Customer engagement, experience and technology in the fitness sector

Health & Fitness | Por Herman Rutgers

25 May 2017 0 Respuesta

The fitness sector faces rapid changing demands from new and existing customers in terms of engagement and experience. For example, the membership model is under pressure, partly because of the boutiques. 

In the book, Customer engagement and experience in the fitness sector, presented at the EHFF in Cologne (April 2017), co-author Bryan O’Rourke explains that customer engagement differs from customer experience (CX) by the interval of time involved. Customer engagement is an ongoing involvement; CX occurs in moments of time. The differential is that customer engagement is a proactive set of strategies and tactics. One cannot create customer experiences without a customer engagement strategy. Customer engagement strategies provide the opportunity to create a customer experience.

Technologies can improve customer engagement

There are some basic ways to enhance customer engagement using technologies. Here are three keys:

1.     Consistency: All digital communication channels should be consistent in appearance, style, messaging, and experience.

2.     Continuity: Customers and prospects should be able to continue a process seamlessly across devices and channels, without having to start over again if they transition from one to another.

3.     Customisation: Customers expect organisations to understand their needs and to personalise their interactions.


In today’s new consumer era the fitness sector must insure that it is embracing key digital tools, and new thinking while observing key trends. Below Bryan summarises seven areas with respect to engagement and experience that leaders in the fitness sector and fitness professionals should keep in mind as it relates to digital:

1.     Begin with customer journey mapping: Customer journey mapping is the tool that helps you portray your customers’ experiences and engagement, a holistic approach to understanding what they do and think during the interactions.

2.     Mobile: Smartphones are becoming a key means in which customers interact with and procure services. Mobile is a major aspect of the customer journey mapping efforts as well as a part of the customer engagement and experience efforts.

3.     Social Interactions: Marketing is now all about CX and consumers letting their social networks know what they think when experiences are great or poor. Having conversations and identifying key prospect and use-groups to interact with is key to effective engagement in today’s world. Engaging contextually is even more powerful.

4.     Omnipresence: Digital platforms that enable access and service delivery to customers 24/7 are becoming the new normal. The delivery of fitness experiences in facilities and outside of facilities in an integrated manner will increasingly become expected and new platforms can enable content and services to be delivered economically.

5.     Internet of everything: IOT brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and business opportunities.

6.     Integrated operating platforms: Executing digital aspects of CX effectively will require investments in platforms that enable the integration of data for the effective management of CX.

7.     It's not just technology…….

For customer experience to be great, every interaction at every customer touch point whether physical or digital must be exceptional and certainly integrated. Often this entails employee training, thoughtful design, and more than anything a meaningful culture. In other words, the whole organisation must work together to deliver a great customer experience and quality engagement with all available tools with digital being a key part of making that happen.

Read more in the book Customer engagement and experience in the fitness sector (Jan Middelkamp and Herman Rutgers, Editors) and check the EuropeActive Knowledge Centre at