How to make your gym your customers’ favourite
Gym operators are living in incredibly challenging times. In the first five months of the Covid-19 pandemic alone, the US gym and health club industry lost $13.9 billion*1.
Not only did the pandemic land a heavy blow to gyms’ profitability, but it also massively increased users’ sensitivity around hygiene and cleanliness, and their expectations of your sanitisation regime.
Plus, with hybrid working now a much larger feature of people’s working lives, routines have shifted, and those who were once your most loyal customers may simply no longer be commuting near your gym.
So it’s clear that gym owners need to focus more than ever on creating a comfortable and hygienic environment in order to attract business, assuage their customers’ anxieties, and retain their loyalty.
Your staff are under ever greater strain
Your gym staff’s workload has grown exponentially over the last couple of years.
On the one hand, it remains important that they stay on top of your equipment, keeping everything organised so that customers can easily find what they need. That means returning used weights to their racks, tidying up and making sure equipment is within the right area (whether cardio, strength, stretching, or functional), and attending to any other issues with your apparatus.
On the other hand, keeping that equipment hygienic – as well as the changing rooms and other gym areas – is even more important than before. That means carrying out regular cleaning of high-touchpoint objects, such as door handles, weights, and equipment hold bars, and it also means enforcing any measures expected of users, such as wiping down equipment after use with disinfectant spray.
Equally, odour control is crucial in a gym environment. When people work out they sweat heavily, and that can quickly make for a bad smell in your exercise areas and changing rooms. There’s little more off-putting for customers, and you can be sure they’ll take straight to social media to complain about a bad experience. In fact, 56.6% of social media complaints in a sample of 5,373 posts related to deodorisation needs. For example:
“Boys and girls, deodorant is important. Even if you’re going to the gym! I think that’s where you need it the most because you sweat and smell like rubbish! Please!”
That makes tackling foot and body odour in your gym one of the most important parts of creating a pleasant workout environment for everyone – so you can keep customers happy, and keep social media complaints to a minimum.
At the same time, customer demands are greater than ever
Whilst your staff have come under greater strain, your customers' expectations have become higher than ever over the course of the pandemic.
That, of course, particularly applies to hygiene and cleanliness, with users unsurprisingly hyper-conscious of the risks that can lie on surfaces and in the air.
Now, with gym numbers rising once more, competition has never been fiercer, and that gives customers the power to pick and choose their preferred workout environment. Whilst price of course plays an important role in this decision, the environment is also highly influential.
Equally, customers are now more willing than ever to take to social media with complaints about a gym environment. If your facility is frequently plagued by bad smells; broken, missing, or out-of-place equipment; or overcrowding (especially where distancing is still required), you can expect to see a flurry of critical posts on social media and online review sites about your business. Which, in turn, will have a big impact on your membership and customer loyalty.
Tip – Get the basics right
Every gym needs to get the basic principles right. That means training your staff so that they’re friendly and knowledgeable when customers require assistance. Having just two interactions a month with members can reduce membership cancellations by up to 33%*2.
It also means installing appropriate lighting that feels energising rather than overbearing and maintaining a good level of security, such as by providing fully functioning lockers in the changing rooms.
Plus, your cleaning regime needs to be both frequent and thorough enough to keep health risks under control, and to create a hygienic and safe environment for your customers.
A good experience, therefore, means a clean gym with friendly staff, working equipment, and enough space for customers to get on with their workout sessions without excessive wait times.
Providing this will help in affecting buying decisions and attracting (and retaining) more customers – this means that getting your gym environment right is pivotal.
Have you thought about the invisible dirt and odours in your air?
When people work out they sweat and breathe much more heavily than when at rest. That not only means that they’re potentially filling the air around them with saliva particles, humidity, and odours, but also that they’re taking in more of your air. Whilst you’re likely already conscious of the need to control the temperature and humidity in your gym, there are also invisible threats that need to be managed.
Plus, during busy periods, you may well have hundreds of people using your facility each day, so the potential for mixing and coming into contact with health risks is increased further.
These can lie in the air both visibly (as dirt and dust), and invisibly (as allergens, viruses and bacteria). And with many gyms – especially in city centres – frequently occupying basement plots, tucked away beneath major roads, the scope of your natural ventilation is often vastly reduced.
This all makes getting the quality of your air right a massive part of creating a comfortable and hygienic environment for your users.
But with floor space in high demand in equipment and workout areas, how can you create a healthier and cleaner environment free from bad smells? The solution is air conditioning with integrated purification.
Tip – Improve your air quality and climate control
Clearly, a comfortable, temperature-controlled, and hygienic workout environment relies on good-quality air.
Whilst proper spacing between equipment is important, effective air conditioning is essential to reduce humidity levels and to control the temperature of your gym.
And with customers and staff increasingly conscious of the health risks associated with the air they breathe, it’s no surprise that gym owners are turning to combined air purification and conditioning systems.
Introducing nanoe™ X technology: A cleaner gym with quality air
Air purification technology such as nanoe™ X operates invisibly in the air to reduce the risks posed by airborne viruses, bacteria, mould, and hazardous substances contained in fine particulate matter (PM 2.5).
When deployed in an air-conditioning system, it cleans the air by spreading nature-derived hydroxyl radicals throughout the space. And it’s also hugely effective at removing bad odours from the air and surfaces such as fabrics, carpets, and clothing.
Influenza virus H1N1 subtype*4
Pillow cover odour*5
Built into your air-conditioning unit, it can be easily adjusted by remote control or over a wifi connection – for example, to provide 24-hour deodorisation. This function can help you keep bad odours at bay all through the day, and even when other AC modes are switched off.
That means that without taking up any extra space or staff time, you can provide a cleaner, more comfortable environment for everyone.
Keep your customers coming back for more – with a better gym environment
Customer turnover is typically high in the exercise industry, and so gym owners always need to stay on the front foot in order to keep the competition at bay.
With customers even more picky as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with staff carrying even greater demands on their shoulders, every gym facility could benefit from ways of improving their environment without adding yet another job to the list.
And that’s where nanoe™ X can help. By cleaning the air and tackling odours, it can help you provide a comfortable, healthy, and clean environment for your users that will have them coming back for more – time and time again.
*1 Statistic taken from the 2020 IHRSA Global Repo
*2 Statistic taken from 2018 IHRSA report
*3 Airborne viruses (bacteriophageΦχ174). Testing organisation: Kitasato Research Center for Environmental Science. Testing method: The number of viruses was measured after direct exposure in an approximately 25 m3-sized airtight test chamber. Inhibition method: nanoe™ released. Target substance: Airborne viruses. Test result: Inhibited by at least 99.7% in 6 hours. (24_0300_1)
*4 Adhered virus (Influenza virus H1N1 subtype). Testing organisation: Kitasato Research Center for Environmental Science. Testing method: Measured the number of viruses adhered to a cloth in an approximately 1 m3-sized airtight test chamber. Inhibition method: nanoe™ released. Target substance: Adhered viruses. Test result: Inhibited by at least 99.9% in 2 hours. (21_0084_1)
*5 Testing organisation: Odour and Aroma Design Course, Department of Integrated Informatics, Faculty of Informatics, Daido University. Testing method: Verified using the six-level odour intensity indication method in an approximately 23㎥-sized test chamber. Deodorisation method: nanoe™ released. Test substance: Simulated body odour of middle-aged and senior citizens adhered to pillow cover. Test result: Odour intensity reduced by 0.65 levels in 6 hours.
*6 Testing organisation: Panasonic Product Analysis Center. Testing method: Verified using the six-level odour intensity indication method in an approximately 23㎥-sized test chamber. Deodorisation method: nanoe™ released. Target odour: Surface-adhered perspiration odour. Test result: Odour intensity reduced by 1.1 levels in 1 hour. (Y16HM016)