No, we (unfortunately) can’t see the future, but we do have the power of reading data, and the data shows that there are signs pointing to when a member is going to cancel.
Cancellations are a struggle for every fitness business owner, especially those with short term agreements who see high turnover. Knowing the signs that lead to cancellations will help you increase retention and decrease the number of members you lose each month.They Stopped Coming
Tracking member check-ins gives you an incredible amount of usable data on your members; what your busy times are, how many times a week members come, how long they haven’t been in, etc. Taking that data and turning it into action is where the science of running a fitness business comes in. If you notice a member hasn’t checked-in in about 4-8 weeks, it’s time for a quick reach out to see what has changed.
When a member stops coming to the gym, it could be for countless reasons. New job, moving, new baby, not enough time, etc. There are so many things that can keep people from the gym, but one of the most frequently used excuses is that they have just fallen off the wagon and don’t make time to come anymore. Working out has officially lost its excitement whenever this happens, and it can be hard for your members to be inspired again.
So how do you ensure that they keep showing up (to the best of your ability) and continue to have fun while working out at your gym or studio? It’s all about communicating and creating a community with your members. Competitions, new class offerings, in-house events, and free stuff all get your members talking and create more of a community. Also, it may seem simple, but an email or a phone call to your current members once every other month is a great way to keep in contact to help them avoid falling off.
They Haven’t Renewed Their Membership Agreement
Depending on how you run your gym or studio, this could affect you differently. But almost everyone has some sort of agreement or plan that eventually expires. When the agreement is getting close to expiring, loyal members will often have already taken care of their renewal and continue on. On the other hand, those members that may not be as involved will forget that the renewal is coming up and most likely will feel surprised by it. (That is always a fun conversation!)
If the member has forgotten that they need to renew, they are likely to cancel instead of sign another membership contract. There are so many ways to avoid this conversation and even turn the renewal period into an up selling and re-engagement opportunity.
When the renewal date is approaching, send a friendly email about 2 months before reminding them of the event, but also include new classes you are offering, personal training free sessions and more. To make it easier, a system like Club OS lets you automate this type of communication. This could prevent any surprises later on and will remind them of what they are missing. It’s always necessary to give the member a call a month before they are supposed to renew so that they don’t feel surprised and feel thought about. This could be the difference in a renewed member and a canceled client!
They Have a Serious Complaint
It can happen to any fitness business, and it isn’t the end of the world. When a member has a serious complaint about your gym or studio, there is almost always a resolution if and only if, you put the customer first. If a complaint is handled correctly, it can often be a good thing, but if it is handled incorrectly, that is a good indication the member is about to cancel.
Complaints can range far and wide, but they are often based on a miscommunication or an accident by the owner or employee. This doesn’t mean that the member is a lost client and is canceling right away, and it really doesn’t mean that you are doing a bad job (unless the same complaint happens over and over again, then it might be time to change something). This again could be an opportunity to really show what kind of business you run and how important each member is.
For example, if a client is unhappy with attitude of a front desk employee, or wasn’t helped in a timely manner, it’s your responsibility to go above and beyond. Let them know the employee is retraining for their duties, give the member a free personal training session, and ensure that they receive a thank you email or phone call for their feedback. By treating that member with respect to their complaint, you are showing that one instance doesn’t define your business.
With a system like Club OS, you have the ability to track check-ins, send automated member-facing emails, track renewal dates, and more. The more information you have at your disposal, the better. Also, did we mention almost everything is automated? Less work for you, more sales and increased retention for your business. Win, win.