Retention of a gym membership is crucial for the wellness industry. Coming up with a good gym membership retention strategy for your business or startup can have big benefits later. The challenge is to retain customers as it is more cost-effective than acquiring new members. Continue reading for ways to retain current members.
Table of contents
How to increase gym member retention
1. Create Workout Groups2. Create New Activities3. Improve Self-service Experience4. Show Clients Their Progress5. Offer Personalized Services6. Get Feedback and Reviews7. Talk to Members8. Keep Attendance Charts9. Show Who You Are10. Create Gym Software & Automate Your Gym CRM System11. Revisit Old Clients12. Revamp Sport Equipment13. Offer Events Outside the Gym
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How to Avoid Pitfalls
Increasing revenue is not only about learning how to sell more gym memberships. It’s the most common mistake of a new company: don't put all your revenue into getting a new clientele; focus on keeping the ones that you already have. Aсcording to the latest statistics, about 80% of future profits will come from loyal customers. One way of increasing gym membership retention is by lowering your prices. Unfortunately, it means decreasing standards and profits. Luckily, there are other ways of achieving that. It's well known that retention is one of the metrics marking a successful business. Gym membership retention statistics show that 13% of gym members leave because it feels too expensive. Other reasons are:
- Decreased motivation
- Lack of interactive activities
- Failure to make progress
- Poor customer service
- Boring and redundant routines
- Better competitive facilities
Failure to meet expectations and a loss of motivation are the true reasons behind most gym membership cancellations. How to build your business strategy to make your retention rate as high as possible and not to struggle with losing clients? There are some tips that may impact membership loyalty.
Read also: Fitness industry trends for 2020
How to increase gym member retention
1. Create Workout Groups
Your gym must serve a community of members who are enthusiastic about their health. Statistics show that most people prefer group workouts. Therefore, planning events that promote group activities will increase the average gym membership retention time. Create a community through:
- Group workout sessions
- Seminars for members with similar goals
- Various competitions among members
Gym goers want to connect with others. Group training also increases motivation and helps you to offer affordable fitness services.
2. Create New Activities
When you offer members the opportunity to try a new activity, it provides more value. Giving them additional services shows that they are getting something extra. A new activity can also increase motivation by making workouts more interesting. You should promote new activities, classes, or health tips through your blog, Facebook, and seminars.
For instance, you could decide to send a senior gym membership retention letter to older customers indicating new activities they could try. Always describe the activity in a detailed and straightforward manner. Each new activity should be designed for a target group.
3. Improve Self-service Experience
Let's face it; no one wants to wait long hours at the gym. Many people end up quitting a sports club because of the time they have to wait before working out. Providing other ways to make payments and sign up for new classes will reduce the queues at your reception desk. Give self-service capabilities through a mobile application or a gym portal. You could create an application that can help clients to make payments.
The software should simplify how members manage their accounts. That way, they can solve all the technical aspects of a gym membership without wasting valuable time. Make sure you update your digital solutions as a way of staying ahead of the competition. Members don't want to deal with old software that doesn't meet their needs.
4. Show Clients Their Progress
As mentioned before, clients may quit a fitness club when they don't make any progress. Some clients start with a goal to lose weight, build muscle, or increase endurance. So why not provide your clients with an efficient way of monitoring progress. Use an app that shows the progress made over a period of time.
A potentially successful way of motivating clients is to create annual competitions within your sports club. From time to time you can send emails showing progress. Offering consultations with a trainer also boosts motivation.
5. Offer Personalized Services
You can collect data when clients join your gym. This could include classes attended, equipment used, items purchased, and long-term fitness goals. This data will help you to provide a more personalized experience, making each member feel they are a priority.
An example of personalization is selling specific merchandise, such as whey protein, to the customer after a workout.
6. Get Feedback and Reviews
Having access to regular feedback from your clients can help you identify what you might be doing wrong or right. You can provide good survey questions for members to answer after a training session. But don't just get feedback without making changes.
When your existing customers leave positive reviews about your gym, it attracts others. Reviews show how amazing the service or product you provide is. Google reviews are a great way for local businesses to increase brand awareness.
7. Talk to Members
When you have active and constant contact with members, you establish strong bonds. Having satisfied members will boost business growth.
Valued members are more likely to stay loyal to your wellness brand. For example, you could send a card on their birthday. Talking to members will improve marketing, help you bring them back on the brink of leaving, and promote strong relationships with clients.
Read also: How to sell more gym memberships
8. Keep Attendance Charts
Another great idea for a membership retention plan is to keep attendance records. Take a careful look at how often members show up. According to Statista, 16% of people attend their current gym 4 or more times a week. Everyone in the fitness industry should know that a poor weekly attendance record is an alarming sign that a client wants to leave. Some may have poor attendance because of a lack of motivation. In such instances, you need to intervene.
Always prepare a plan of action for when the attendance of a regular member starts to plummeting. Offering personalized training programs can encourage members to stay. The goal here is to offer something that will benefit your clients.
9. Show Who You Are
A health and fitness business relies on having constant interaction with customers. You need to interact on a personal level. Offer products and services that they can connect with. For instance, create educational blogs about fitness (don't provide general information!). A social media platform is another great way to show your personality. This marketing channel is a great idea for sharing your values and passion.
10. Create Gym Software & Automate Your Gym CRM System
The only way to keep your current members is to understand their ever-evolving needs. You can't simply rely on traditional methods.
The digital transformation market has grown so much over the past few years. Technology is transforming many industries, including health and fitness, where digitalization allows you to develop customer-oriented marketing strategies.
The majority of gym members today are millennials. They expect you to have automated processes within your fitness center. To retain current members,you need automation. This will keep members engaged as you provide customer-friendly services.
There are so many ways you could use gym software to cover your company matters in terms of staff or equipment control, client support, payment, and more. You can apply a CRM system that offers different features and benefits, for example:
- Sales and marketing (you can generate personalized emails);
- Schedule management options;
- Reports and analytics with email automation;
- Controlling access and track employees;
- Customers management;
- Payment/Billing options, etc.
A smart way is designing wearable software that can monitor what members prefer. Automation also allows customers to book classes and activities in their free time. You can't retain members without investing in gym software.
11. Revisit Old Clients
A gym retention membership strategy should include visiting ex-club members. Figure out what drove old members to quit work out sessions at your sports center. One way of acquiring this information is through personalized emails. Former clients understand the inner workings of your gym and trust you. That's why getting this group of customers back is a priority. It then rests on you to remind them what they are missing. But before approaching these members, come up with offers that will benefit them. You can offer them gold cards or discounts when they return or bring a new member.
12. Revamp Sport Equipment
Another important reason members might leave is the state of your gym. Poor infrastructure and equipment can reduce membership retention rates. Provide a larger space for members to work out so that the gym doesn't feel too congested. Gym goers dislike waiting to use gym equipment.
Figure out the most used gym equipment and invest there. Tracking systems can also show what activities members prefer, helping you to invest in useful equipment. Optimizing equipment selection means workouts would proceed smoothly during rush hours.
13. Offer Events Outside the Gym
For gym lovers, life doesn't end after an exercise session. Take that to your advantage. You can organize special events outside the gym where members can interact with each other. Plan yearly outdoor competitions, charity events, barbeques, or just dinner. It's not only about having fun but also promoting your fitness club as an amazing brand that cares about the community.
Successful doesn't solely depend on bringing in new clientele; it relies heavily on your ability to retain them. Even though it might take a lot of effort, retaining members is a reliable way to ensure business growth. The first step to increase the retention of a gym membership is by understanding why members might leave.
Implementing strategies that prioritize personalization, group interactions, and weekly attendance reports may boost retention rates. Staying in touch with all club members can prove to be helpful. Another strategy is offering services that boost motivation, which will keep members in your fitness club.
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