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New White Paper shows cleanliness top concern in fitness sector

21 March 2013

Emprise releases white paper detailing impact of cleanliness on gym member satisfaction

A new white paper, which demonstrates how cleaning can contribute to a significant increase in member satisfaction in the fitness industry, has been published by Emprise, leading support services provider.

The paper ‘Improve member satisfaction by 10% through creating a cleaner fitness environment’ offers key insights into the importance of a clean environment for consumers and provides three simple steps to help gym operators and other fitness organisations improve member satisfaction scores.

It also includes a case study showing how one fitness chain dramatically improved its member satisfaction simply by changing its cleaning strategy.

Matt Kuwertz (pictured), sales and marketing director of Emprise, said the paper was produced to demonstrate how cleaning can add value to an organisation as well as bring financial benefits; and to share best practice from Emprise’s 27 years in the industry.

Research shows that the UK fitness industry was worth almost £4bn in 2012 with around 7.6m members. There were 5,900 sites - up from 5,852 in 2011.

By the end of 2012 average revenue per member was just under £500, with almost 40 per cent of British adults having been a member of a club at some stage and 23 per cent being lapsed members. Along with the economy, member retention has been highlighted as a major challenge for the industry in the next year.

The paper found that cleanliness was cited as one of the most common sources of complaints. In one study, 88% of people said they wouldn’t use a gym or athletic facility if it had cleanliness issues. In another, 44% of people would be encouraged to use leisure centres if they had improved facilities5.

Each of the three steps in the paper have been designed to show how organisations can develop a more strategic approach. Step 1 is to recognise that members care about cleanliness; step 2 involves upholding operators’ brand image to retain members; and step 3 is to use a club’s cleanliness as a means of adding value.

Providing a clean environment is not only a benchmark for members but with the strength and speed of social media networks, the implications of getting the cleaning strategy wrong are huge for the brand.

Matt Kuwertz said if a focus on adding value via cleaning could mean retaining even one per cent of those lost it could have a significant effect on revenue generation.

He added: “We produced this white paper because we have seen first-hand the positive impact an effective cleaning strategy can have on member satisfaction in the fitness industry and wanted to share our thoughts on best practice. The case study gives a great insight into how member satisfaction increased as a direct result of cleaning.

“Clearly, cleanliness is a big deal for consumers. With the economy forcing many organisations to reduce costs and member retention being a major challenge for the fitness industry, the delivery of strategic cleaning services can be a direct means of adding value, which creates brand loyalty and contributes to the bottom line.”

The paper suggests that operators need to think about how cleaning can effectively combine both people and professional skills to maximise the impact of front-line staff. Whilst business objectives may include reducing overheads, good practice in the delivery of cleaning services can be a strong value proposition that impacts the bottom line through increased member satisfaction and an increased perception of value for money.

To download the full white paper please click here

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