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The best leisure centres offer these eight features

The health and fitness sector has gone through an evolution through the turbulent years of the pandemic. More than ever, leisure centres must know what their clients want and expect to ensure they recruit new members and retain existing customers. We discuss eight ways to help you ensure you become a must have in your community.

These insights emerged following an in-depth research study recently conducted by Legend. Members and users of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres, studios, or sports clubs were interviewed around their expectations. Here are the key considerations:

  1. Customers are price-conscious
  2. The importance of hygiene
  3. Make the experience admin-free
  4. Your best customers are closer than you think
  5. Online classes aren’t going anywhere
  6. Wearable tech should be integrated
  7. Happily wholly holistic
  8. Find ways to offer more services

1. Customers are price-conscious

Price-consciousness is on everyone’s minds as the cost of living has increased.

Health and leisure facilities serve a larger customer base than smaller fitness studios, it is imperative to align with pricing trends to retain your members. It was found that 28% of leisure centre attendees rated competitive pricing as one of their top two priorities when choosing a facility.

When it came to renewing or cancelling membership plans, pricing was frequently a deal-breaker. Unfortunately, health and fitness plans are frequently sacrificed in the name of cost-saving, as they may be viewed as not an inessential cost.

This could be alleviated by adopting a pricing plan that allows members to be more flexible in how they pay for their memberships.

2. The importance of hygiene

It is the responsibility of leisure centres to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. A bi-product of the pandemic is we have all become hyper-sensitive to the cleanliness of the facilities we use. For almost 80% of the survey respondents, sanitation and hygiene at leisure centres are the most crucial responsibilities for a facility.

3. Make the experience admin-free

Accessing health and fitness facilities has grown increasingly difficult during the years of the pandemic. Operating hours and capacity were limited to prevent overcrowding.

Now, the expectation is that accessibility to your facility must be hassle-free. Having an effective access control system that is integrated with your membership payment database is one effective way to do this.

Alternatively, you may look for methods for members to book classes or activities online, as well.

4. Your best customers are closer than you think

Peak hours for any leisure centre are typically in the mornings and evenings; to get in some exercise before or after work. This means that, for many members, location is the most important consideration when selecting a fitness facility.

This becomes even more of a factor in light of the growing popularity of remote work. Since most people may go to work two days a week, joining a gym near their workplace becomes far less likely.

This means there is a great opportunity for local leisure centres to boost their memberships in their local areas.

5. Online classes aren’t going anywhere

As a result of worldwide lockdowns, people turned to online providers for workout programmes and facilities when they couldn’t or weren’t willing to go to physical locations.

Despite the easing of restrictions, we do not anticipate a decrease in the availability of online options. To remain competitive, leisure centres need to incorporate digital fitness into their service offerings. Over half of those polled said they want to continue taking both in-person and online classes.

6. Wearable tech should be integrated

Keeping track of your fitness journey has grown easier and more important than ever before. The onus is now on leisure facilities to support and integrate fitness trackers. As many as 48% of gym-goers expect their fitness provider to incorporate their smart fitness trackers and wearable devices as a way to monitor their wellbeing and progress.

7. Happily wholly holistic

Members are searching for institutions that can provide a holistic approach to health and wellness. Nearly half of leisure centre respondents said they’d be interested in seeing their wellness offerings expanded.

As a result, you may want to introduce meditation classes or breathing courses. Your members will tell you what they like most if you experiment with various programs, activities, and facilities to see what interests them.

8. Find ways to offer more services

To become local leaders, leisure centres must be flexible and responsive to market changes. Research showed that members are always keen and open to new services, facilities, and possibilities.

You want to become a health and wellness hub for your members with the possible addition of treatment rooms, spa amenities, and even services for rehabilitation and recovery. Offer new services and see whether they may help your business grow and flourish.

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