Tips & Strategies for Increasing Member Retention
It’s that time of year again. The time where you notice that your gym, which was once bustling with motivated new faces, has begun to revert back to its state of mostly “the regulars”. The new year likely brought with it a surge of new memberships, and while your regular members may be grateful they aren’t having to fight over machines anymore, you are getting nervous about all the new additions that have been jumping ship.
Research shows that almost a third of all resolutions are related to health and fitness, which can lead to a big spike for the fitness industry. Unfortunately, data also shows that people are likely to give up on those resolutions as early as mid-January.
So, what can you do to not only attract new members, but also to keep them? Below are our key strategies to help you keep your members satisfied, successful, and coming back for more.
Personalize the Experience
It all starts at the front desk. Your members have done the hard part – they’ve put on their workout clothes and made it to the gym. Now it’s your turn to make sure they don’t walk right back out the door. Make sure you front desk staff is ready to greet members and guests with a smile when they come in and learn their names. Creating a welcoming and familiar atmosphere that let’s your members know that you care about them and are invested in helping them achieve their goals.
Take the personalization a step further and utilize your member data to reach out to them at the right time of their journey. Collecting data such as check-ins, purchases, goals, and milestones can help you hone in on when certain members might be in need of a little extra encouragement and when the best time is to send them offers about your profit centers or referrals. Noticed a certain member hasn’t been coming to the gym lately? Send them a friendly email or call them to try and get them back in the groove before it’s too late and they cancel.
Create New Challenges
Though a regular routine can be a great thing, too much routine can lead to boredom. Make sure you’re keeping things interesting for your members with regular challenges and events that keep them engaged. Having regular fitness or weight loss challenges will not only get your members back on track with their goals, but also helps build the sense of community that truly drives retention.
Another great challenge is based off of number of annual check-ins, where those who achieve a certain threshold receive recognition and a t-shirt. Challenges offer the opportunity for members to get to know each other, to motivate each other, and to cheer for each other’s accomplishments.
Listen to Your Members
The best way to find out what members want out of your club is to ask. A traditional paper survey, or a more sophisticated digital survey on your website or sent via email, can provide insight on the areas you need to improve. It could be that your facility needs more regular cleanings, or that the music is too loud, or it could be that you don’t offer classes at times that accommodate a variety of schedules.
Repeat the survey several times throughout the year to ensure that you are continuing to provide the best experience possible and don’t be shy on following up personally with those who give you feedback, letting them know you appreciate it and what you will do to address their concern.
At the end of the day, your members are what make your gym what it is. The community that you build is what takes your facility from being somewhere your members have to go, to somewhere they look forward to going. By showing that you know them, you are rooting for them, and that you are always looking to improve for them, you will build solid relationships with your members that can last long beyond their resolutions.