7 Reasons Fitness Clients Leave and Solutions to Keep Them
A client cancels their membership, and you think to yourself, “What happened? What could have I done better? Did they go to the competitors?” What are some of the reasons fitness clients leave?
Lost motivation, it’s too expensive, they moved away, not using their memberships enough, or not seeing results fast enough—that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add in concerns brought on by COVID-19 and memberships are on the decline. As a gym or studio owner, losing fitness members comes with the territory. According to research published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, 50% of new members quit within three months of signing up at a fitness studio.
However, not all is lost. You can always try to win them back by stopping clients from leaving in the first place. Research shows that increasing client retention rates by 5% can lead to an increase in profit by up to 95%. Here we’re running through 7 reasons fitness clients leave and solutions to keep them around. Let’s get started…
1. COVID-19 pandemic
Problem: When COVID first hit, many members quit the gym and were worried about finances and the future. According to a survey from Freeletics, 60% of Americans plan to cancel their gym memberships after the pandemic.
Solution: Fitness studios needed to adapt to set themselves up for long-term success. You can provide a solution to your fitness clients through seamless technology integration in every aspect of your business (i.e., livestreaming and on-demand video content). Livestreaming lets clients connect with you in real-time, as they can experience that in-class energy from home. With on-demand classes, they can then access your video library at any time.
2. Not getting results right away
Problem: It’s natural to join a gym with a goal like improving fitness, gaining muscle, or losing weight—and to expect quick results. If it doesn’t seem like it’s working, clients get discouraged and move on to something else. Motivation wanes, enthusiasm for working out disappears, and this is why gym members quit.
Solution: Solve this issue and keep your fitness clients by managing expectations. Help your members set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals from day one. By plotting their journey, addressing past pain points, and sticking to the data, they’ll see real results.
Monitor important details like body fat percentage, measurements, and more to show them how far they’ve come. Set smaller goals along their journey, too (e.g., increased endurance, lifting heavier weights, or consistent training), so they stay motivated and invested in your business.
3. A lack of motivation
Problem: Recent IHRSA research shows that 23% of gym members quit due to non-use, and 48% are finding it tough to get motivated since COVID-19. In fact, 1 in 10 who haven’t kept up with their regular workout routines, have stopped exercising altogether.
Solution: Do what you know – inspire your fitness clients to stay active with learning, inspiration, and fun. Here are a few ideas to motivate clients to move.
- Fitness challenges: Create a strong community. Promote friendly competition, boosted accountability, and the support they need to keep going.
- On-demand content: Make creating a routine easily with the workouts in your on-demand video library. The more they enjoy the content and the process, the more they’ll stay consistent and motivated.
4. Pricing (can’t afford it)
Problem: Studies show that 46% of gym members cancel their memberships due to cost. With lost jobs and financial insecurity, working out may not be a top priority. Consumers are budget-conscious these days, but it’s about proving your worth. If you rely on sales, trials, and free offers, you’re undervaluing your business.
Solution: Don’t charge pennies on the dollar or get people in solely with free offers. Show clients they are getting value for their money. Here are a few options that add lots of value:
- Virtual and on-demand memberships: Convenience comes with a price. Virtual options make it much easier to stick to a routine that works for them.
- Hybrid solutions: For a mix of at-home and in-person training, clients get the best of both worlds with a hybrid membership.
- One-to-one training: One-on-one personal training can be in-studio or remote, depending on what works best.
- A full schedule and a variety of classes: Variety is the key to engagement. Get members trying different instructors online or in-person to discover their favorites.
5. No sense of community
Problem: Community is a big thing for fitness studios and gyms. If they don’t, they will likely go somewhere else. Since the pandemic, 36% of people miss the sense of community that comes with belonging to a gym.
Solution: Make sure your members feel like they are a part of something bigger by creating a sense of belonging. Here’s some ways to do that:
- Group classes/activities: Research finds that members attending at least three group classes per week will keep their memberships 50% longer. Boost bonding with social gatherings so fitness clients and staff can connect.
- Social media: Set up a Facebook group for your members and keep them up to date on news in the community.
- Communication: When you stay in touch, members know you care. Send out emails, push notifications, or texts to keep those lines of communication open. Staying connected and keeping them in the know will make them more open to your content and new offers, too.
6. Members aren’t recognized for their achievements
Problem: Letting clients know you’re proud of their dedication and achievements really boosts morale. How do we know? Research shows that 26% of people say that they miss having someone cheer them on during a workout.
Solution: Increase engagement by showcasing your members and reward them for it. Here’s a couple ways you can do it:
- Share on social media: Brag about your fitness clients’ successes for a win-win. Make your members happy, while showing off the benefits of your business.
- Offer a rewards program: Reward members for their hard work! Set up your rewards program so members can earn points for things like number of classes or referrals, while also working towards prizes like merch and free classes. Clients can then keep track of their rewards and where they rank on the leaderboard.
7. The fitness business is unorganized
Problem: Some fitness clients just don’t enjoy the in-person experience. They don’t have time to wait in line for check-in, scheduling is inconvenient, or their favorite equipment is occupied.
Solution: Boost your customer experience with expert tools to get organized and offer more. The right gym or fitness studio software can work wonders. Here are a few of the ways your software can make your gym the place to be.
- Custom app: With a custom app, skip the lines and the waiting. Clients can book classes, sign in, or buy something from your store with just a few clicks on their mobile device.
- Booking tools: Save the hassle when clients book their favorite class, service, or spot at your studio or gym. They can also reserve or rent their favorite equipment, right from the comfort of their own home.
- Reserve with Google: Get clients discovering your business and booking your services through Google searches or Google maps to attract new fitness clients to your business.
Give them a reason to stay
There are lots of reasons why gym members quit, but you can keep them if you know how. Members are looking for results, motivation, value, connection, and support. Deliver on those and they’ll stick with you for life.
WellnessLiving’s studio software can help you with keeping your fitness clients. Manage your on-demand content with FitVID on Demand. Livestream seamlessly with Zoom integration. Simplify booking and payment solutions, streamline with mobile staff and client apps, motivate clients with our rewards program, and more. Learn how the tools from WellnessLiving will help manage your business with a free, no-commitment demo today.