February Check-Up: How’s Your Gym’s Membership Retention?
You may be inclined to put your full focus on getting new members for your gym. That’s important, but it’s also essential for a successful gym to focus on member retention. In fact, you should make member retention your top priority over new memberships. Let’s take a look at this important marker of a healthy fitness business.
Why Should Membership Retention Matter to a Gym?
Member retention makes good business sense for any type of business, including gyms. Research has found that improving your retention rates by just a small margin of 5% can increase your profits by a significant 25% to 95%. And when you consider that it costs five to 25 times more to bring on a new customer (in this case, member) than it does to keep a current one, you find that there’s a much better return on investment from focusing the bulk of your attention on the group you already have coming to your gym.
On top of good financial sense, it also makes common sense to focus on keeping current members. These are people who have already chosen your gym over your competitors and like something your gym has to offer. Doesn’t it make sense to keep this kind of person around instead of having constant member churn and putting your focus on new members? The ones who have bought from you before are the ones who will be happy to do so again, and potentially to try new offerings with you, as long as you keep them satisfied with their experience.
And this is a group you can market to for free or low cost through means such as emails, an online member portal, and on-site marketing. You can also encourage current members to stay by continuously focusing on providing the best experience possible, both in terms of fitness and customer experience measures such as ease of payments and how interactive your website is.
Now that you know how important membership retention is, it’s time to focus on the retention processes and procedures you use in your business.
1: Do you track membership retention at your gym? If so, see how your numbers look and if there’s room for improvement. Compare your retention rates and efforts to your new member numbers and efforts to see if you’re prioritizing your business in the best way. If you’re not currently tracking member retention, this is something you should start doing. Gym management software can take on this role and easily track retention for you.
2: In addition to tracking retention, you should be putting efforts toward improving retention. Consider steps you can take to improve retention, such as providing a quality workout experience, having updated equipment, offering easy ways to pay dues, providing real-time class and trainer information on the website and making efforts to create a gym community. You can use gym management software to look for areas of improvement.
For example, it can show you popular class times and popular classes/teachers, which could help you put the right classes/teachers at the right times (and also to fill in gaps).
3: Overall, you should have processes and procedures that focus on membership retention at your gym. Track your retention, your member churn, the amount of money you put into current members compared to new members and other relevant measures. Create and follow processes that go along with prioritizing current members and keeping them happy. This is the way to satisfied members and a successful gym.