As a gym owner, you want your members to be happy because you know they’ll stick around if you provide a fantastic member experience. Member retention is key to the success of your business and, despite a statistically-high churn rate in the fitness industry, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
You simply need to find strategic ways to create loyal customers who continually renew their membership and invite friends. Remember, it’s easier to keep your current members than acquire new ones.
Here are seven pro tips for improving retention from our friends at Membership Geeks and Hubspot:
1. Create An Epic Welcome.
First impressions are everything. When someone joins your gym, they want to feel welcomed and important. At the very least, make sure you cover the basics with them: Where to find the class schedule, how to sign up for classes, what membership billing entails, etc.
You can then significantly improve member retention with community introductions (in class and on social media), personalized goal-setting sessions and milestone celebrations through your gym management software.
2. Make Your Brand Different.
Branding for your fitness business is a big deal. Your gym is unique and your branding should reflect that. Make sure your brand image conveys what your brand is truly about. Yes, you’ll want to think about things like colors and font, but more importantly, focus on your purpose, mission, brand voice, differentiation, etc.
If members feel connected to your brand, they’ll likely take more initiative to spread the love. This could mean buying more gear to rep your brand in public or inviting friends to share in their member experience.
2. Interact And Engage With Your Members.
When people join your gym, they want to be assured that you truly care about them. They have chosen to support your business and they deserve a carefully-crafted, connected experience. Get to know your members, their goals and hurdles.
This can be done through face-to-face interaction in your gym, social media posts, automated engagement, etc. Find fun and creative ways to interact and engage with your customers, then watch member retention soar.
3. Help Members Set Goals.
Even though you have amazing coaches and a strong community, the reason people join your gym in the first place is that they’re trying to achieve a goal (or several).
Show your members how you can help by discussing their goals and creating a plan to achieve them. Not only will this show them that you care, but they’ll have a clearly-defined path to success.
4. Build A Strong Community.
One of the biggest differentiators in boutique fitness and big box gyms is the community. Your members want to feel connected and surrounded by others with like-minded, healthy-lifestyle goals.
Organize community events outside the gym or rally members around a good cause with a fundraising event. Create small groups based on members’ hobbies or interests. Design a space in your gym that encourages members to congregate and socialize. Finding fun ways to build a strong community improves member retention. If you connect your members, you’ll give them plenty of reasons to stay at your gym for years.
5. Diversify Your Services.
Variety is the spice of life for a reason. Especially when it comes to fitness, people need some diversity, for both motivation and results. Cycling, yoga and boxing are all great options but if your gym only offers one fitness genre, you may need to find creative ways to mix it up.
For example, yoga studios could offer strength-based versions of a yoga class, or a mix of 30 minutes of strength with 30 minutes of yoga. Create excitement for people to continue going to class and trying something different.
6. Prioritize Consistency.
Not only will your most consistent members generally enjoy the best results, they’re also getting the highest price-per-use out of their membership. This consistency all but ensures that they’re seeing the value of being a member at your gym. Understanding that value leads to satisfied customers and therefore increases your member retention rates.
Whether it’s through a monthly “Commitment Club” that rewards higher attendance or some other form of recognition, you’ll fill your gym with happy members if you prioritize consistency.
7. Reward Loyal Members.
Statistically speaking in most businesses, 20% of your customers produce 80% of your sales. That means that the more loyal customers you can create, the better.
You can develop customer loyalty in a variety of ways, starting with ensuring they have the best member experience possible. From there, incentivize them to be consistent with attendance, and to invite family and friends. Create unique challenges that will reward them with prizes and results. And remember: People love free stuff.
In Summary: Member Retention Comes From Satisfaction
From welcoming new members to rewarding loyalty, there are many ways to increase your member retention rates. Proactively put effort into designing these steps so that you can rest assured you’re providing the fitness journey that your members deserve. Everything you do for your community will add up to a phenomenal member experience for them, and increased loyalty and revenue for your business.