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Community feedback: an essential revenue lever to grow and stay competitive

Corey Loehr
September 22, 2022
community feedback an essential lever to your growth|survey questions for gym members

The goal of every fitness studio is to achieve sustainable profitability and engage with its community. This is because the only way to generate consistent, long-term revenue is to make customers happy. But how could you know whether a community member is happy or unhappy with your services? Preparing survey questions for gym members is one way of looking at it.

Happy members mostly come back. Unhappy people, on the other hand, tend to leave in silence. Did you know that most people lose their focus after just 8 seconds - that means you only have 8 seconds to engage unhappy clients before the damage is done.   

The way feedback works, in general, is that the people who criticize the most likely care the most, and expect the most from future improvements. 

Just like positive feedback, this negative feedback from customers gives several benefits to your fitness community. The challenge is engaging with a group of people who don’t criticize anything at all and just walk away without telling you what went wrong.

You could always go after your existing customers and avoid that flip side of silent abandonment, but you don’t have much time to do it - 8 seconds isn’t much of a window. 

The only realistic way forward is to proactively collect community opinions. It all comes down to technique; anyone would be ready to share their opinion if you asked them at the right time and in the right way.

How to prepare survey questions for gym members and collect customer feedback

Community opinions, whether they are positive or negative, shed light on areas for improvement. Fitness communities shouldn’t hesitate to ask customers to post their opinion and gain from the feedback. 

A few customers will naturally give you feedback without your request, but not all feel encouraged enough to do that. This is what surveys are for. 

A survey is the most common approach to collecting customer feedback.

Let’s look at how to master the customer feedback loop by focusing on key aspects.

Survey form creation

Normally, fitness brands conduct customer surveys in two periods: pre-purchase and post-purchase. 

The purposes of these two periods are different; pre-purchase surveys focus on finding and understanding customers’ expectations while post-purchase surveys seek to develop the brand’s reputation, foster improvements, and identify future needs.

Survey form creation is all about the way you deliver your request. There are multiple ways to structure a customer survey and some set-ups may work better than others, but the two important features of a great survey are always ease of use and useful information.

Simply put, your survey should be easy enough that every customer can complete it and its content should show that you care.

So, try to keep the survey length to a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes, with approximately 5 to 10 questions. Survey questions should be clear and to-the-point so they don’t confuse your customers. 

If you aspire to creativity, you can always combine different forms of questions such as multiple-choice, rating, open-ended questions, or checkboxes.

Avoiding bias in survey questions for gym members

You’ll also want to avoid question bias, as it is a typical problem that can cause members to become confused and can produce misleading feedback. 

Question bias is the process of asking questions that either prime responders to give a particular kind of answer or confuse them into giving an answer they don’t genuinely mean. 

For instance, compare these two questions:

  • How excellent was your experience with our dedicated team?
  • How would you describe your experience with us?

The first question is trying to lead the customer into a positive response, which may make customers who had a negative experience feel alienated. The second question asks for an honest opinion with no lead as to what the description should look like.

Survey distribution: format and timeline

The top survey distribution method is email. Direct phone calls are also used, but this approach is time-consuming and generally unpopular.

Timeline is also an important factor when it comes to survey distribution. You don’t want to make it look like a task, or even worse, a burden. Surveys should be sent just a few times per year and followed with a plan to use the data.

Note that the nature of fitness businesses is unique; Your customers will need more time to assess the quality of services received and respond when available. 

To encourage your customers to give feedback, it’s better to make the requests personal and inviting,  and to leave them as an option whenever they feel the need to give feedback.

Feedback distribution

Now that your studio has feedback, what are the next steps? You can make use of it by featuring customer feedback across your website, Facebook stories, or Instagram posts.

When your prospects arrive at your present channels, they are directly considering your offer for a future purchase. Many businesses tend to forget this: displaying customer reviews on your website is useful for ensuring authentic communication around your products and services.

This is especially true since peer opinions allow you to project yourself with your offer and accelerate the purchase decision. 

You can easily add feedback from your customers to one or more of your pages to provide an additional element of trust for the visitor and promote the conversion of your prospects into new customers.

Automatic feedback formation and management

Building an automatic survey system can save a lot of time when collecting and organizing your customers’ feedback. Automated tools, following initial set-ups, send regular emails on a schedule defined by you. They can also help you remind the consumer that they can leave a comment on your site, a third-party platform, or your social networks.

Automatic sending set-ups also increases your chance to get feedback through a weekly newsletter. All you need to do is select the form, create questions, and add an inserted link to the newsletter that invites your customer to leave an opinion. Make sure to incorporate automatic feedback formation and management in your gym digital marketing strategy.

There’s another common practice that can help: special offers in exchange for feedback. Do not hesitate to offer vouchers or free product samples for any review made on your services. It's an effective way to get feedback.

Survey questions for gym members: feedback is valuable

Taking your consumers' opinion has numerous advantages that should never be overlooked.

 A member’s viewpoint might inspire the whole community to evaluate the usefulness of your service or to criticize, but most of the time, the customer's view is simply an opportunity for you to step back from your operation and consider how you could improve.