Here are the top 5 reasons why members are leaving your gym
- Members are not Achieving Fitness Goals
- No Sense of Community
- Programs Fail to Meet Member Expectations
- Lack of Diverse Workouts and New Experiences
- Poor Customer Service
Have you wondered why fitness businesses lose over half of their new members within the first 6 months? Well, you’re not the only one who can’t quite figure out why their gym members are leaving. In fact, 90% of other gym owners in your shoes. So, after using some of the most successful gyms as a case study, we’ve uncovered the top 5 reasons why your gym members are leaving and what you can do to figuratively fight back.
Find out exactly why members are leaving your gym behind
According to IHRSA research around 50% of the members that leave your club, do so for a reason that is considered controllable. What does this mean? Well, it means you can help reduce the quantity of members that are leaving your gym. Why is member retention so important? Well, it will cost you 5 times as much to get a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. So yes, spend some extra time and listen to your member complaints to discover any concerns they may have before they cancel the membership. This will not only increase your revenue in the long term but also grow your customer base and improve satisfaction levels.
So, why are your members leaving and what can you do about it?
The truth is, these reasons will be different for every club as they are highly dependent on multiple variables, ranging from customer service levels, facility location, equipment quality to classes. But what are the most common reasons causing your members to walk out that door? And what mitigation strategies can you implement to improve your retention rates? After conducting our research we have found the answers you are looking for. Just keep on reading, because trust us, you do not want to miss out on this.
Members are not Achieving Fitness Goals
People often join the gym after they have set a personal fitness goal for themselves, such as losing weight, toning up or simply wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. Many gyms expect clients to find their own motivation, get themselves to the gym everyday and clean up their diets. Well, this is easier said than done. Many members struggle applying themselves to the gym and will not see the results they are aiming for, this can be extremely demotivating and cause members to skip workouts in favour of a warm bed. As members stop attending the gym, the overall customer experience is heavily impacted, causing members to question why they are still paying for gym services. In their eyes a membership is no longer necessary because they are not receiving the value sought when first signing up. It’s actually this sentiment behind inflated cancellation rates post-January. Members get that New Year motivation and when they realise that results aren’t gained in a day, many end up leaving.
So, what can you do when our members have lost their fitness mojo? Or more importantly, how can you avoid our members from losing motivation in the first place?
The simple answer is guidance. Set goals from day 1 to influence their behaviour patterns and muster gym motivation. Many successful gyms help their members set goals and give their members tracking tools to monitor their progress with ease. Get your staff to check in with your members on a regular basis, discuss any struggles they might be experiencing and how they can overcome them. One of the largest obstacles faced by members is typically related to diet. In fact, poor nutrition is one of the key reasons members are not achieving their fitness goals. To help with this aspect of your member’s fitness journey your gym could offer special deals on meal plans and customise these to their needs. In addition to recommending food trackers such as MyFitnessPal to improve macro awareness and eating habits. Through a combination of support and tracking tools, members will have a higher chance of maintaining motivation which will result in better results.
Remember, when your members are achieving their fitness goals, this will lead to higher satisfaction levels and retention rates for your gym.
No Sense of Community
A sense of community has become a critical and defining aspect of successful fitness businesses. Members want to walk into your gym space and feel at ease. In fact, data shows that a sense of community is one of the top motivators for consumers to join and attend a gym. What does this mean? When a sense of community is lacking from your business members can feel uncomfortable or like they do not belong, this could have a huge impact on satisfaction and attendance. Why would clients keep coming back when they do not feel good?
Building a strong gym community will provide your customers with engaging training sessions, supportive environments and encouraging social experiences. This will result in higher member achievement, retention and referral rates for your gym.
Want to stop your gym members leaving by creating an inclusive gym community? You can read the full article here!
Programs Fail to Meet Member Needs
Programs failing to meet member expectations is another common reason why members end up leaving a gym. Clients might find that your classes are not engaging and held at inconvenient times. It won’t matter how badly they want to attend, because if they are unable to make the class due to work commitments or are simply bored by it… members will not be able to engage with the club.
Having great classes is the foundation of a good fitness business. Why? Because research has found that members who are engaged in group classes are more likely to be long-term members. It creates a great environment and brings members together who share similar goals and aspirations, resulting in more motivated members and increased achievements. As these classes will create higher levels of accountability and support compared to a solo workout.
Of course, you will not be able to cater to everyone’s needs, but try utilising your gym software to monitor business metrics and trends within class attendance. Run several reports to discover what times are popular and on which days? Switching up your timetable could help better serve your members and improve retention rates.
Lack of Diverse Workouts and New Experiences
Sticking to a regular training routine is not easy for members, especially when the classes become repetitive and lose that sense of excitement. Lack of diverse workouts and unvaried environments can greatly impact and diminish retention rates, as members might get bored or feel like they need a change to find motivation. The truth is, even the most loyal customers can move on should a gym environment become void of excitement.
So how do you keep workouts different and exciting? Implement new experiences and different class types!
Each member will have different needs and wants, as such you will have to try and cater to these needs. This can be done by introducing a variety of classes and training styles. Do members want something slow and steady? Your answer might be yoga or pilates. What about thrill seekers, looking for an intensive workout? Well, a few crossfit or bootcamp classes would be ideal!
Request some feedback from your members to see what type of training they would like to see at your gym. We encourage you to get creative and come up with some new cool workouts to not only meet your members needs but get them pumped to come to the gym every day All you might have to do is start organising a few off-site workouts which can consist of mountain climbing, beach workouts or park bootcamps. These new experiences will not only encourage your members to change up their training environment but also to bond with each other. As such, social interaction will give your clients another reason to look forward to coming to your gym.
So yes, there are a lot of benefits associated with having a diverse class schedule and implementing new experiences. To name a few, increased customer satisfaction, revenue streams, retention and referral rates. What are you waiting for? Start asking around and run some reports to ensure your timetable is diverse and exciting enough for your customer base.
Poor Customer Service
Last but not least, the inability to provide good customer service can have a huge impact on retention rates and the success of your fitness business. To really highlight the importance of this point, let’s take a look at some customer service statistics:
- After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend.
- When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price.
- After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
Now if these statistics do not encourage you to focus on your customer service experience, I don’t know what will! But keep in mind that great customer service does not only involve being friendly and smiling at your members, no it is much more than that! It is about the entire customer journey. So this can range from helping members get the results they want, creating personlised experiences and having trained staff to assist customers with queries. In fact, research shows that 44% of all members agree that when staff help them to achieve their fitness goals it increases their satisfaction levels. What does this mean? Happy customers become loyal customers, resulting in higher retention rates, referrals and revenue streams for your fitness business. Sounds easy enough right? So what are some steps we can take to ensure high customer satisfaction?
5 ways to improve customer service are; train your staff, listen and encourage feedback, personalised member experiences, celebrate member milestones and make being a member easy.
Want to truly learn how to retain gym members, even when you think it’s too late? Read our full article here!
What Percentage of Gym Members Actually Go?
Having an average retention rate in the mid-60% range, the fitness industry is known to see members come and go through their club doors. What percentage of gym members actually go… and why? These 5 statistics might give you a better idea;
- 12% of all new gym memberships occur in January
- According to a study 80% of gym members that join in January quit within 5 months
- 50% of all new gym members quit going within 6 months.
- 46% of ex gym members claimed the reason they quit was due to cost
- In an omnibus study of 1,000 Americans aged 16 and older, 23% of former members indicated they left the gym because they did not use the membership
Some of these statistics may not come as a surprise to you, it highlights that a large volume of members will join during the month of January. These individuals are commonly referred to as ‘New Year’s Resolutioners’, they start the year with a ‘new year, new me’ attitude and finally decide to join up to a gym to begin their fitness journey. Yes, when people buy their gym membership they do indeed have the best intentions in mind, but according to a 2012 study 80% of the members who joined during the month of January quit within 5 months. Why? These reasons can vary but quite commonly these commitments were made during an emotional state and no SMART goals were set (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals).
So, let’s summarise some of the points we have discussed to help reduce the number of members leaving and improve these statistics for your fitness business. Guide your members and help them set their goals, this will go hand in hand with the SMART goal setting framework. Remember, set these goals from day 1, provide tracking tools, check in on a regular basis and ask if they are facing any struggles. Followed by building an inclusive gym community, catering your programs and introducing new experiences. All of these variables in combination with great customer service will allow you to increase customer satisfaction, and what does this lead to? Loyal customers that will keep coming back!
Tools used by leading gyms to keep members coming back
Looking to get an edge when it comes to membership retention? One of the most underrated tools you can utilise is your gym management software. Why? Well, with the ability to hold essential business metrics and reveal customer trends, it allows you to optimise all operational processes. This means you not only gain more control over your business, but your members too.
The problem here is that unlike other tools, not all gym software is made equal. This is why we created VIGYR! The world’s premier club management system designed to build fitter businesses. Equipped with a powerful suite of innovative features, VIGYR has everything you will ever need to acquire new members and keep them coming back for years.
So, whether you run a small gym studio or lead a global fitness empire VIGYR Gym Software can help drive business growth like never before.