Every club is going to lose members. But are members leaving for reasons you can fix, such as unfriendly staff or outdated equipment? Or do members most often quit for reasons out of your control, like moving away or due to an injury? IHRSA issued a comprehensive survey in the United States to determine the biggest reasons why members quit their health clubs. Here are the top 5:
1. It was too expensive or I could not afford it
The overwhelmingly most popular answer for why members quit their club was because they could not afford it. While this reason is often combined with other issues, price is still the number one consideration for members.
Verdict: Fixable. You don’t have to lower your price, you have to justify your price to members. Ensure your members are being engaged and are happy with their fitness experience by working with them to set fitness goals, engage in challenges or sign up for classes.
2. I wasn't using my membership or I wasn't going to my gym
Verdict: Fixable. One of the biggest things clubs struggle with is keeping members engaged, especially ones who start to lose sight of their fitness goals and stop checking into the club. This answer goes hand in hand with #1--it’s once members stop checking in that they start considering if your membership fee is no longer worth paying. A rewards program can keep members checking in and engaged.
3. I moved or the location was no longer convenient
Verdict: Not Fixable. Unless you have developed mind control powers, there’s not a whole lot you can do if your members move away.
4. I could exercise somewhere else for free
Verdict: Fixable, but difficult. This seems like an insurmountable problem. How do you beat free? But your club already does. Everyone has the option to exercise somewhere for free--running outside. But your club offers something worth paying for. Whether it’s your equipment, facilities or trainer expertise, there’s some value proposition that’s attracting members to your club. Of course if someone builds a home gym or joins a workplace that has its own gym, there’s not a lot you can do. But keep accentuating your value proposition to your members and you may be surprised by the results.
5. It was too crowded
Verdict: Fixable to a point. The bad news is that some members feel so uncomfortable in a crowded gym that they are going to quit. The good news is that your gym is crowded with paying members! There are ways you can encourage members to come at different times, like offering cheaper classes at non-peak hours or a discounted membership program for members who only come in late at night. While you’re likely going to lose some members to this issue, it’s a great problem to have.
Knowledge is power. Lose less members and stay ahead of the competition by knowing the most important tech trends of 2016: