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8 Fitness Center Turn-Offs That Send Members to the Competition

Don’t let these fitness center annoyances drive your members away.

When a new member signs up at your gym or fitness center, they’re as excited as you are. Most new or long-time members look forward to becoming and staying more fit and healthy by making their fitness center time part of their weekly schedule.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll stick around for years, especially when they’re confronted with annoying, inconvenient or problematic issues at your gym or fitness center.

There isn’t much room for error when it comes to customer service in the fitness industry, according to customer engagement software provider Glofox:

“When your members sign up for your offering, they are investing in your service. That service is then judged by how you and your team make your members feel. The feeling that members leave with will determine whether they stick around or leave and never come back.”

Read on for eight fitness center turn-offs that can motivate your members to run — straight to the competition.

1. Limited communication options

Not everyone wants to hop on the phone or wait at the front desk when they have questions, especially ones that can be answered quickly via live chat, text, email or one of your social media platforms. That’s why you need to offer multiple member communication options.

Technology such as artificial intelligence and chatbots now form “an essential part of customer service,” says Glofox.

2. Lack of personalization

If a member comes and goes without staff remembering their name, the gym can feel like an impersonal place. The same goes for the long list of class offerings from which they choose.

Track which activities or classes a member uses most often. Then send relevant emails about yoga, strength training, benefits of cardio and/or walking or other relevant topics to keep them motivated to remain a member.

3. Interrupting conversation to answer the phone

Few things are more annoying than when a staffer that’s trying to answer your question becomes abruptly unavailable because they had to jump on the phone to help someone else.

Make sure you have enough staff on shift to make sure employees don’t have to jump on the phone in the middle of members’ questions.

4. Delayed repairs on broken equipment

Members can only go so long without using their favorite machine or equipment because it’s broken and out of order. Post signs asking members to report broken equipment so your maintenance team can repair it immediately.

5. Unaccountable management

If a member complains that the steam room is dirty, the towels are threadbare or equipment is broken, listen and take their concerns seriously. A disinterested or argumentative manager who won’t take responsibility for problems can turn off members faster than the spinning wheels on in an advanced spin class.

6. Poorly trained staff

It’s understandable when employees can’t answer members’ questions or need to ask a manager for the answer. If this is the norm, however, that’s a mild annoyance, and when it’s piled on top of other small annoyances, members may start looking for a new gym.

7. Lack of basic supplies

There’s no excuse for not having fresh towels available because they’re still tossing in the dryer. And members can only find empty soap, wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers so many times before they get fed up and head towards a fitness center that stays on top of basic supplies.

8. Dirty locker rooms or workout areas

The last thing someone wants when working out is to step around the disgusting Band-aid that’s been on the walking track for five days or crunch over dried mud that another member dragged in on their street shoes. The same goes for dirty locker rooms, hair pileup on shower drains and dirty towels overflowing from locker room bins.