Personal Trainer with Participant

  • MINDBODY research reveals the importance of the right instructor for client retention, and how gyms/studios can find the right people for their clients
  • One in five people (20%) say that PTs or fitness instructors are the most important factor when it comes to sticking to a new routine, but just 4% claim to have found their perfect instructor 
  • One in four people (27%) see a friendly personality as the most important trait for a personal trainer
One of the main challenges facing business in fitness and wellness, is how to provide a service that can drive repeat visits and increase customer retention. However, with such a wide variety in consumer preference and demand, this is no easy task.

New research from MINDBODY, a leading business management software in the fitness industry, has found that one in five (20%) people who regularly exercise see the right instructor as the most important factor in sticking to a new fitness regime, but just 4% of people claim to have found their “dream instructor”. What’s more, data from its portfolio of gyms and studios, shows just how important the right instructor is, with retention rates for the top instructors far outweighing studio averages.

To support businesses in the fitness industry, they identified the traits that clients look for most in an instructor, and the vital role that finding the right instructor plays in getting clients through the door.

The top five traits that active Brits look for from their instructors are:
1.    A friendly personality (27% said this the most important trait)
2.    Knowledge of the industry (22% said this was the most important trait)
3.    Highly qualified (14% said this the most important trait)
4.    Patience (12% said this was the most important trait)
5.    A positive attitude (10% said this was the most important trait)

Naturally, these traits varied depending on the preferred form of exercise. Using the research, the experts at MINDBODY have provided their advice on finding the right instructors to meet clients’ need:

Those who lifts weight value knowledge of the industry the most (34%)

This demographic is the most likely to want instructors who have a good knowledge of the industry, so ensure your team is continually learning and evolving their knowledge to pass onto clients. Provide regular in-house training or encourage them to enrol in specialised courses to help them stay on top of any new methods and trends in the industry, especially any to support sport-specific techniques or proper form when lifting, as this will go a long way with clients.

Those who do HIIT want an instructor who pushes them hard (12%)

If someone has walked into a HITT class, the likelihood is that they are there to work hard. Find an instructor who isn’t afraid to push their clients and who understands what techniques or language they need to adopt to get the best out of them. This will make the client feel accomplished and more likely to return to a class at your studio. HIIT classes are often very intense, so finding an instructor who can match the intensity will also work well.

Those who do yoga seek patience the most (12%)

Whilst the practice of yoga is designed to be calming, often the poses and the practice of self-reflection can be a challenge, especially for beginners and those progressing to more advanced positions. Finding instructors who can empathise with this and show patience, helping clients to adjust poses for their ability, is sure to keep clients coming back.
There are some crucial factors to consider when hiring a coach or a trainer. MINDBODY has teamed up with REPs, the largest independent public register for the Health and Fitness industry, to offer guidance for businesses on hiring the right people.

Here are three important questions from REPs to ask your new hires and fitness staff, that will help provide you assurance that you are putting your client’s bodies under the construction of an appropriate health and fitness professional:

1.    Are they qualified? Sounds a surprising question, but because the various titles that someone can appoint themselves today are not protected by law, it is very important to ask and check. These titles can include: Instructor, Teacher, Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach.
2.    What do their qualifications mean? With the plethora of training methods and brands in the health and fitness industry it is important to ensure that the coach has completed a qualification that meet UK (and international) standards. The best way to check that the coach is registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)
3.    What are their specialisms and do their qualifications match your clients requirements? There are a variety of reasons someone may embark upon an exercise regime, but if your clients have special requirements your new hire should have a category of registration on REPs to show, not only that they have the underpinning of knowledge to coach the general population, but they have the specialist knowledge and skills to instruct them.

Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, commented:
“We see in our data, that a growing number of people are turning to pay-as-you-go classes and PT sessions as opposed to fixed gym memberships, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for studios and gyms. Finding the right instructors who can match what your clients are looking for, will really help in driving repeat visits - whether it’s retention or growth that you’re aiming for. They should mirror your brand, reflect your values and help you build your community.”
For all REP’s members, MINDBODY offers a 15% monthly discount off the monthly software subscription. MINDBODY includes training, 24/7 IT and phone support and no contract. Find out how to take advantage of this offer.