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Take These 4 Steps to Increase Fitness Center and Gym Member Retention

Want to keep your members happy and competitors at bay? Prioritize these four fitness center customer service tips.

New fitness center members are great for business, but only if they stick around for the long haul. And with multiple fitness centers in most cities (and sometimes even smaller towns), other gyms constantly lure members away with specials like no initiation fee or time-sensitive discounted monthly rates.

If you don’t want your current members to be enticed by competitors with equal or better amenities, offering exceptional customer service is crucial to retaining them.

Retention has been a long-time challenge for gym and fitness centers. But the problem of keeping members has been further compounded by issues stemming from the pandemic, according to customer engagement software provider Glofox:

“Many gym members moved from the traditional ways of working out due to the closure of gyms and studios. Instead fitness fanatics began to work out from home, using a range of digital products to replicate the in-studio experience.”

Even long-time members will leave a fitness center once they’ve tallied up enough disappointments with poor customer service. And they’re likely to tell their friends about their bad gym experience, too.

“The reality is, loyal gym members are much more valuable to your business the longer they stay a member of your gym,” according to web development and digital marketing agency Uhuru Network, which recommends using current customer satisfaction as a key indicator of your gym member retention.

Here are four tips for offering the kind of exceptional customer service that keeps members looking forward to visiting your gym or fitness center.

1. Train staff properly

“You must empower your team to make decisions and own the issues,” says Uhuru Network. “Customer service is always better [when] the first point of contact can respond to the customer and make independent decisions on behalf of the company.”

2. Make the entire gym process easy

Is your website easy to navigate? Is it easy to sign up for classes or or set up recurring monthly payments? If not, members may become so frustrated that they simply give up and start talking about signing up for a membership with the gym down the street.

To find out how easy the processes in place at your fitness center are for gym members, include a couple of survey questions about specific areas in customer feedback surveys. If there is a pattern of frustration, make the necessary changes to make the process easier.

3. Prioritize cleanliness and hygiene

“Gym members might be scared of contracting Covid-19 in the presence of other people,” says Glofox. “There might be customers who question the sanitization and social distancing measures implemented and choose for their own safety to workout from home.”

Prioritize cleanliness and hygiene by offering hand sanitizer and equipment wipe stations around the gym and complimentary masks at the front desk. If your fitness center has other safety precautions in place such as an air purifier system, post signs reassuring members of your efforts to keep them healthy and safe.

4. Offer a gym “community”

Building a community of like-minded fitness center members will help motivate members to come to the gym regularly. This way, they’ll also have a chance to make new friends with similar fitness interests and goals.

“You might wish to run competitions, challenges or add more group classes,” says Glofox. “You may even wish to offer group training which enables people to train with others at cheaper rates.”