As a gym owner it sometimes feels like your to-do list is never-ending. It can be difficult to prioritise and decide where you should be spending time and effort. However, one area that should always be near the top are any strategies that you can use to keep your clients happy and reduce membership churn. Here we take a look at five of the best things you can do. You can mix and match and try a few different things. It’s important to not get disheartened if one doesn’t work well, move on to the next.
1. The more you talk, the better.
Every relationship, whether professional or personal, relies on effective communication. When you speak often and purposefully, you’re unlikely to be surprised by anything.
Find ways and opportunities to regularly communicate with all members. There are so many ways you can reach out these days, including SMS, email, snail mail, instant chat, etc. In can be good to send personal messages on important dates like birthdays.
More than that, face-to-face communication is also critical. You may want to schedule a time to have a chat and a cup of coffee with veteran or VIP members. This way you can get real insight into what their experience of the gym is.
Members will know you care about them and their goals by keeping frequent and intentional lines of communication open.
2. Keep comprehensive attendance records
If you don’t track attendance you won’t know when people are starting to fall off or when they might need an extra bit of encouragement. You should be exporting data records and checking them at least once a month, if not more often.
You need to be aware of regular attendance in order to know who’s showing up and who isn’t. Once you’ve compiled a list of members who haven’t come to the gym in a while, you may check in with them to see how they’re doing.
A simple phone call or text message reassuring a member that you’ve noticed their prolonged absence from the gym may go a long way in getting them back on track.
Using the attendance tracker is also a great way to show your appreciation to members who have been exceptionally reliable (either publicly or privately). You could even add in a gamification element by rewarding people with consistent attendance.
To do this effectively, it’s important to be using top quality gym management software. Something that’s easy to use but is powerful enough to do everything you need to run your business. A great example, is Triib.
3. Building connections between members
It can be helpful for your members (and encourage them to stick around) if they build genuine relationships with each other, turning the gym into a community rather than a facility.
As your gym becomes a central focus for their social circle, they will be less inclined to leave and go somewhere else.
The gym is a great place to meet new people and develop long-lasting friendships since it allows people to socialise as well as train together.
To do this, you’re going to need to teach your staff ways they can encourage and make connections between members. At staff meetings, bring up the topic of coaching as a means of bridging differences among employees. Coaches can encourage these personal connections by asking questions of members, building conversation prompts into training as well as highlighting things that other group members may find interesting about each other.
4. Show members how well they are doing
Everyone likes to see some progress and be able to tell if they’re improving. If your members can see improvement, they are more inclined to stick around.
There are a number of ways you can do this at higher and lower effort levels. You may be able to record stats like fat percentage or fitness tests. Or you may keep a photographic record that shows progress at regular intervals. Finally, you have a standard workout that you can use to judge personal fitness levels.
No matter what you do, it needs to be consistent and regular for it to have the impact and effect you would like.
5. Shower members with value add-ons
Regularly reflect on the question, “How can we offer more value for our members?”. In order to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to show your members what makes you different from the others.
As a business owner, there are various methods to show your clients that you care about their experience with your gym or studio. You may think about things like a podcast, video tips each day of the week, free shopping lists and free toiletries in the bathroom as well as monthly community activities, to mention just a few possibilities.