The most important part of a gym is its members. The goal of a gym owner should not only be to gain new members but retain existing members as well.
According to a report by Fincancesonline, most gyms lose their new members after 6 months of them starting their membership. Retaining your members can be a challenge but it can easily be overcome by using the right strategies.
You want your members to feel as if they are valued and appreciated rather than you just seeing them as another number for your gym. This way you can reduce your membership churn rate and also make loyal members.
7 Gym Member Retention Strategies
Below we have listed 7 gym retention strategies that you can start implementing at your gym for building a strong member base:
- Create a welcoming atmosphere
- Communicate effectively with your members
- Provide Excellent Customer Service
- Improve the gyms technology
- Utilize social media
- Give a personalized experience
- Incorporate Loyalty Programs
1. Create a welcoming atmosphere
Your gym should be a place which welcomes members warmly and invites them in for looking around. Creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere doesn’t mean that you only have a good receptionist with a smile on their face to greet visitors. You need to consider the overall design, theme, and vibe of your gym as well.
If your reception room and lobby have very dark or dull colours it might give an eerie feeling to your visitors whereas too many bright colours may also distract the members. Other than that the staff should make your members feel welcomed, from the moment they walk in they should feel acknowledged.
The atmosphere of your gym or club includes the culture as well. As gyms are a place where members form a community, the culture will play a significant part there. It not only motivates your members but also creates a sense of belonging there as well. This social interaction keeps your members engaged and coming back to your gym and helps in retaining your existing members.
2. Communicate effectively with your members
You need to have effective communication with your members if you want to reduce churn. Communicating with your members is a great way to get feedback about the services you are providing and it also lets you decide what your members might want.
Communicating with your members is no longer an extensive task as modern technology, such as social media, has made it easier to interact with your members. You can even design an app for your gym and communicate with your members using that app. You can check our previous blog to know more about how a mobile app can improve your customer retention and loyalty.
Tools such as text messages and email newsletters are great for communicating what is happening at your gym. One thing you need to keep in mind is that your communication should seem more personalized.
For example, you should not send yoga offers to your members who have signed up for weight lifting as it would not benefit them in any way. The reason is that it would seem as if you see them as just another way of making money and do not care about their personal interests.
3. Provide Excellent Customer Service
No one likes to be treated rudely. Your members will not be willing to come back to your gym if they sense they are not being treated right. They will lose motivation and will try to find some other gym that can fulfil their needs with comfort. Your staff needs to be professional and act the best way they can while dealing with your members, especially the receptionist and trainers.
The receptionist is the first person your members will interact with and the attitude of the receptionist will create a sort of personality of the gym in the mind of its members. So the receptionist having an inviting and warm personality is important.
On the other hand, the trainers will be interacting with your members on a daily basis as they will be training with them. If the trainers have a bad attitude your members will get discouraged by it and would not want to attend the lessons or training anymore.
4. Improve the gyms technology
In today’s world not using technology for your businesses is not considered a smart move. There are a number of things you can achieve, including member retention, just by incorporating the latest technology at your gym. Not only can you manage and operate your gym more effectively and efficiently, but it also creates new opportunities for engaging your members.
Technological advancements allow you to stay up-to-date with the latest fitness trends and let you automate your everyday operations. This automation not only helps in streamlining your everyday activities but saves the time and effort needed to perform those activities.
Gym Management System is a type of software that allows you to manage your employees, members, and your gym's marketing and advertising strategies. It tracks the overall activities of your members and employees, such as the time they entered the building and when they left. Other than that it allows you to monitor how much time members spend at your gym.
The data of your members collected by this software allows you to create promotional offers for your members. You can measure the results of any marketing or promotional strategies using this software. This way you can see what is more attractive for your members and work on improving those strategies.
5. Utilize social media
One of the most effective ways to connect with your members is through social media. As most of your members might have smartphones and regularly check their social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Actively engaging with your members on such platforms can create great opportunities for your business. You can keep up with the latest industry trends through social media platforms and can make engaging content through that.
You can hold giveaways, live streaming sessions, or even create a whole community on your social media platforms. You can allow your members to share their pictures and videos and even appreciate them for the hard work they have put in keeping themselves in shape.
All of these activities not only engage your members but also help in retaining them. As members see others accomplishing their goals they will want to accomplish their fitness goals as well.
6. Give a personalized experience
You should not think of every other visitor or member at your gym as just a number. If you provide the same experience for every member at your gym, your members might sense that you are just wanting to make a profit off of them. They might feel that you do not care about their goals and well-being. This is the reason you should provide a personalized experience to your members.
You can gather information on your members and then utilize it for providing them with a personalized experience. What can you personalize? The answer is that you can personalize almost everything. Such as providing them exercise and meal plans that suit their age, goals, and affordability.
You can even provide them with the exercise or training plan that is best suited to their body type as not everyone needs to do just cardio or weight lifting to get into shape. Some people would prefer to do yoga to get their required results or they might require muscle and strength building by incorporating Boxing or MMA into their routine.
You can also adjust their exercise schedule according to the time which suits them if they are someone who works at an office. You can send out monthly newsletters with a personalized message or video to your members, this can have a positive effect on your members and might even want them to upgrade their memberships if the offer appeals to them.
7. Incorporate Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to show your members that you appreciate them being a part of your gym. Retaining your existing members is not an easy job, if you do not provide any sort of appreciation the members will not be as engaged in the activities of your gym.
Loyalty programs are a great way to engage your members in the activities of your gym. Not only are you helping your members reach their goals but they would feel as if they are appreciated for all the work they are putting in.
An example of loyalty programs could be that you offer a prize such as a goody bag or a gift card of the members' choice for the points they have earned for the time they visit your gym. You can either track their loyalty points through the activities they perform in the gym or through a point card system, on which you can stamp their card according to the goals they are achieving.
Retaining your members is as, if not more, important than gaining new members. Attracting new members can be expensive and time-consuming and member retention is much more rewarding in the long term. With the right kind of gym retention strategies, you can engage and retain your existing members.
Incorporating loyalty programs and creating personalized experiences provides your members extra value and it also helps to establish a sense of community. Communication not only strengthens your community but also allows members to trust your gym business.
When you create a welcoming atmosphere and have great customer service, your members will feel as if they are cared for. This will let them think that your gym genuinely wants the best for them. Thus, you can create a more member-focused atmosphere and reduce your membership churn rate.
Related Article: Retaining Your Gym Members Shouldn't be a Workout!