Your reputation is the most important aspect of your business—it affects everything from how many people follow you on social media to your company’s bottom-line. For gyms and fitness-related businesses, a positive reputation can help attract new members, entice a better selection of prospective employees, create more business opportunities, improve your search engine rankings, and more. Conversely, a negative reputation can lead to loss of sales, membership churn, high employee turnover, and other costly consequences.
When a consumer is considering making a purchase decision, they want to make the best choice—and they base their decision on which product or service appears to be superior. Nearly 90% of consumers worldwide make an effort to read reviews before buying products, and 86% of customers rely on word of mouth recommendations and online reviews. These statistics illustrate the importance of your online reputation and digital footprint, as well the impact of positive reviews, to grow and maintain your gym reputation.
Read on to learn more about why gym reviews matter, where you can collect them, and what you can do to get more online reviews.
Why Gym Reviews Matter
Online reviews give consumers the power to tell their side of the customer journey—whether positive or negative—for millions of eyes to see. And, chances are, the first thing perspective members will do is research your gym and read online reviews before making any purchase decisions.
Here are just a few statistics to illustrate the power of online reviews:
- Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
- 91% of people ages 18-34 say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 93% of consumers say that reading online reviews has influenced their purchase decisions.
- 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review.
- 94% of consumers refuse to patronise a business because of negative reviews.
Given the impact of online reviews, it’s necessary to actively monitor them as a part of your reputation management strategy, and to garner as many positive reviews for your business as possible.
Where to Collect Online Reviews
While a number of different review platforms exist, below are three key ones you’ll want to focus on when building your online reputation:
We live in a digital world, and you should assume the vast majority of gym goers will visit your website before they decide whether or not to visit your facility. Your website is the center of your digital presence, and it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools in your repertoire.
Your website is the home base that connects everything—it’s where you can display your mission, provide information about your products and services, link social media accounts, highlight positive gym reviews, and more. You can set up a system that allows users to leave online reviews directly on your site, or you can copy reviews from other platforms.
Google has a whopping 92% market share, making it the most widely used search engine in the world. Google is the first place most people go to do online searches, so managing your Google presence is an absolute must to grow and maintain your gym’s reputation. The first step is to claim your business listing using Google My Business (GMB), which then gives you the ability to update information regularly in order to control how your gym appears in search results.
Google reviews are directly linked to your GMB page, meaning that a user can search for your business on Google, locate your GMB page, and read Google reviews to get a better feel for your brand based on what other people are saying about you.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform and has over 2.80 billion monthly active users. If that’s not enough to impress you, consider this: Facebook also has 1.84 billion users that are visiting the social networking site on a daily basis. Facebook users are able to leave reviews on any Facebook business page, which will often appear on the Google search page as well.
How to Get More Online Reviews
Below are three simple ways you can get more online reviews:
1. Post Instructions & Information Everywhere
One of the easiest ways to get more gym reviews is to make sure you have the information clearly outlined and visibly posted all around your facility. Consider creating a mix of posters, flyers, and cards that include instructions on how—and where—your members can leave online reviews. It’s also a good idea to include this information in your member welcome packets.
2. Include Review Requests in Your Emails
Emails are most likely the main way you communicate with your members, so it’s a great opportunity to request gym reviews. Consider adding a review request link near your email signature, and make sure you choose a font and text size that makes it stand out.
3. Keep it Simple
If you’re trying to get more reviews on your website, keep the process quick and simple. Asking too many questions or requiring too much information will drive people away, so you want to make the review process as easy as possible. Consider giving users the option to select a simple star rating, or to also include feedback in the comments section.
Gym reviews are one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business, build a positive reputation, and make your company look more favorable to potential customers. Online reviews also heavily influence purchasing decisions and lead conversion, so it’s important to constantly monitor and respond to your gym reviews to keep your reputation favorable and your business growing.