Top 5 Reasons You Lose Gym Members

Dec 20, 2022

 by Joe H.

Come January there is always an increase in gym memberships with people wanting to lose weight, get toned, and make a better effort to achieve their health and fitness goals. While these are admirable goals, many gyms will lose over half their new members within the first 6 months. 

Fortunately, many of the reasons members leave are considered controllable. That means as a gym owner, you can reduce the number of members that will inevitably leave your gym.

We’re going to talk about the 5 top reasons you lose membership and how to improve that number with better client retention. 

** Did you know that it will cost you about 5 times as much to get a new member than to retain an existing one? So, spending time to ensure these 5 things DON’T happen in your gym is essential. 

Not Achieving Fitness Goals
As we’ve mentioned before, people often join after they’ve set personal fitness goals for themselves. However, many don’t know how to follow through on those goals. Many gyms expect members to find their own motivation to get to the gym each day, know how to follow proper nutrition, and know what to do when they get to the gym. When gyms assume these things, they will lose members! 

Many members struggle and become frustrated when they aren’t seeing the results they expected because they are just flying blind trying to achieve those results. When new members feel lost and stop attending the gym because of a lack of motivation and knowledge, they wonder why they’re still paying for a membership that isn’t delivering their goals and they aren’t getting the value they expected.

New member onboarding and guidance are essential! From day 1 you need to influence their behavior patterns and give them motivation. Many successful gyms help their members set goals, the importance of proper nutrition, and give the tracking tools needed to monitor their progress with ease. Get your staff to check in on your members on a regular basis, recommend classes they may benefit from, and discuss any struggles they are experiencing, and how to overcome them. 

Remember, when your members are achieving their fitness goals, eating nutritiously, and becoming healthier, their satisfaction rates with the gym will increase as will retain rates. 

No Sense of Community

Members want to walk into a gym and feel at ease. In fact, data has shown that a sense of community is one of the main motivators to join and attend a particular gym. Building a strong gym community will provide your members with a supportive environment, engaging training sessions, and encouraging relationships with both the trainers and fellow members. If you’ve built a great community for your members, you’ll see it in your member achievements, retention, and referral rates. If a sense of community is lacking, you’ll see a huge impact on attendance and satisfaction. 

Programs Fail to Meet Member Needs
When your programs or classes don’t meet your member expectations, membership rates will go down. Classes that aren’t engaging or are held at inconvenient times often cause members to leave.

Great, engaging classes are one foundation of a good fitness business. Research has shown that members who are engaged in group classes are more likely to be long-term members. It creates a supportive environment and brings members together who share similar goals and inspire each other to get motivated to reach their aspirations.

Utilizing professional gym software, such as FitHive, to monitor business metrics and trends of classes, attendance, and popularity can help you determine what times and days are most popular. Switching up your timetable could help better serve your members and improve retention rates.

Lack of Varied Workouts and New Experiences

Even the most loyal members may move on to another gym if your gym environment has become boring and your classes lack excitement. Although a regular training routine is important for some, when classes become repetitive and boring, your retention rates will plummet. 

Look to implement new experiences are different classes! By introducing a variety of classes and training styles, you’ll give your members, new and old, a more engaging and exciting environment to work out those areas of the body that are important to them. Talk to your members and find out what they wish you offered and try to add those types of classes – whether it be Yoga, Pilates, or even a boot camp. 

Get creative and take that client feedback to come up with some new cool workouts that meet their needs and get them pumped to come to the gym every day. Have you considered off-site workouts that can consist of hiking, beach workouts, or park boot camps? These new experiences will not only encourage your members to change up their training environment but also bond with each other. As such, social interaction will give your clients another reason to look forward to coming to your gym.

Poor Customer Service
If you have the inability to provide good customer service, both within your software and gym staff, it will have a huge impact on your retention rates and the success of your gym. 

To really highlight the importance, let’s look at some customer service stats:

  • 77% of Customers who have had a positive experience are likely to recommend that business to a friend.
  • 64% of people find customer experience more critical than price.
  • After just one negative experience, 51% of customers won’t do business with that company again.

Great customer service at your gym not only involves being friendly, it’s about the entire member experience. This can range from helping members learn the equipment, creating a personalized plan for them, having trained staff assist them with their questions and concerns, and even personally reaching out to them to get their feedback on what they like and what can be improved within the gym.

So, let’s summarize some of the points we’ve discussed to help reduce the number of members leaving and improve retention rates for your gym. 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. 

Happy members become loyal members, resulting in higher retention rates, referrals, and revenue streams for your gym. 

Looking to get an edge when it comes to membership retention? One of the most underrated tools you can utilize is your gym management software which can optimize your operational processes and give you more control over your business. Book a FitHive Demo Today!