Mystery shopping for gyms

Screenshot 2015-03-23 10.04.07Gym members expect so much more today than they did ten years ago, and for a lot less money!  If you are operating a fitness business you will also be aware of the increasing competition and probably fewer membership enquiries.  How confident are you that your staff do the very best job they are trained to do, all of the time?

In reality you can’t be sure as you’re not always in the business and you certainly don’t see everything that goes on.  There will be ‘moments of truth’ throughout every operational hour where your staff engage with your members and have an opportunity to form an opinion.. good or bad!

Mystery shopping for gyms is a great way of looking at your business through the eyes of your potential or existing members.  You may have put all the right systems and procedures into your gym business but if they aren’t being adhered to, your business will not be operating how it should.  As the old saying goes, ‘when the cats away, the mice will play’ and unfortunately in any business that employs young staff who work long and antisocial hours, staff performance will drop off!

Mystery shopping for gyms has many benefits and if implemented correctly can be very rewarding and enjoyable for staff.

The key benefits of mystery shopping for gyms include improvements to:

  • Membership sales and increased income
  • Membership retention and life time value of members
  • Morale and camaraderie
  • Staff appraisals and feedback
  • Training requirements
  • Staff awards and member of the month nominations

So how does mystery shopping for gyms work and what do we do?

Firstly, we sit down and document what you expect of your staff.  We look at your systems and procedures and create a check sheet that our mystery shopper will complete after each visit.  Our mystery shoppers are all trained through our Sales and Marketing Academy and understand the membership sales process.  Our mystery shopper will submit their completed form electronically, the content of which will be used to create your report.

We work on the theory that you can’t manage what you can’t measure and in your case that might be:

  • Membership enquiries made over the phone during the weekend
  • Walk-in traffic during the evening
  • email enquiries during the day

In each case we can test and measure how each activity was managed.  The most common ‘problem areas’ we have encountered include:

  • Failure to capture contact details over the phone and face to face.
  • No follow up activity despite contact details being taken
  • Giving prices over the phone without qualifying the enquiry
  • Failure to book an appointment to tour the gym
  • Poor communication skills and inability to create rapport
  • Unstructured, poorly planned tours of the gym

Mystery shopping for gyms helps identify training needs and ultimately leads to improvements in sales performance, customer care and member retention.  We also provide member satisfaction surveys for our clients and notice a direct relationship between member satisfaction levels and scores achieved through mystery shopping for gyms.

For more information on mystery shopping for gyms please contact Steve Rees on 01536 310380