though this one can get you into a bit of trouble if they are using someone else’s card.
3. Check-in With Your Branding
The goal of any business is to make itself so ingrained into the product’s culture, that people automatically associate the product with a company.
When people think of petrol, they think of Shell. When people think of soap, they think of Dove. When people think of chocolate, they think of Cadbury. Position your branding so that your fitness business becomes a familiar name.
To whom are you marketing? Who will be your next customer? When you have your answer, start researching what that demographic needs and how you can solve their problems. Be specific about who you target, and tailor your message to fit the needs of those individuals. This includes colour choices, class offerings and equipment, culture, and the concentration of types of products you offer.
4. Clean Up Your Website
This is a big one. There are some really horrible websites out there. You want to make sure yours is not one of them. If people cannot find you on the web, then they may look elsewhere to find the fitness products they need.
Additionally, if your website is messy and difficult to use, they may extend the assumption that your gym is messy and difficult to use. Or that you are a disorganised trainer. Or that you do not have a respectable handle on the products you sell.
Particularly, if you sell merchandise or offer signups for classes online, then you will want to make it as easy as possible for customers to make their purchases. Keep the language on your site clear and concise. A quality ePOS system is essential for web-based sales. You want to make your pricing and your services crystal clear and be able to assure the purchase they make with you is secure.
5. Put Your Customer First
Really, this means compiling all the prior objectives together in the most efficient and effective way possible so that you can focus on your customers.
It does not take an enormous investment, but you may want to start thinking about ways to streamline your service process so that you can give your customers the attention they deserve.
It may pay off to hire a web designer, pay for a better ePOS service, or consult a marketing coach, so that you can spend your time and energy doing what you intended to do when you opened a business in the fitness industry: Help people be their healthiest selves, and feel good about it too.