How to Apply User Experience Best Practices to Your Fitness Business

5 min read


Gym user experience

Gym user experienceHere at Zen Planner, one of our goals is to make our products simple to use so you can spend more time with your members and less time learning our software. We do this by employing user experience (UX), something that, as the new Senior UX Designer, I’m passionate about. While UX is primarily focused on interactions with digital products, you can still use some of the principles and methods to improve your customers’ experience and, in turn, make your business more profitable.

A customer has a good user experience when a product is usable. While there is definitely a gut reaction as to whether or not a product is usable, we ultimately need to be able to quantify and measure our usability to know if we are improving it and meeting our goals.

For example, we all know that things like making sure your gym or studio is clean, items are organized and the staff is friendly and welcoming ensure your members have a pleasant visit. But what if you’re offering too many membership options which confuse your customers and reduce drop-in conversions? With Zen Planner, you can leverage our reports to help you answer questions like that. Here are a few reports that you can use to ensure that your User Experience is exceeding your members’ expectations:

  • Attendance reportThe Attendance report can give you a lot of valuable information and shows attendance over a five-week period. This is a good place to look to see important trends. You may notice, for example, that attendance on Thursdays is low. To counter this, you could consider offering a special class and see if your Thursday numbers go up as a result. Or perhaps you see that morning attendance isn’t as high as you would like. You could then consider offering a discounted morning-only membership and see if that helps.
  • Zen Planner ACV ReportAnother report that can be very helpful is the Average Client Value (ACV) report. You may notice that your revenue is lower than in the past. By referencing this report, you can see tends and when your numbers were higher than they are now. You could look at what else was going on when ACV was higher. Were you having a sale on apparel or offering a 5-pack of classes? If so, maybe you should consider other packaged offerings. You can also start to quantify your members and use this number to help set monthly goals. If your average client value is $200, five new members would bring in $1000. That is an actionable goal that’s also attainable.

It may seem daunting at first, but if you start small you can make changes that will have a noticeable and lasting effect on the health of your business. Start with a problem or a goal, but be sure to get specific. You want to increase profit, but how?

  • Do you want to see more retail?
  • Do you want to increase your punch card purchases?

Once you identify your goal, you can create a report or leverage an existing one to get a baseline. This is the number you will use to see if your changes worked.

Next, come up with some ideas on how you can create change. For this part, nothing is off limits. Get creative, brainstorm and let the ideas fly! Ultimately you want to pick one or two ideas that you can put into practice.

Let this “experiment” run for about a month. During that time, run the report every so often so you can see changes. This is what will let you know if you’re on the right track. At the end of the month you should have a very clear picture of whether or not it’s working. This will allow you to continue or change course and implement a new idea from your brainstorm list.

Running these little mini experiments and using reports to validate their success is a great way to grow your business, keep things fresh, and increase engagement from your members.

Coming up next time we’ll take a closer look at how we improved usability in our product from ideas, to metrics, to implementation and results.

Making sure your members have a great experience in your gym, studio or school is one way to ensure they’ll keep coming back. Get your copy of our guide, 7 Strategies for Member Retention, for additional ideas to help keep your members loyal for years to come.

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About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.