The fitness industry is booming. One in seven people across the UK now possesses gym membership.
Despite this, a report from Mintel found that gyms lose around 50% of their members each year. Membership churn, also known as attrition rate, is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are fiercely battling an upsurge of competition from an exploding budget and boutique gym market.
Gyms are flexing their strategy more than ever in a bid to keep hold of existing members. After all, it costs between 5-25 times more to acquire a new member than retain one.
So what is the solution? Here are a few top tips from industry experts DFC:
Invest the ‘smart’ way
Tech-up as many aspects of your facility as you can, from the sign up process to the actual gym itself. Cutting-edge equipment and services will enable you to comfortably compete because it makes for a more hassle-free, informative and enjoyable experience.
Create a sociable gym environment
The most loyal members are ones who experience a sense of community in their gym. The trick is to smile lots, employ enthusiastic team members and work to build a sociable culture through amenties such as communal areas.
Cement your value
You can’t beat budget or boutique gyms on price alone so you need to think twice about what it is that distinguishes you from the crowd. Work out exactly what it is that keeps people coming back and exploit it. The above points are just some examples. Other’s might include:
- Being more than a gym. A diverse range of facilities will entice a wider audience.
- Member rewards. This doesn’t have to be financial. It could include regular advice, health checks, loyalty schemes etc.
- Community investment. This is particularly true of social enterprises and charities.
Losing members is inevitable. Just make sure it isn’t happening for the wrong reasons. A bad payment experience can be cause for a great deal of stress from all concerned parties and it would be a shame to lose a happy customer over something so avoidable.
Direct Debit is your best bet because it gives everyone control. 82% of gym membership payments are made in this way. Direct Debits are quick to set up, incredibly easy to maintain thereafter and payments are generated automatically from a member’s bank account. Not only does this save the hassle, it reduces bounced payments.
DFC is a leading revenue management solutions provider, working with well-known fitness operators around the UK. Using the latest technology, and a belief in total transparency, DFC manages the Direct Debit process for thousands of happy clients. Just take a look at what some of them had to say: Testimonials