By now, we’ve all seen the extent to which COVID-19 has disrupted the fitness industry—from the physical location where people work out to the heightened expectations consumers have regarding how gyms should operate and what health and safety protocols should be in effect.
Fitness business owners should understand that gym members’ expectations have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit. And with more fitness options than ever before—in-person workouts, online classes, and hybrid options—you need to determine your gym’s competitive advantage, and really hone in and highlight that in your marketing materials to attract new gym members, keep current members engaged, and improve member retention rates.
5 Ways to Increase Member Retention Rates in 2022
Getting new members to join your gym is only half the battle. Once new members join—how do you keep members engaged and member retention rates high?
Below are five easy strategies to give your gym retention rates a boost.
1. Communicate health and safety protocols
With the Omicron BA.2 Subvariant sweeping across the U.S., health and safety protocols are once again top-of-mind for most gym members. Customers now expect gyms to have health and safety standards in place to minimize the transmission of COVID-19—and they want to know what specific steps you’re taking to help keep them safe and comfortable when visiting your gym.
Consider creating a one-sheeter that outlines what steps your gym or health club is implementing and post it throughout your facility, ideally in highly trafficked and visible locations—for example, at the front desk, near the water fountains, on the bathroom doors, etc. You can also easily copy and paste the information from the one sheeter into a newsletter template, and send out an email blast to your database
2. Focus on the member experience
In today’s increasingly digital world, delivering a positive member experience is more important than ever. Providing an exceptional member experience not only helps you attract new gym members—it gives your facility a competitive edge, and improves customer satisfaction and retention rates.
It’s important to remember that the member experience extends beyond just signing up members—it needs to be emulated across multiple platforms and touchpoints. Additionally, you need to understand how your members think, and what they want.
3. The hybrid model
The hybrid gym model has become the new norm in the fitness industry. With a hybrid gym model, your digital offerings are meant to complement your brick-and-mortar operations. A hybrid gym offers the best of both worlds. It includes a combination of in-person and online workout options. For example, your gym may offer in-person exercise classes that are also live streamed or available on-demand for members who want to continue with home workouts.
Because the pandemic continues to create new challenges and restrictions on society, a hybrid fitness model puts gym owners in a more secure position to navigate the current climate, as well as future obstacles that may arise.
4. Small Group Training
As a gym or health club owner, you’re constantly thinking about ways to keep members engaged and improve member retention rates—especially considering 50% of members quit the gym within the first six months. One solution is to provide consistent motivation.
Small group training classes are a great way for gym members to meet, interact and socialize with each other. It also helps them bond with each other, and creates a sense of belonging at your gym. When you have a community of members that are excited to come to your facility and interact with one another, it creates a better overall member experience for everyone.
5. Utilize gym management software
If you’re a gym owner, you already know how much time and energy it takes just to manage the day-to-day operations. From scheduling staff and fitness classes to overseeing equipment maintenance and inspections, the number of moving parts at any given time can be overwhelming.
Gym management software continues to grow in popularity given its ability to increase efficiency and productivity, improve communication, save time and money, and enhance the member experience. On top of that, the low upfront cost structure of a cloud-based software solution makes it a financially attractive option for fitness businesses of all sizes.
The fitness industry is still treading uncharted waters, and the pandemic will continue to impact the ways consumers engage with gyms and health clubs. During these uncertain times, maintaining ongoing communication is fundamental to attracting new gym members, as well as keeping member engagement and retention rates high.
To learn how EZFacility’s comprehensive software solution can help you create custom membership plans and effectively manage gym member relationships, schedule a free online demo or personalized product tour today.