Attrition is one of the most common problems facing health clubs. You work hard looking for new members, because only 29 percent of total health club goers stay for a year. While each of these new members costs you about $100 or so to acquire,retaining them takes little more than delivering on the value promised them.
But at the core, why do health clubs, have so much trouble holding onto members? While many owners constantly think about growing leads and bringing in new sales, retention is often an afterthought.
Here are 6 hacks to help put retention at the forefront—boosting your retention rates and your bottom line:
1. Don’t wait
If you wait until the member is at risk, they are already as good as gone. Start retention day one with a solid onboarding process that makes the member feel like part of the club rather than just another sale. This includes a welcome email, fitness assessment, initial training session and/or class and more.
2. Reward loyalty
Enroll members into a loyalty program as soon as possible—ideally at the time of enrollment. You can also include this information in a joining packet and an automated welcome email that is sent to all new members as part of your club or studio management system. Building a relationship needs to be done quickly. According to Digital Social Retail, incentive and loyalty programs have been shown to establish a base customer retention rate of around 92%.
3. Keep up with the little things
Often in the day-to-day hustle of running a business some of the little things can get overlooked, causing members to leave a health club. These include keeping the facility clean, making sure your staff schedule is in order so the club opens on time, your classes have instructors that are on time, trainers are following up with clients and delivering results you promised during the selling process, and more.
4. Think virtually
The more often all of your members can interact with you and your staff, the more they connect with you and feel part of something. Don’t limit that to when they are physically in your club. Utilize your website to bring helpful information to your members. Promote it on social media (and don’t forget to run a contest or two to keep it fun). Top it all off by using your club management software to email members to let them know that there is special content just for them.
5. Surprise them
Complacency and routine have been the ruin of many relationships. Do member appreciation events, parties, and outings. Hold a special master class with a guest instructor to give members that have taken your classes for a while something special and different. Offer prizes or raffle chances based on usage so members are coming in and coming in often. Better yet, offer rewards for check-ins on social media so they are not only using the club but promoting it to friends and followers at the same time.
6. Let them know
Some members may not renew simply because they forgot. This is especially vital if you are not utilizing an auto-renew model. Make sure you let people know in advance when their membership is about to expire, utilize your auto email campaign capabilities to communicate with them regularly in the lead up to their renewal date.
What hacks are you trying to help keep your members?