Early this year, we conducted a survey of over 500 active customers of the Spynergy cycling studio in Wellesley, Mass. This was a tremendously interesting look at the demographics, activities, attitudes and preferences of our customers: spinners and indoor cyclists. Among some of the interesting findings: less than 30% of studio visitors are regular outside cyclists….WOW. Some studio owners might find this surprising, but the reality is that the hard core outdoor cyclists are often……you guessed it, outdoors. To build a critical mass of customers to a studio like this, you need to attract outside cyclists AND others seeking a great workout for cardio fitness and/or weight control.
Revelation #2. When asked what was the single most important factor in keeping them coming back for more classes? The number one factor was not the quality of the bikes, it was not the studio, it was not the parking, it was not the pricing model —– all these were important, but the number one most important reason people return to an indoor cycling class is….THE INSTRUCTORS.
When you think about it, and when you think about your own class enjoyment, you know this to be true. If you own or operate a fitness studio, cycling studio, personal training center or any group exercise that is instructor-led, it is absolutely critical — from a customer retention standpoint that you have well defined practices for a) recruiting teachers, b) training teachers, c) evaluating teachers and d) replacing teachers. This is not an HR issue, nor an operations issue, this is a marketing issue as teachers are the single most important factor in retaining customers. In a future post, we will address training, evaluation and recruitment.
Note: one of the best resource for indoor cycling instructors to get ideas is a website called Indoor Cycle Instructor the good ones go there to become better.