A gym owner/manager faces many challenges. Some of these are simple to overcome and others are not. But, we know that when people join a gym, they absolutely intend to be a regular, to get fit, to shift pounds. So what happens to make this dream (and eventually the client) disappear? Here we look at 5 reasons people quit the gym, and explore ways to make them stay.
1. They feel uncomfortable.
They have no gym buddy, there is no one to offer guidance, they feel generally out of place and/or unwelcome.
Solution: A good referral scheme works in two ways. On the one hand, you’re bringing in additional members. On the other hand, having arrangements in place to train with someone else means it’s more likely that members will actually keep coming down to use the facilities. An alternative to this is setting up group classes. If people get to know others in the group, they’ll feel a sense of friendship and feel like it’s their duty to turn up to class. Having well-trained, friendly staff on hand to help people with questions/equipment is always a good idea, as well.
2. They feel like they’re not getting value for money.
Solution: This could be that they’re having to queue for equipment. It could be that the equipment isn’t in the best condition. It may be that the facilities themselves are dirty, not fit for purpose or just that your prices are higher than your competitors. Whatever the reason, it’s important to really buy into making your gym/workout studio the best value it can be. For starters, ask your members for feedback. It doesn’t matter if it’s face-to-face, via your website or literally a cardboard box at the front desk or in the changing room. There may be easy fixes and “quick wins” that you can implement which will make people feel much happier. Make sure that your members know how to use all the equipment properly to reduce waiting times for
3. They lose motivation when they don’t see results
Solution: When a member first signs up, it’s a great opportunity to get to know them and help them set realistic goals. It’ll give them a target to reach AND help them measure their progress. It’s important that they understand that change doesn’t happen overnight and that you’re there to support them in reaching their aims. It could also be a good idea to work with apps that help them measure their progress and tailor workouts depending on what they want to do. E.g. a fitness routine for someone who wants to lose weight will be different to someone who wants to build muscle.
4. Other Obligations/Reasons - work, family, education
Solution: There’s not a “one size fits all” solution but offering flexible schedules may enable people to keep working out. Short, burst sessions at lunchtimes can be useful for those with a busy schedule. Early morning/late night classes could work for those with other commitments. But whatever you offer, make sure your members know about it. It’ll be a waste to run fantastic services if no one knows they exist.
5. They get bored
Solution: Another reason to ensure that members are able to use all the equipment is to allow them to adjust their routine. There are only so many hours we can spend running on a treadmill, looking at a wall. Use the feedback you get, and find out what new classes your members would like to have set up.
The Warm Down
Sometimes people leave the gym for reasons you can’t control. They lose their job, they relocate, their health means that they can’t physically exercise. When this is the case, the only thing you can do is part on good terms so that if circumstances change, they might come back.
But, when they leave for controllable reasons, it’s time to take action. You wouldn’t accept excuses from someone looking to lower the number of push-ups you ask of them so be prepared to push yourself in the same way. When people cancel their membership, find out why and respond to it. If things need cleaning, or updating, get it done. Chances are, the only person holding your gym from its full potential is you.