Gold's Gym, Dallas, ranked highest in customer satisfaction among eight national health and fitness centers, according to a report released by J.D. Power on Tuesday.
The inaugural J.D. Power Health and Fitness Center Satisfaction report gave Gold's Gym a score of 836 on a 1,000 point scale.
The report measured customer satisfaction by examining seven factors: cleanliness, equipment condition, helpfulness of staff, price, safety, variety of classes, variety of equipment and amenities in the facility. (The rankings for the eight chains are in a chart at the bottom of this page.)
"As consumers take a more active role in managing their overall health and their healthcare, they want value with their membership," said Rick Johnson, practice area lead for healthcare at J.D. Power. "Providing a helpful staff, which helps improve members' perception of added value, drives satisfaction the most with members. They also want a clean facility with a variety of equipment in good condition for a reasonable price."
Gold's Gym, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has about 148 corporate-owned clubs and 277 franchised clubs in the United States (plus 264 outside the States), performed particularly well in the equipment condition, variety of classes offered and safety factors, according to the report. Gold's Gym also recently ranked No. 75 on Entrepreneur's Top Global Franchise List.
Capital Fitness, Chicago, which operates XSport Fitness clubs, ranked second with a score of 835. The company, which operates close to 40 clubs, had strong performance in equipment condition and variety of classes.
Planet Fitness, Newington, New Hampshire, ranked third with a score of 828. The company, which recently filed for an initial public offering, has 919 franchised clubs and 57 corporate-owned clubs. The report noted that it had strong performance in price and cleanliness.
The average score for clubs in the report was 813.
Other findings included that 43 percent of members indicated they received free or discounted membership, and only 47 percent of members said they "definitely will" recommend their club to a friend, relative or colleague.
The report, which was conducted in May and June, included responses from 2,431 health and fitness center members who visited their club in the past three months.
Nearly half of fitness center members indicated some difficulty doing usual activities or tasks, both inside and outside of the house due to physical and emotional health.