How sports and leisure businesses can use surveys to drive member engagement

During the pandemic gym memberships have reduced by 24%. To help businesses identify areas for improvement and better gauge member satisfaction prior to reopening, we’ve detailed ideas and question templates for surveys.

19 March 2021

Throughout the pandemic, gyms have worked hard to make themselves Covid-secure and introduce different services like online classes and various fitness challenges, to continue supporting their members. 

While the response from members has been largely positive throughout with 87% of people reporting that they’d resume their membership post-lockdown, PureGym reported that their memberships have reduced by 24%. Though in some ways this is unsurprising, member retention is key to business success. It costs 9 times more to acquire a new member than to retain an existing one and research shows increasing member retention rates by 5%, can increase profits by between 25% and 95%.

Many sports and leisure businesses are busy working towards a proposed re-open date of 12th April 2021, but as Lauren Ryan, Mintel leisure analyst points out – gyms cannot simply reopen and operate as they were prior to the pandemic. Member interests and wants have shifted.

The pandemic has changed the way a lot of people train. Online fitness apps like Peloton and Fiit have become increasingly popular and many individuals have adjusted to at-home workouts. Consequently businesses in the fitness and leisure industries need to be prepared to continue identifying and adapting to what members want and this is where surveys could prove really valuable. 

Survey ideas for businesses in the sports and leisure sector

Surveys are a great tool for collecting member feedback and data, as they can gather information en masse in a relatively structured way. What’s more, with 95.3% of consumers reporting that they would respond to a text survey, utilising SMS for survey delivery could really help promote response rates, ensuring businesses receive enough feedback to make informed decisions.

Evaluate newly introduced services

As mentioned previously, many fitness and leisure centres have implemented online classes, outdoor sessions and even digital services. Even once restrictions have eased, it’s likely that not everyone will feel 100% comfortable returning to a gym or leisure centre, and some may have found the newly introduced services more convenient. So it’s worthwhile asking what members would like both now and in the immediate future. 

  • On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the most positive, how would you rate the quality of our online sessions?
  • If we were to introduce more online classes, which of the following times would you most prefer? 
    • 6AM
    • 8AM
    • 7PM
  • Once restrictions ease, would you be interested in the return of outdoor park sessions? Please reply YES or NO. 

Member satisfaction

As member retention is key to business success, it’s always a valuable exercise to gauge how satisfied members are and identify any areas for improvement. Again, this is a situation where utilising SMS for delivery can be particularly useful. What’s more, when using SMS businesses are more likely to get an honest answer as individuals often feel less pressured answering via their mobile than for example, face to face with a business representative.

  • On a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the most positive, how would you rate the quality of our coaches?
  • On a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the most positive, how supported would you say you have felt by *insert gym or fitness centre name* during the pandemic?
  • In a few words, can you reply with details of any changes you would like us to make prior to your return to our gym / leisure centre? If this doesn’t apply, please reply NO.

Back-to-business with a bang

Though this is the third time gyms and leisure centres are reopening and businesses are likely to be better prepared, it’s important to remember that member expectations and fears are continually evolving. To ensure your business is able to tailor messages and organise operations appropriately, reaching out to your members and asking a few simple questions to inform your back-to-business strategy. 

  • Once reopened, on average how many days per week are you planning on visiting the gym / leisure centre?
  • On a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the most positive, how well do you feel we have communicated newly introduced safety protocols, for example equipment cleaning?
  • Do you feel there is anything in addition to the precautions taken, we could implement to make you feel more confident returning to the gym / leisure centre?

For more information on SMS surveys or support in creating one of your own, please feel free to contact our experienced SMS customer care team on 0845 112 1302 or email [email protected].

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