Over the last few years, the fitness sector skyrocketed to register a worldwide revenue of over $96 billion. But while the industry is in a secure place financially, in the global market, individual small gyms and studios sometimes struggle to stay afloat and secure loyal clients. Some of the drop-offs in customer numbers are expected.
For example, facilities are crowded with people trying to meet their New Year’s resolutions during January and February. But by March, many of them lose their enthusiasm and cancel their memberships.
And while gym owners expect this trend to impact their businesses, they don’t expect to lose some of their loyal clients because people losing their enthusiasm isn’t the only factor that plays into business’ fluctuating clients.
Retention has always been the main concern for gym owners because even if they’re regularly gaining new clients, they find it challenging to keep them for a long time. And a successful business needs to keep current clients because it costs six to seven times more to add a new one than keep the current ones.
It’s disheartening at the end of the day to see that you lose an old one for every three new gym members.
What Is Gym Member Retention?
We mentioned retention previously, but you may not know what the term implies if you’re new to marketing. Client retention is more or less the number of clients your business can keep over a certain period (six months, one year, two years).
When it comes to retaining loyal customers, not all fitness centers in the sector are the same, so their retention rates vary. The Association of Fitness Studios reveals that the average gym retention rate is 75.9%.
If you run a gym, one of the most significant metrics you need to keep a tab on is your member retention. It’s tempting to always focus on gaining new customers and ignore retention or let it take care of itself. But it can impact your revenue because loyal customers generate over 80% of your profit.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to retain clients and transform them into loyal members because they’re your main source of income. Sadly, it’s more challenging to persuade people to stick with you in the long run than capturing someone’s new attention with a flashy offer and keeping them for a month.
Also, if you’re focusing your efforts on keeping existing clients, you can save in the long term, and this could prove a smart decision if you’re already struggling with finances.
Here Are Some Effective Ways to Increase Gym Membership Retention
Make Being a Member Easy
Businesses’ greatest mistake when they try to evolve is making their processes more complex and inefficient. Doing periodic audits of your clients’ experience can help you identify their pain points. Audits should focus on questions like:
– Do your members find it easy to pay for a gym membership?
– What does checking-in for classes imply?
– Can people find your website online with a quick search?
– It’s easy to reach you when they need it?
– Is your gym app easy to use?
Request for Regular Feedback and Reviews
Besides auditing the customer experience, you provide gym members, ask for regular reviews and feedback from clients. The process is a win-win situation because it shows your clients that you appreciate their opinion while receiving criticism and praise for your services.
The feedback you receive can help you change your business model to suit your public’s needs better. Changing the quality of services according to their preferences shows them that you hear them and strive to make them feel better at the gym.
Customize Your Clients’ Gym Experience
It’s crucial to treat each member as a human and not another number. Don’t make them feel like you just try to make a profit, but show them that you care about their wellbeing and want to provide them with the best services.
Take time to gather information about each member and find out what their goals are and how you can assist them in achieving them. You can shoot videos together with your fitness trainers to provide them with information on how to practice safely. Send the videos to your clients’ emails to encourage them to ask for help if they need assistance.
Please Provide Them With a Clean and Well-Maintained Space
Nowadays, everyone is health-conscious, and you should protect your employees and clients. Keeping the gym clean and well-maintained allows you to maintain retention rates and prevent your employees from getting sick. For this reason, it’s essential to sanitize, clean, and maintain the space regularly.
Ensure the members have access to hot water after their training session to wash and refresh themselves. If your boiler breaks one day, don’t hesitate to rent a temporary boiler from a company specialized in boiler rentals to provide the clients with warm water nonstop. Make sure to tell the provider if you need a steam boiler rental or a hot water boiler.
Display an audit in each gym area to let the members know when the space was last cleaned and maintained.
Create a Rewards Program
A rewards program effectively boosts engagement with the fitness community and spreads the word about your services. And the best thing about developing a rewards program is that you can use your creativity and design one that meets your clients’ needs.
For example, you can promote a program that incentivizes gym participation. If the clients visit the gym over 20 times in one month, they gain a snack bar or a free bottle of vitamin water.
Rewards programs are great to engage with your public online and offline. Ask your members to share information about the gym on their social media, and they could earn free access to a class or a bag of goodies. There are countless examples of rewards programs that can help you boost retention rates and keep your members engaged with your brand.
Gym membership is crucial to sustain revenue and make your clients feel more valued. If you manage to retain your loyal clients, they’ll spread positive comments about your gym and bring new clients.
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