Every type of fitness club will eventually lose some members as time progresses. You can have all the latest and greatest exercise machines, cutting edge fitness classes and savvy instructors and still lose a member from time to time. Such losses are only problematic if they stem from reasons that can be remedied. As an example, if you fail to upgrade your facility's equipment on a regular basis or if the locker rooms are unclean, a lack of member retention is serious cause for concern. Let's take a look at the top reasons why gym members quit their local fitness facility.
1. “The gym membership was too costly.”
An uber-expensive gym membership that prices out the middle class is a major problem. However, even moderately priced gym memberships can spur fitness fanatics to quit if they feel the price is not justified. In fact, the top reason for quitting the gym is the inability to afford the cost of the membership. It is clear that price is the top consideration of most gym members. This is a fixable issue.
It is not necessary to lower the price of the gym membership by a significant margin. All you have to do is justify the current cost of a membership to existing members as well as prospective gym-goers. Go to great lengths to ensure members are content with their experience at the facility. Reinvest in machines, fitness class equipment, high-quality instructors and remodeling to keep members satisfied.
2. "I wasn't going to the gym frequently enough to justify the cost of a membership."
This is also a fixable problem. Spend some time brainstorming ways to keep members fully engaged with the facility. Add new high-tech equipment, bring on talented fitness instructors and/or implement trendy group fitness classes and your members will be motivated to make extensive use of their gym membership. Keep them coming to the gym and they won't even consider canceling their membership. If necessary, institute a rewards program to enhance member engagement.
3. “I moved to a new apartment or house that is too far away from the gym.”
This is one of those rare reasons for quitting the gym that can't be fixed. It is not possible to retain a member who moves far away from your facility.
4. “I can exercise elsewhere without spending my hard-earned money.”
This reason is somewhat fixable. Convincing an individual with this mindset to remain a member at your gym will prove challenging. It is difficult to compete with services that are offered for free. However, you have won this battle in the past and you are even winning it today.
The truth is that everyone has the ability to head on out to the local park for an exercise session. People can also exercise from home at no cost. Yet they choose to head on out to the gym. As long as you keep offering equipment, classes and services people are willing to pay for, you will retain existing members and recruit new members. Keep your gym equipment up to date, train your staff to act in a courteous manner, sweat the subtleties of the member experience and you will provide ample value for current customers as well as prospective customers.
5. “The gym is way too crowded during the hours when I work out.”
The definition of “crowded” is highly subjective. Those who grew up in rural environments will consider a partially full gym to be crowded. Those who have spent significant time in urban settings probably won't consider a fitness facility crowded until it nears maximum capacity. The good news is that enough people have joined your gym to make it crowded in the first place. Unfortunately, some members desire a considerable amount of free space while working out.
Consider expanding your gym to accommodate more members. You can add new spaces for workout machines, free weights, a track, personal training sessions and so on. You can designate specific portions of the facility for those who desire extra personal space. It is also possible to find ways to encourage members to work out at different times of the day and night. As an example, you can host group fitness classes during off-peak hours to even out the number of members in the facility throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. Or, you can offer a low-cost membership program for those who are willing to exercise late at night or during other off-peak hours. Be creative and you will eventually find a way to bring a steady flow of members to the facility at all hours of the day and night.