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Online consumer insight into the UK health club experience Ray Algar  (MBA)  Oxygen Consulting, London IHRSA March 2009
Before  the web
Companies  controlled  the communications channel
Companies used to just shout and interrupt consumers News  flowed  one  way
Consumers found it difficult to be  heard
The web  changed  the rules
Broadband rates  rising
Printing press  for  everyone
Consumers now  sharing  wisdom
What is the  online  conversation regarding the UK  gym experience ?
What  aspects  of the gym experience do consumers  like ?
… and  dislike
Identified websites where  consumers  post  opinion
Gym experience  boiled  down into  four  categories
Brand
Facilities
Membership  factors
Service  experience
Then into 41  tangible  and  intangible  attributes
Opinion then  analysed
“ Great  range of facilities, staff really  friendly  and  helpful.  I would thoroughly  recommend  it”
“ Management team  extremely   poor.  They only have their  own interests  at heart and  do not  support the members”
The ‘tangible’ proposition delivers ‘ wow ’
The  intangible  proposition often  disappoints
Positive opinion Negative opinion Current/ Past Members 40% 60%
Positive opinion Negative opinion Current members 50% 50%
Positive opinion Negative  opinion Past members 17% 83%
Do clubs  care ?
Yes, during the  tour
“ the  best  salesman ever”
“ Cup of coffee bought for me and all the  trimmings”
“ I remember how  friendly  the sales lady was”
… but  after  the  honeymoon period
“ Once I had joined, she (sales staff) would  blank me  when I said hi”
Read  this before you sign
“ I was  not aware  of the 12-month commitment period until I tried to cancel”
“ Visited once before being  diagnosed  with breast cancer. Informed manager.  No  response apart from the debt collection agency”
“ Customer care is  non-existent . They only care about  money”
“ After the initial session, they have  never  checked my circumstances in my two years of membership”
“ I had to  chase  for an induction session which took  over a month  to arrange”
Would they  recommend  to a friend?
317 reviews (6 chains) 10%  promoter  rate
22%  highest  chain
7%  lowest  chain
So what are the  key  insights ?
Very little  positive   word  of mouth
Staff and member interactions  unpredictable
Self-service  proposition
Frustration  with  inflexible  membership contracts
Exercise ‘ aimless ’
Poor  measurement of outcomes
Not a  sticky  experience!
Questions

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Online Consumer Insight Into the UK Health Club Experience