Wouldn't it be nice if whenever one of your members started thinking about leaving your gym, you received a convenient notification? Unfortunately, we don't have the ability to see the future in that way. We do, however, have the power to read 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 Stop Coming
Tracking member check-ins gives you an incredible amount of usable data on your members, such as what your busy times are, how many times a week members come, how long they haven’t been in, and so on. 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 to reach out to see what has changed.
When a member stops coming to the gym, it could be for countless reasons. Some of the most common obstacles keeping people from the gym are lack of time, lack of confidence, the gym being too busy, and the need for childcare. But for many members, it's as simple as they've just fallen off the wagon and don’t make time to work out anymore. Working out has officially lost its excitement whenever this happens, and it can be hard for your members to feel inspired again.
So, how do you ensure that they keep showing up 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
Almost every gym has some sort of member 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 or not want to put in the effort to renew.
If the member has forgotten that they need to renew, they are likely to cancel instead of sign another membership contract. There are many ways to avoid this conversation and even turn the renewal period into an upselling and re-engagement opportunity.
When the renewal date is approaching, send a friendly email about two months before reminding them that their membership will expire soon. In this reminder email, also include new classes you are offering, personal training sessions, and other valuable services that can persuade them to stay.
A system like Club OS can make renewal reminders easier by automating email and text communications. This could prevent any surprises later on and will remind them of what they are missing by canceling. Contacting them about renewing will also make the member feel valued, since you're putting in extra effort to get them to stay.
They Have a Serious Complaint
When a member has a serious complaint about your gym or studio, there is almost always a resolution, as long as 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 necessarily a lost client or that you're doing a bad job (unless the same complaint happens over and over again, then it might be time to change something). Look at complaints as another opportunity to really show what kind of business you run and how important each member is.
For example, if a client is unhappy with the 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 re-training 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, 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.