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Common Complaints Members Have & How Gym Owners Can Avoid Them

By Tracey Heinz

If you are running a gym or a fitness center, then you must be aware how important it is to keep your customers satisfied. Happy clients means smooth and successful business. However, despite your best efforts, there may be some loopholes in matters pertaining to your gym.  Here are the most common complaints gym members have along with tips on how to deal with these issues.

An Unclean, Uneasy Environment


The biggest complaint that gym members have from their facility is poor hygiene conditions. Right after peak time, gym equipment is in deplorable condition, filled with smelly sweat. Grim-looking equipment is a big turn-off for members and so are uneasy gym environments. If your gym is cold or hot, or appears as an underground hole, then your clients would not enjoy their workout experience. A very silent gym will also appear unnatural and boring for your clients.


  • In order to keep your gym spick and span, ensure that it is thoroughly wiped after peak hours. Using air fresheners is a good way to keep the environment stench-free.
  • A pleasant room temperature must be maintained so that the members can perform their workout session easily.
  • Spice up the experience by adding appropriate lightning. Some music would do good too. Choose different genres of music for different types of workouts. For example you can play pumping beats for lifting area, while you can also make cardio more interesting by rocking some pop tunes.

Hell Bound Staff


Your clients come to the gym not only to engage in burning workout, but also to spend some quality time. If your front desk staff ignores your members or communicates with them in a displeasing manner, half of the experience is ruined from the beginning. You can also offset a member’s mood with inefficient customer service. If your staff is not advising members to use equipment safely and how to perform certain exercises, then chances are that your members might hurt themselves, which, in certain cases, can lead to serious health consequences.  


  • A simple smile can win you loyal customers. All you need to do is to train your staff to greet your members as warmly as possible. Make it a point to make all members appreciated. This behaviour can lead to long-term bonds.
  • Make sure that you always have a motivated and competent trainer to guide the members about improper forms and tips on handling heavy equipment.

Ineffective Communication


Smooth communication is a must to keep your clients motivated. However, with so many communication channels available such as Facebook, Email, WhatsApp, etc. it is quite difficult to keep track of influx of messages and appointments. You can often get double appointments, miss bookings and so forth, which can be really frustrating for the members.


  • Decide on one to two communication channels and only use those ones. Employ a strategy that will help you organize all incoming queries and answer everyone promptly.
  • To overcome the communication gap between trainer and gym member, you can also utilize different softwares to keep everything aligned and updated.

 Broken, Scattered Equipment


The reason why gym members come to gym rather than working out at home is because they can utilize the equipment. If your gym’s equipment is broken, make it a priority to get it fixed at your earliest. As soon as members leave the weight room, make sure that the weights are re-stacked so that they can be conveniently used by other members. Scattered weights make your gym look like a war zone, where members have to battle to pick the right weights.


  • Be quick to get your broken or faulty equipment fixed. Delaying this important issue can make your gym members frustrated and can cause some injuries too.
  • Instruct your staff to keep emphasizing that the members should re-stack their weights after using them. You can add some penalty for clients who procrastinate about putting them back again. Punish defaulters with 20 push-ups or 15 squats every time they fail to put back the weights.

Crowded Gym


Its Monday, the International Chest Day. Every chest lover is looking to build on those protruding muscles. Your client has an excellent training plan, however, he can’t find a vacant machine to fulfill his dreams. He tries to be as flexible as possible by replacing the cable flyes with pec-deck. But he notices that the pec-deck is also not available. And there are already long waiting lines for the machine.

You cannot give your customer the perfect solution to Monday’s overcrowding at the gym. Since most of the jobs have working hours 9 to 5, gyms are mostly packed from 6 pm to 9 pm. However, there are still tips that can help you beat Monday’s mania.


  • Note down peak hours of your gym and circulate them among all members, so that clients who have spare time during other parts of the day can train at their convenience.
  • Giving away discounts on off-peak hours will give incentive to members to workout on other times.

Texting & Exercising

A new gym workout trend has emerged. It is a combination of performing workout while texting with one hand. There is no way one can stop you from using your mobile phone during or in between exercises. However, if you keep someone waiting in line, while you are busy Textercising, it is condemnable.


  • Put up clear signage that making someone wait for a machine while you text is disapproved by your gym management.
  • You can also put up signs that texting a lot won’t help you gain thumb mass.

End Note

In order to ensure customer retention, you must work towards making your customers happy. This can only be done if you provide them a safe and clean workout experience along with excellent customer service. You clients won’t feel motivated if you are not providing them with functional equipment or caring for their safety and hygiene. By adhering to the above-mentioned problems, you can address the most important issues members usually face in the gym.


Tags: Gyms & Clubs

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