LONDON, United Kingdom — New research released by wellness industry pioneer MINDBODY has revealed the impact fitness instructors are having on client retention, as the commodification of ‘star’ trainers continues to transform the industry.
According to a study carried out by the wellness tech giant, one in five people (20%) said that PTs or fitness instructors were the most important factor when it came to sticking to a new routine. However, just 4% claimed to have found their ‘star’ instructor.
In addition, data taken from MINDBODY’s portfolio of gyms and studios revealed just how important the right instructor is when it comes to retention rates — with studios that employee star trainers far outweighing the average figures.
“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,” comments Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY.
“Finding the right instructors who can match what your clients are looking for, will really help in driving repeat visits – whether it’s retention or growth that you’re aiming for. Instructors should mirror your brand, reflect your values and help you build your community.”
Driving repeat visits and increasing customer retention is undoubtedly one of the main challenges that businesses in the fitness industry are currently facing, but for boutique brands an influential trainer can help to cultivate loyalty.
Some of the most well-known fitness instructors amass over a million followers on Instagram, with clients going to great lengths to secure spots in their coveted classes, so unlocking their marketing potential makes good business sense.
Just last month Equinox and SoulCycle joined forces to launch a talent management agency designed to support their star instructors, highlighting how profitable a trainer’s personal brand can be. However, social media presence aside, trainers that exhibit a friendly and approachable personality, are energetic, fit and strong will also attract clientele, argues Fiona Crossley, Owner of F45 Kingston in London.
“People come to F45 because they know they are going to consistently get the best coaching and that’s what you should expect from your trainer – whether it’s 6am or 6pm,” she explains.
In fact, according to MINDBODY the traits that customers look for most in an instructor include a friendly personality, knowledge of the industry, qualifications, patience and a positive attitude.
For studio owners that can find instructors who display these traits, they’re off to a good start.