Top Tips for Increasing Member Retention
We know in January you will see a very impressive increase in membership, with people eager to shift their excess Christmas weight and reach their New Year’s Fitness resolutions. So you may ask why with all these additional members should you focus on member retention?
The simple answer is because you can’t afford not to. When Christmas seems a distant memory, you want to make sure your facility doesn’t too! Experts estimate that it can cost as much as five times more to attract new members than it does to keep existing ones, so why not focus on exceeding your members expectations as your business will thank you for it!
We know that the challenge can come when it’s hard to understand what makes your members leave, and where you can make changes to stop this from happening in the future. Therefore to support you with this, we have shared some of our top tips to support you in boosting your member retention which can mean the difference between a successful facility and a struggling one.
Communication is the Key
The importance of communication cannot be overstated; it’s vital to a fitness facilities success. However, many gyms fail to deliver on the simple yet essential act of interacting with their members. It doesn’t have to mean creating and implementing a complicated communication strategy, it can be as simple as all your staff ensuring they greet members with hello, how is your day?
The vast majority of members like it when staff speak to them. Yet in a recent study, less than half of members reported that staff spoke to them during their last visit. That can be a killer for retention. Members who are never spoken to are nearly three times more likely to cancel their memberships than those who are always spoken to.
When getting fit stops being a leisure activity and turns into a chore, it can really increase the risk of cancellations. That’s because two of the biggest reasons members stay members are for fun and camaraderie.
When exercisers were asked to describe their ideal fitness experience, the number one attribute they mentioned was fun. Therefore, it is very important to ensure your facility keeps it interesting for members by:
- Creating a programme that has a variety of inspiring classes.
- Experienced personal trainers who can create engaging programmes for members.
- Fitness equipment that is engaging and challenging to use.
Having the right equipment
Investing in new equipment? If so make sure this equipment is suited to your market. If you are aiming at a facility full of digital savvy millennials then you need to make sure your equipment is connected and can be personalized. If your equipment doesn’t meet their needs, then you will soon find your membership level for this demographic will decline.
Make sure you keep up to date with current fitness trends as these may influence your members. The ACSM report for Fitness trends in 2018 stated that HIIT training, Group training and Wearable technology were the top 3 trends for 2018 so these are areas you should keep in mind when picking your equipment.
Find out the motives
Many people are motivated to join by a desire to improve their fitness and appearance, however according to a study that surveyed 10,000 health and fitness members, they remain long-term members for social and enjoyment opportunities. That's right - turns out that the motives that influence member retention most are friendship and fun.
Members who can see they are making progress to their goals are also more likely to continue with a facility. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your members motives and adapt your programme accordingly if you don’t feel you are helping them meet their goals.
We hope these top tips support you in boosting your member retention, and for more information on how Life Fitness can support you with our services and solutions visit our website.