It’s no secret that gym owners have a difficult job. It feels like there are a million different things to manage, especially in those early days when you’re trying to get set up and bring in new members.
You’re probably focussing a lot of time and attention on ways to bring people through the door, but you also need to be careful to keep current clients happy. The lifeblood of any gym are the longstanding members who renew their membership year-after-year. In this article we take a look at some of the best ways to ensure your retention rate is outstanding.
1. Goals, goals, goals!
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing a gym goer or member achieve their health and fitness goals. But to do this they first need to record them somewhere. You should check in frequently to see what their aspirations are as well as chat about their progress. This shows that you really care by paying attention to their individual circumstances and expressing interest in it.
If their attendance starts declining, you can use your personal knowledge to help them get back on track with their fitness journey.
If you have permission, you could even contact them over text or email to highlight a past achievement and encourage them to come back in. It’s also an opportunity to offer help or advice. Overall, it’s a great way to show that you truly care about their journey.
2. Host a variety of different events.
Retention can be affected by how much an individual member feels like they are part of a community. If a member has had the opportunity to have built social ties in your gym, it’s unlikely they will consider moving to another fitness centre.
Building a thriving community requires a wide range of events, both one-time and recurring. A gym is a great space for many kinds of events due to its layout and configuration. Just a few you may consider are family gatherings, movie nights, book clubs and even happy hour social events. It’s time to use your creativity to its full potential!
You’ll definitely see less emails saying “I need to pause my membership for a few months” if your gym has become a top social and community destination. .
3. Break out that winning smile
Every time a member walks through the door you have an opportunity to make a positive impression and you should be doing everything you can to make them feel welcome. They should always be greeted by a member of staff within a few seconds of arriving.
You’re letting them know that they are important by making the effort to say, “Hello!”
This is another way of making them feel welcomed and part of a group. While you need to be sensitive to individual comfort levels, a lot of people love a high five or a fist bump as they arrive. You can also encourage these in group classes to further build that sense of being part of a team. Your members will enjoy the genuine connection you build with them via this tiny act of kindness.
This can be especially important to welcome new members and help them become part of the community. Ensure you learn their name as soon as possible and use it when you see them. You may also want to assist them with a workout buddy in a group class.
Keeping in touch multiple times over the first 90 days can make the difference between them dropping off or sticking around. Many coaches think people are settled into their gym routine after the first few weeks, but they may still need assistance. Make the time to check in with them and see if they need help or advice.
4. Have an App and make it easy to use
The great news for modern gym owners is that there are a variety of software and app solutions that you can use to bring your facility into the digital age. Make sure you choose one that can provide an amazing app experience as it’s a no-brainer for increasing member retention and enjoyment. For many people, going to the gym is more fun when you can track your workouts, RSVP for classes, and pay for things all from a single, convenient app.
Apps that are difficult to use are likely to have the exact opposite effect and make them feel negatively about your gym.
Investigate to see if the gym mobile app you’re using supports your goals. You may want to look for a new solution if your current software isn’t helping your company grow. Check out Triib for an example of an excellent product for gyms looking to help retain their members.
5. What’s your recruitment strategy
You need to be sensitive to your local community and clientele to have the right recruitment strategy. Are your clients mostly looking for personal trainers or would they rather join a fitness class or group? This will affect what kind of promotions or messaging you put out to draw in new members.
When it comes to enticing new members, you may connect with them through a simple text message, or draw them in through a full-scale campaign across a variety of platforms. The essential thing is to have a considered strategy and approach behind it.
We hope these tips will help you and your gym keep your members happy, engaged and coming back through the door.