A couple of months ago I was approached by an industrial psychologist and data scientist. He was looking for 30 “high performing” gyms to collect data on through a survey and in return he would share the results. The results would include the areas that have the biggest affect on member satisfaction that we do well and where we could improve that would have the biggest affect on our members. The data came from our Mount Laurel location (he wanted established locations 5+ years so we didn’t use Cherry Hill or Medford data) and over half of our members filled out the form. First, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to fill it out – your feedback is invaluable and we read through every comment, compliment, and suggestion.
Now onto the results – we ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED it! We were one of the few gyms to be above the benchmark for all 7 categories – Engagement, Facilities, Programming, Coaching, Community, Value, and Management. We all pour so much of ourselves into constantly improving the gym and getting this positive response lets us know that you guys notice it as well! There were 3 areas that really stood out as strengths for us.
- The coaching was one of our strongest categories! This was amazing to see. I have built the gym on figuring out how to attract, pay, and keep full-time coaches and the feedback we received on coaching let me know that you guys value that as well. A huge shout out to Dana, Lauren, Russ, Lindsey, and Sean for just being amazing coaches. I can’t say enough good things about them.
- Our top strength overall was that we offer exceptional value for the monthly fee you pay. We have never tried to be a low cost gym and instead have focused on providing the best experience possible through full time coaches, detailed programming, quarterly meetings, body scans, and the list goes on. I am so glad that everyone feels that are getting great value for their money and I hope you know that we aim to continue to improve what we offer.
- The other categories we absolutely crushed were facilities and management. These two categories are directly tied to me and it shows that you guys have trust that we will always continue to make the gym better and better. That trust means the world to me as it gives me the confidence to continue to make small improvements along the way.
The survey also gave us areas that we can improve. While the positive stuff is great and all – we learned the most on areas to improve. There also was a 2 month lag from doing the survey and getting the results as the data was compiled and benchmarked. The interesting part is that we “felt” that we could improve on most of these things before it was confirmed by the survey and have already been working on most of them. Here are our areas to improve as well as our plan to improve them. Also, one important thing to not is that even our areas to improve came back ranking very high – meaning we still did these things really well but in relation to our other high rankings – we could stand to do these better.
- The top area to improve was cleanliness especially in regards to the lobby, bathrooms, and showers. A main area of pride for ourselves has always been on having clean bathrooms (which isn’t a given in the Crossfit world) and I was bummed to hear we were missing the mark, but not surprised as I agree we had not been crushing this area lately. Last month, we rewrote the cleaning schedule and doubled up the number of cleaning days to keep up with the increased amount of foot traffic we have had lately. This survey has also reconfirmed that keeping the gym as clean as possible is important to our members and needs to always remain a high priority for us. Sometimes just being reminded that we can do this area a little better is all that we need.
- The second to improve had to do with programming. What is interesting is that some responses said we were short of the amount of strength while some said we were short on the amount of conditioning (everything thought we do the perfect amount of mobility though!). While the answer seems confusing at face value, we can attribute this to the fact that we were trying to fit a lot into the class time previously which made some members feel like their preferred portion (strength or conditioning) was a little neglected. Starting with this new cycle 7 weeks ago, we made a bunch of changes to the programming that fixed these timing issues. During this cycle we have been finishing class consistently in the 55-58 minutes range. We feel like we have really nailed the flow of the class to have the right amount of warm-up, work, and transition time. This balance is tough because we always want you to feel like you have utilized the full hour to have the best workout possible but we also want the class to never feel rushed or stressful.
- The last area to improve had to do with community – namely the community feeling like a family and having an opportunity to make new friendships. This one was interesting to think about because there are a ton of different factors that influence this. Some things we highlighted that make this hard are having a lot of class times so that people aren’t consistently in the same times, having some bigger classes, and having 3 locations. We came up with 4 actionable points to start with.
- We are going to treat the 3 gym communities a little more separately going forward in regards to events. We have had gym events where all 3 locations hang out and notice it usually gets separated with people hanging out with their friends from their location. Our plan going forward is to have 2 big events a year for the whole gym to bring everyone together and then to prioritize having smaller events that focus on bringing a specific location together. This obviously won’t be super strict – you can come hang at any event and we are super welcoming, but we think helping to foster friendships within your specific community makes a ton of sense for fostering the community you spend the most time with.
- Prioritize our coaches helping to make connections. This was something we used to focus a ton on in the past – looking to help members make connections with each other that share common experiences, job, or friends. One of our values is to help people make connections because we think it genuinely leads to living a more fulfilled life. This survey supports the idea that making friendships is directly related to how enjoyable your time at the gym is and has reminded us to continue to focus on helping our members make connections.
- Focus on having 3-4 fitness related events to help build connections. We know that big fitness related events like the Broad Street Run, getting a ton of teams for a Crossfit competiton, an obstacle course race, or other physical events can be really beneficial. They help to provide a new, exciting goal to keep training fun. Plus friendships are often formed in higher pressure environments or by training together leading up to a common goal. Our goal is to find fun fitness related events a few times a year and to provide support to those who do them. This way it in an enjoyable experience and you will feel prepared for the event when the time comes.
- We are going to hire a member success manager to focus on our members experience and how we can improve it for them personally. Initially, our goal is for the MSM to primarily focus on members in their first 100 days. The first 100 days is where making friends and feeling like a part of the community are especially important because everything is so new. If we see this have a positive influence on their experience then we will expand the role to focus on all members.
We love hearing your feedback because it helps us to continue what we do well and improve what needs work. Thank you again for everyone who took the time to fill out the survey and for taking the time to read this. Our focus is always on providing the best gym experience you can find anywhere. If you ever have any compliments, comments, or suggestions – then just send them over. We value all the information we can get our hands on.