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11 Jul 2018

Mindbody report: employing "right trainers" key to customer retention
BY Tom Walker

34 per cent of those who mainly attend gyms for weight training value the trainer's fitness knowledge the most

34 per cent of those who mainly attend gyms for weight training value the trainer's fitness knowledge the most

Fitness operators looking to improve their member retention should focus on recruiting "knowledgeable, friendly instructors".

One in five (20 per cent) people who exercise regularly see having the "right instructor" as the most important factor in sticking to a new fitness regime – but just 4 per cent of people claim to have found their “dream instructor”.

The skills that gym members most value in their trainers differs depending on the member's preferred method of primary exercise.

34 per cent of those who mainly attend gyms for weight training value the trainer's fitness knowledge the most, while the most important quality for those who do HIIT is an instructor's ability to push them hard.

For those who visit gyms mainly to attend yoga sessions, the trainer's patience is the most valued skill.

The findings come from a study undertaken by management software provider Mindbody, which researched data obtained from gyms and studios which use its platform.

“We see in our data that a growing number of people are turning to pay-as-you-go classes and PT sessions as opposed to fixed gym memberships, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for studios and gyms," said Charlotte Newton, Mindbody's senior marketing manager for EMEA.

“Finding the right instructors who can match clients' needs will really help in driving repeat visits – whether it’s retention or growth that gyms and studios are aiming for.

"The trainers should mirror the brand, reflect the operator's values and help it build its community.”

As part of the study, Mindbody listed the top five traits that gym users in general look for from their instructors:

1. A friendly personality (27 per cent of all members)
2. Knowledge of the industry (22 per cent)
3. Highly qualified (14 per cent)
4. Patience (12 per cent)
5. A positive attitude (10 per cent)



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