New year, new me; it’s the mantra your new members flood into the studio repeating every January. As a gym owner, you’re on a mission to transform those new year’s resolutions into a long-term lifestyle change through amazing studio member retention. Various studies report mixed figures on how long it actually takes to form a lasting habit, but it’s safe to say that your members stand a chance of instilling a new rhythm into their daily life within 21 days. Foster awareness among your new crop of members that hitting up the gym at least 3-4 times a week is the secret sauce to their success and achieving their New Year’s fitness goals. Otherwise, if a member does not regularly visit your club, the likelihood of cancellation greatly increases.
A variety of factors contribute to someone’s resolution failing. However, it usually comes down to a lack of accountability and discipline. In fact, check-ins on Facebook to facilities with the terms “gym” or “fitness” in the name drop 10% in February, according to two years of Facebook data. The decline starts around the third week of January. This decline comes after a more than 50% surge from December as people broadcast their goals to lose weight or get fit. So, what does this all mean for your business? March is the perfect time to develop and implement a plan to keep your retention rate high far beyond the winter slump. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve created a few strategies to help your members stay on-track.
1. Engage in meaningful interactions to drive studio member retention
One of the most effective ways to convert a new member into a lasting one is by making them feel like they’re a member of your club’s family. Get off on the right foot by training your front desk staff to greet every member with a friendly smile. Make an effort to remember their name. When a member is recognized and greeted with positivity as soon as they walk through the door, they’ll feel special each time they set foot in your studio. In addition, you can encourage members to connect with one another by hosting a social hour or mixer or even create a partner-based workout program.
Fostering a strong, support-based community can have a huge impact on your member-retention strategy. Another helpful tool you can utilize could be to create a color-coding system for your member base. Members who are categorized under red are in danger of leaving, while yellow members require more nurturing. Green members drop-in on a regular basis and are in no danger of terminating their membership. Creating color-coded groups like this will enable your staff to train their focus on the members who need the extra attention they require to continue patronizing your business.
2. Create new classes
Another method to improve studio member retention is to create new and intriguing classes to add to your schedule. Survey your community and inquire what types of classes they’d be interested in trying. Group fitness classes are popular especially among the 18-25 demographic. Members are attracted to the community of a group class, as it provides them a space to socialize. Groups tend to hold people more accountable for attendance too. Furthermore, there’s no need to do a complete overhaul of your existing schedule. Start with baby steps! For example, you can add one new weekly class and, if attendance remains steady, make it a regular installment on the schedule. Remember, variety is the spice of life! It can be your ticket to retaining and drawing in more members throughout the year.
3. Set realistic goals and attainable programs for your clients
New year’s resolution members flock to your studio with a lofty goal in mind that can be far from realistic. Take it upon yourself to strategically analyze your member’s goals and determine whether or not it’s within reach. Don’t let a member go head-first into their training while expecting unrealistic results; it’s a surefire way to guarantee a disappointed and frustrated member. Furthermore, if their experience fails to meet expectations, they may spread the word and prevent other potential members from joining your studio.
During your initial consultation, give your members the opportunity to explain their goal. Work with them to formulate a realistic program to achieve their desired outcome. In addition, if their goal is too far fetched, discuss this with them and explain why. Explaining the method behind their customized program will help them understand why it’s crucial to commit to the process. It will also help them understand they are responsible for their own success.
Some of your members will part ways with your business for reasons beyond your control, but studio member retention is about keeping an eye on the points above will allow you to maximize on the January rush. OneFitStop’s studio management software will help you connect with and retain your membership base. Try us for free today!