Many gym owners are asking the same question: "How do I keep my members happy?" Really what they’re asking is how do I increase member retention.
It's a tough question to answer, but it is crucial for your business. If you can't retain customers, then you won't be able to grow your business. In this blog post we'll go over 3 tactics to help uncover common pain points that gym members experience and how to address them so that they stay with your club longer!
When someone first joins your gym they’re typically doing it for one or more of the following reasons:
- Improve Physical Health
- Improve Mental Health
- Lose Weight
- Look Better
- Increase Energy
- Increase Strength
If your sales process correctly identifies their underlying reason for walking through your doors then it should be easy to help them accomplish their goal... right? (fyi, we wrote a blog post on the sales process!)
Then why do people leave before they’ve accomplished what they signed up for?
There are a ton of reasons why this happens, but most can be lumped into 2 big buckets:
- Your members aren't perfectly clear on the path to accomplish their goal.
- Your members have accomplished their original goal, but haven't set another.
The solution to keeping your clients out of either of these buckets is to be highly engaged with each client without annoying them. Here are the top 3 ways make sure the members at your gym aren’t falling into a churn bucket.
Goal setting sessions
Think of your gym as a flight map and you’re air traffic control. Some times a change of course is needed to arrive at a destination. There is also a need for a new destinations and rescheduling. If you’re not helping each of your clients course correct on their fitness journey, or listening to their new goals after they’ve lost 30lbs, they’ll go some place that will.
Just like in your original sales process, ask questions that get to the root of the goal. Ask them what their new goal is, and ask how you can help. If they give you the excuse that “they’re too busy to workout anymore” don't accept it at face value! This will be a lot more effective than just saying "no problem". Ask if there is anything in your club that could fit into their schedule. If you get an agreement then give them more specific times to come back and chat with them about their new goals before they leave!
Be someone that is interested in each member's success, not just your bottom line. You'll be shocked by how loyal members will stay if you truly take care of them!
Create a Plan
What will it take from your member? What will it take from their coach? How long will it take? Where are the pitfalls? These are just a few questions that your plan should address.
Your plan should also include expectations for each side. No one likes being disappointed or misaligned, and creating a plan together ensures that no one is going to feel like they're let down or out of the loop about what's happening in their fitness journey.
A plan is also a great way to help your members measure their progress, and be accountable for it. When people know what's expected of them they will usually strive towards that goal!
Tip: Make sure to include future check-in points as part of the plan. This gives you and your member an opportunity to check-in regularly and make sure that they are still on the path to success.
If your client could achieve their goal with just equipment and a plan, they’d probably go somewhere cheaper. Part of what they are paying for is accountability. Whether they know it or not, that's what one of the reasons why they came to you.
Your client needs accountability, so follow up!
Make sure to follow up on your plan, keep the lines of communication open about results and progress. This is what makes a member feel like they’re being taken care of by their coach!
Your members pay for service every month so make sure that you are delivering it each time in different forms until the client has reached their goals.
At KS Athletic Club we use PushPress Grow to send an automated text message at key times in their journey with the intent of soliciting a response. “Hey [member name], just wanted to check in and see how you’re progressing? Any stumbling points you’d like to chat about?” These conversation starters provide a way to hear about issues without being intrusive.
Leverage a System
Using PushPress Grow allows for the entire KS Athletic Club team to get involved in responding to these conversation starters. The more hands you have working together, the faster they’ll reach their goal! Automating the messages, and using copy that has been proven effective in getting replies is key.
Everyone knows when a message isn’t authentic and comes from an automated system. Be brief, and message in your tone of voice. If you’re not sure what the tone should be, check out some of your most successful messages and use them for an example!
Drive to a Goal
Each conversation should begin with your member stating “Things are great! I got this!”, or “I have a question about ____”. If the plan needs adjustment you need to find out now. If the plan is working, stay the course!
Create a place where goals and accomplishments are celebrated. This could exist digitally in your favorite community app, or physically on a wall in your gym. As people scratch their goal off the board, celebrate it, then reach out to them about setting a new one.
If you see someone who doesn’t have a goal on the board, ask them what they’re looking to accomplish and if they’d like to set a goal session.
Here are my top tips on making a killer celebration board.
Keep it clean
We’ve all seen the goal board with “Squat 315 lbs” scribbled on it in barely legible handwriting. You don’t know who wrote it, they forgot they wrote it, now it’s just an ugly eye sore. Put a little more effort into the display to keep it clean, or better yet go digital and leverage a cheap system like Screen Cloud to put goals on a scrolling TV screen.
Make it big
A celebration board is a great way to give your gym an extra touch of awesome. It’s also the first thing that potential members see when they walk in the door, so make sure it stands out! Get creative with how you display this on your wall and what kind of message you send by putting it out there.
And Make It A Big Deal!
Celebrate your members!
Your goal as a coach should be to put people on the path of success, celebrate it with them when they reach their goals! Make sure you tell them why you’re celebrating by sharing what that looks like for future clients. Drop in a line about how awesome they are for achieving this goal! “Congratulations, you’re doing great! Keep going as "Suzy" is looking forward to being able to do that with their kids. :-)”
Post to social media, shout out in a newsletter, ringing a PR bell, gifts, and more! You and the client both executed a fitness plan in a busy world to achieve something. If you can’t celebrate that, what can you celebrate?!?!
One of the best ways to keep your members active and happy is by addressing member pain points. When you are able to identify what they need, whether it’s a goal setting session or just some encouragement, you can work towards making their experience with your gym more rewarding. Whether this means automating conversation starters through PushPress Grow or creating a physical celebration board where goals are celebrated, these three tactics will help boost customer engagement in your fitness center.