Member retention has long been a hot button topic in the fitness industry. Facility administrators have debated the ways to keep their member base engaged in programs, thereby increasing member retention rates. Consider this; the 2014 IHRSA Consumer Report claims that 80% of your members don’t see membership as a long term purchase decision, at least not until they’ve reached their mid 40’s. Over the last three years, attendance of the average health club member has remained steady at about 100 visits annually. In 2013, approximately one third of members used their facility less than once a week and another 13% used it less than twice a week. When you consider how often your members frequent your facility, it’s no wonder they struggle rationalizing their membership fee.
hy are your members cancelling their memberships? (According to the 2014 IHRSA Global Report)
- 40% felt they could not afford their membership.
- 30% felt they weren't going to the gym enough to justify their membership.
- 20% moved so that the location of their gym was less than convenient.
- 19% found alternative places to exercise for little or no cost.
- 17% felt the gym was too crowded.
- 11% had to quit due to extenuating circumstances such as an injury, illness, surgery, etc.
- 9% of members felt they didn't fit in.
- 8% lost their job and could no longer afford a membership.
- 7 % simply didn't enjoy exercising.
- 5% said they didn't fulfill their health and fitness goals.
- 4% were intimidated by their gym.
- 4% felt a lack of guidance.
- 3% became more interested in exercising somewhere besides the gym.
- 2% met their fitness goals and were ready to move on.
- 2% didn't know any one at their gym.
- 1% cited "other" reasons.
A member’s perception of their gym means everything. Minimize member cancellation rates and and create raving fans of your business with these suggestions:
- Don’t sell your club membership short: Industry thought leaders say members who pay a higher initiation fee stay longer than those that don’t. Data suggests the higher the fee, the longer the member stays - they directly relate. This is because these members have made an investment and/or commitment to their membership. Find the sweet spot with your initiation amount by making sure it shows there is value in your offering but it's also practical.
Determine the needs of your members and then deliver: Evaluate member’s goals and motivation for joining and make sure you have membership options and tools that allow the member to meet those goals.
Consider different membership options: Based on the needs of your member base, consider offering different membership options so members get the most bang for their buck.
Insist on regular assessments: Consistent check in’s and assessments provide social interaction and connection with fitness staff, something many insutry leaders suggest is crucial to long term memberships. Also, it shows the member that their goals are important to your staff.
Offer samples of new programs: Keep members on their toes by offering low cost samples of new programs. This keeps members talking about the latest and greatest, the energy high and helps to maintain engagement. A great way to do this is by running frequent wellness challenges on a regular basis involving whatever program you’d like to spotlight.
Invite feedback: Make sure members are invited to provide feedback, both good and bad. Members should feel like they can provide feedback and if it needs action, it’ll be taken seriously.
Stay on top of trends: Members like to know their membership dues are going directly into their facility. Make changes to programming, equipment and other offerings based on the feedback you’ve received. Set yourself apart from competitors and stay on top of technology, trends and feedback.
Hire friendly people: Your staff can make or break the reputation of your facility. This can be easier said than done, but try to hire people that love what they do, and your members will feel it. You are in the business of customer service and that means ensuring members feel as if their individual needs are important to you.
Make membership social: Consider opportunities for socializing outside of member's normal workout hours. Host member appreciation parties, meet ups, fundraisers for a cause - any opportunity to make their workout experience a social one.
Having trouble getting some of these ideas off the ground? Fit3D is here to help. Contact us to find out how our customers have seen incredible improvement in member retention with our solution.