Although it may feel like wishful thinking, summer is just around the corner. This means one thing for the leisure industry: an increase in demand as consumers look for the perfect beach body.
The leisure industry is now worth a staggering £3.8bn, and our appetite for gyms does not look like it is slowing. Technological advances means going to the gym is no longer a solitary activity; it is now social, with gym-goers regularly sharing workout experiences with friends. All this presents a new set of opportunities for the gym and the leisure industry.
With more options available for the customer than ever before, it is critical that gyms strike the right balance between acquisition of new customers and retention of old. By building strong and lasting communication channels, through one-to-one dialogue, this balance can be achieved.
Social customer service now offers fitness and leisure centers the opportunity to build ongoing relationships with members-as well as celebrate and reward customers who are engaging with them on social. Many gyms already have in place great social marketing strategies which use promotions, competitions and engagement to grow on channels such as Twitter and Facebook. But there has also been a growth in the number of complaints and issues being raised over social.
Social customer service issues should not be ignored, and structuring a team to handle these should be a priority, just as important as promotional offers.
There are a lot of different factors that consumers take into consideration when making a purchasing decision. Great social customer service can act as a market differentiator, helping you stand out and having direct impact on the bottom line.
From Marketing to Customer Service
Below are a few tips on how fitness and leisure centers can adapt from a pure social marketing strategy to harness the power of social customer service:
- Celebrate and engage with success: engage with customers posting success stories on Twitter, offering advice and fitness tips through social channels.
- Go the extra mile: be proactive to engage with loyal members. Surprise and delight when someone is having a tough day or has hit a personal target.
- Deal with complaints quickly and efficiently: do not just ignore problems, face them head on in the channel the customer has reached out to you on.
- Understand your data and resource accordingly: which fitness sites are having frequent issues and what are they.
- Fix these issues accordingly: make use of the actionable insight gained through being proactive to resolve issues within your gyms. Use consumer insight to deliver a better customer experience.
- Marketing vs customer service: Understand that different rules apply, but it is important that lines of communication are open between the two teams.
Structuring social customer service is still a challenge for many fitness and leisure centers. With, as a general rule, a greater emphasis placed on social marketing above carrying out effective social customer service. Luckily this is slowly changing-with gyms waking up to the fact that service is marketing-therefore starting to lay solid foundations for social customer service at scale.
By having the ability to integrate workflows, approvals, customer data and prior engagement history into a single view and platform, companies are able to scale social customer service. Giving them the ability to deliver a truly joined up an effective customer experience-answering questions quickly and effectively. That is where Conversocial can help.