As I mentioned in a previous blog, most gyms focus on acquiring new members but retention must be one of your main objectives for any fitness business.
Firstly, let’s define retention – simply put this is how long a member pays you before they cancel their membership.
Increasing your average retention rate by only one month could add thousands of dollars to your bottom line and it costs almost nothing to do it.
A simple birthday or thank you card (or email), offering a loyalty program (like the airlines) and really connecting with them on a personal level could make the difference between a member staying or going.
Ensure staff are interested in them as a person, not a number, make sure your club is clean, there is proper support available, members see that money is being re-invested back into the gym, staff are happy doing their job and the price reflects the level of service they receive. This isn’t rocket science, but it can sure make the difference between a thriving gym and one going out the door!
Social media plays a big part as well. Run regular promos and contents just for your fans and followers. Listen to what they are saying, ask for their thoughts as this shows you appreciate their loyalty and deepens the relationship you have with your fan base.
Bu what about members or clients who used to go to your gym or use your training services but have since left? Are they gone for good or can you win them back?
If they have moved out of the area, it is unlikely they will use your services unless they move back (just like buying a house, location, location, location is the number one reason a person chooses a fitness centre).
But maybe they just became unmotivated, lost direction, financial reasons, work pressures or they weren’t using the gym enough and decided to let the membership lapse. There is a chance these people can be won back.
So how can this be done? Well what about keeping one step ahead – make sure they don’t leave in the first place. Look for the warning signs, those members who haven’t visit your facilities for a while and their membership is about to run out are the obvious ones. This is why it is important to keep in regular contact with your members to show you appreciate them and you value their business.
But if they have cancelled their membership, then create a special incentive just for them, give them a discounted rate, mail them a membership key tag, contact them personally to see if they have reached their goals, get on the phone and talk to them – make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Send out a postcard with an empty running machine or a lonely weights room – say how it just isn’t the same without them. Then remind them of all the reasons they joined in the first place.
If they joined once, chances are they could join again if you should how much you have missed them.