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January 20, 2023

How Your Fitness Reputation Management Plan Can Fuel Brand Success

a group of people working out at the gym lifting weights on the treadmill and jumping rope

New customers join fitness clubs and gyms for a variety of reasons ranging from lifestyle changes to supplemental training for a future marathon, but the challenge for fitness brands is to keep those customers after they meet their goals. Runrepeat reports that about 20% of gym members no longer go to health clubs and don’t exercise. This was primarily due to COVID-19-based mandatory closures of facilities. As those facilities reopen, there’s a greater pressure and difficulty in recovering from dwindling membership numbers.

However, there is hope for the industry. Data shows that the fitness industry was worth nearly $160 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow in value to $434.74 billion by 2028. To take  advantage of that 171.75% increase in value, fitness and health brands can use their reputation data to easily accomplish long-term goals such as customer acquisition and retention, improving internal operations, and outperforming major competitors.

Using Fitness Reputation Management to Better Acquire and Retain Loyal Customers

The most powerful pieces of reputation data lie in customer reviews. Research shows 89% of consumers look at the reviews of customers from a specific brand before they move ahead with a membership. Taking advantage of recent customer feedback for your fitness brand’s own goals can be a powerful tool for both acquisition and retention, and the following tips can elevate your brand to the next level.

Establishing Listings That Show Fitness Reviews

A fitness brand’s digital footprint starts with online listings, specifically on popular search engines such as Google. However, it’s also worth planting a flag on other fitness-specific listing sites where your ideal customers are already looking for a new membership. Consulting a business directory list can easily uncover which sites are worthy of your brand listing.

An important aspect of any listing are your customers’ reviews. They lend legitimacy and social proof that actual people use and enjoy the services you offer such as personal training, sports clubs, or even spa treatments. The words of your customers carry more weight than a marketing campaign, and showing off rave reviews can reduce research and decision time for those looking for a new fitness club.

It can also be worth sharing those same pieces of feedback on brand social media accounts. Customer review findings show that 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. With 93% of online users logging into social media on a regular basis, it stands to reason that your customers see many fitness brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Standing out from the competition by showing off your best reviews is a powerful campaign that saves time and money for other parts of brand operations.

Asking Customers For Fitness Reviews

To showcase those rave reviews, your team needs to have an effective strategy for constantly gathering feedback from customers, which is vital for continued success. Research shows 44% of consumers only look at reviews from the past month in order to get an accurate picture of the customer experience.

Asking for reviews is also crucial from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective. Generating a steady stream of fitness reviews can help your listings rise in search rank, leading to increased visibility and online traffic from interested consumers. This is because sites like Google see the review activity as recent user traffic to your physical locations. In other words, constant activity in your locations can easily translate to activity online, which can make your brand easily visible to those looking for a new fitness brand.

Retain Customers with Fitness Review Responses

With fitness reviews rolling in, your team also needs to have a plan in place to triage and respond to all feedback, whether it’s full of criticism or praise. Taking the time to read and provide a detailed response that addresses issues and thanks customers for their reviews shows that your brand values each piece of feedback, not to mention that each response helps build trust between the brand and client. On another level, responses also show that your team is taking steps to improve the experience for both current and future customers alike, which is a main differentiating factor when comparing how different brands value their customers.

Responding to reviews is also valuable from a retention standpoint. CallMiner data shows that U.S. companies lose $136.8 billion in revenue due to their customers switching brands. With just a few carefully chosen words, your team can easily convince unsatisfied customers to give your brand another chance and reduce revenue loss.

How Fitness Reputation Management Can Help Improve Brand Operations

Each fitness review can also hold valuable insights that show the status of new initiatives or if an existing process needs to be revisited. However, these valuable data points are sometimes difficult to find and track, especially when your team is also tasked with responding to each review.

This is where customer experience analysis comes into play. By using natural language processing software, your team can uncover accurate sentiment analysis and keyword trends across hundreds or even thousands of reviews. What used to take a few people and multiple days of data gathering and analysis is now available within a matter of minutes.

Take the following data for example: 44% of gym-goers now use on-demand video once a week. With this advanced analysis in place, you can see how many times “on-demand” or video” is mentioned across multiple reviews to see if this trend extends to your patrons.

With this powerful and accurate data, you can easily prioritize the most pressing concerns to the customer experience and then create other tasks that can be visited at a later date. By using this customer-based data, your locations can make the right operational changes that keep customers loyal while attracting more consumers.

Using Fitness Reputation Management to Monitor Competitors

The reputation data of other fitness brands can also give you and your team an accurate picture of competitor metrics. Star ratings and the number of reviews can give a surface-level overview of your rivals’ reputational performance, but the same customer experience analysis that revealed valuable insights about internal operations can also be used to reveal what consumers think about the competition. For instance, cleanliness and atmosphere can be shown in a positive sentiment while more personal services or the lack of food options can be a negative trait in a rival.

Keeping an eye on the competition in this manner helps you stay one step ahead in your efforts to acquire and retain customers. Leaning on this data as a north star can be valuable as you create new strategies that resonate with new members while ensuring that long-time visitors are still satisfied.


Fitness reputation management and reviews are not just metrics of reputational success; they are valuable pieces of data that your team can use to create new strategies, identify weaknesses, and meet customer expectations. In other words, they are a valuable key to long-term success both in-person and online. By keeping review data front and center you can create a plan that can bring about increased and constant revenue in addition to satisfied customers. As you start your reputation strategy, keep these steps in mind:

  • Claim and manage online listings
  • Generate and respond to all customer reviews
  • Discover insightful and accurate data with customer experience analysis
  • Monitor competitors to better meet consumer needs