Club Management

Top 7 Things Gym Members Hate


You may have suspicions about what bothers your club members the most. Is it lines for the equipment? The radio stations? Are your trainers too tough? Fortunately, Blair McHaney of Clubworks has taken the guesswork out of it. After analyzing over 400,000 data points assembled via Medallia, Blair determined the top seven things club members hate.

1. Unclean and Smelly Locker Rooms

A little Febreeze (or just regular cleaning) goes a long way towards keeping your members happy. Members are bothered by locker rooms that are disorderly, dirty and generally unpleasant to be in. Cleaning is never fun, but making sure your lockers are functional and that the showers won’t give anyone a staph infection will alleviate one of the most common member complaints.

2. Front Desk Staffers Who Ignore Me

One of the most important findings of Blair’s research was members are frequently frustrated by customer-service issues. While there is always a high value placed on clean equipment and facilities, members are also focused on how welcomed they feel at your club. Your front desk staff should be trained with customer service best practices.

3. Unhelpful Trainers

Although your trainers’ focus should be on their clients, they should also be available to provide general support and advice to all of your members. Taking a few moments in between appointments to give advice to a struggling member or going out of their way to help a member with technique will create positive memorable experiences for your members.

4. Bringing a Guest Is Painful and Embarrassing

Clubs acquire many of their new members from referrals, yet countless clubs still have a difficult guest pass system. Members that want to bring guests often find themselves being forced to pay a ‘guest fee’ right in front of their guest! Members that are showing off their club, especially while in the beginning stages of their membership want to feel like a valued part of your club’s community while showing off your facility, not a new source of revenue.

5. Broken Equipment Is Not Repaired in a Timely Manner

Members understand that equipment breaks and occasionally needs to be replaced or updated. What frustrates members is when the “Out of Order” sign lingers for weeks. Be transparent with your club members; even an estimated timeline is better than a shrug.

6. Club Wi-Fi Is Inadequate

Some purists believe that clubs should be fitness temples--a place for members to get away from the world. However, the reality of 2016 is that many of your members are on their smartphones before, during and after their workout. While WiFi isn’t the highest priority for some members, it is a major advantage for the clubs that can do it right.

7. Club Is Crowded

No one likes waiting in line, but even worse is feeling like you are holding up the line (especially if you are a new member). For many clubs this is an impossible issue to solve as many locations don’t have room to expand, and no club should prevent members from entering. The key to resolving this issue is to focus on the six above issues and any other problems members may have. If you have a well-kept facility with top-notch staff, your members will be proud to be a part of a popular club’s community instead of frustrated at its overcrowding.

Data from MSSNetwork ShortStuff, Jan. 13, 2016, Issue #1

Looking for ways to give your members something they won’t hate? Read The Ultimate Guide to Club Rewards Programs:guide-to-rewards


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