What Can A Gym Owner Do To Improve Retention Rates?

Feb 24, 2022

Customer retention has always been one of the prime concerns for any gym owner. Spending a significant part of your budget on gym marketing and closing the leads is just half the job. It is equally important to retain your members to make sure you enjoy the long-term benefits of the marketing effort.

Here are some reasons why you may be losing members and what you can do to stop this from happening. 

No Failed Payment Management System

It is known that 7-10% of gym member payments get declined every month, and at the same time, it is estimated that one-third of membership cancellations are due to failed payments. As a gym owner, you must ensure a smooth payment collection and management process by implementing a robust failed payment management system. 

Implementing a failed payment management system can also be outsourced if you are primarily looking to see your revenue and retention rates grow and do not have a billing company to help you with the service.

First Credit Services’ proven failed payment management service for health and fitness industry incorporates 6 to 8 weeks of engagements through multiple communications channels that will fix up to 80% of your member’s failed payments.

The Gym is Too Far Away

One of the most common reasons for someone to quit their gym membership is because the gym is too far away. It doesn’t matter how good the gym is; if it’s too far away and inconvenient for someone to get to, they’re going to quit sooner than expected.

To avoid it, you can localize your marketing efforts to target the local community. It would help you advertise to fitness enthusiasts near your gym and eventually turn them into potential customers. Be it discounted memberships or a special introductory offer, targeting people in the vicinity right from the start is an excellent way to find new members. Additionally, you can partner up with local brands to promote your products and services in exchange for promoting theirs. Cross branding can be a great way to get your name out there. 

Lack of Variety in Classes or Equipment Options

If you own a gym that only offers limited training and equipment options, people will eventually get bored and leave. As a gym owner, you need to make sure that your gym is appealing enough and offers a great variety of options for members who have been around for some time. 

There are multiple ways to do this, such as by adding new classes to the schedule regularly or by upgrading your equipment. 

Leasing is an excellent option to turn your equipment over consistently. Leasing ensures that you have all the latest equipment every time. You may want to do some competitive analysis on local offerings by other fitness clubs and make sure your offering remains relevant to your target audience. 

Additionally, you can host certain events at your gym from time to time to keep your members entertained and engaged. Hosting events will create a community atmosphere, leading to your members being happy, thus helping you improve your retention rates. You can also take member feedback from time to time and upgrade your services based on what they have to say. 

Poor Customer Service

The way you treat your gym members plays a vital role in determining whether or not they will stick around. If you or your staff members are unhelpful or rude when they have questions, they will not want to return.

Being the gym owner, you must ensure that all of your staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the products and services you are selling. In addition, make sure that they are always available to help members looking for assistance. 

Lack of Cleanliness

Post the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become essential for gym owners to ensure their gym is clean and hygienic. Not only does an unhygienic gym look bad, but it might also be a health concern for some if not appropriately handled.

Besides, gym members often tend to leave a gym if it doesn’t focus on cleanliness. Such as, if the facility has stains on the floor, is poorly lit, or smells bad, there is a high chance your members are going to leave your gym. Being a gym owner, you need to invest in good cleaning services, whether in-house or external.

The Cost Is Too High

If you are overcharging for your services, gym members are more likely to quit your gym and move to other nearby clubs. An excellent option to deal with this issue is to make your clients understand the value that your fitness lessons bring into their lives and how the cost is justified. Additionally, you can offer various membership plans, so there’s something for everyone in their budget. Just make sure that your prices include all necessary amenities that any client might wish for. You can also offer trial memberships for people to try out your gym and see if it’s a good fit.

Inconvenient Hours of Operation

If the hours of your gym don’t coincide with the hours that people are typically available, they’re not going to want to join. This is why many gyms offer 24/7 access to their facilities so that people can get in when it’s most convenient for them.

An excellent way to combat this issue is by offering more than one class at different times during the day, or in contradiction, having separate classes for clients with individual goals (like fat loss, muscle gain, flexibility).

This way, you can ensure that there are always different times available for people to attend, so they don’t have to worry about missing out on something important or having their schedule conflict with something else on their calendar. 

No Personal Training Options

While gym memberships are great, many don’t offer personalized services. Personal trainers help gym-goers with their individual goals, so it’s best to partner with an experienced gym trainer or hire one if it fits within your budget. Additionally, you can add group classes for personal training for those members who are new to the gym and are unable to figure out the basics. 

People join gyms for the benefits and perks they offer. Many gym members are looking for programs that will give them the structure to reach their goals. If your gym doesn’t provide personal trainers and/or group classes, gym members might look elsewhere.

Lack of rewards/loyalty program

People are more likely to stick with a gym if they know that they will get some reward for doing so. This reward could be in the form of discounted memberships, free personal training sessions, or even just a good old-fashioned “thank you” from the staff.

A loyalty program is also a great way to keep track of your members’ progress and see who is using the gym more than the others. This information can be helpful when it comes to offering them special deals or discounts.

Lack of Parking

Lack of parking may not be a significant issue, however, if your gym is located in a busy area, it can quickly become a problem. It is especially true during peak hours when the gym is fully packed and people find it difficult to find a parking spot.

Being a gym owner, it is your responsibility to provide proper parking space for your members. The best way to deal with this issue is by having an overflow lot or partnering with a local business with parking lots nearby. This way, you can ensure that people have a place to park and not worry about unnecessary parking fees.

You may also want to consider offering valet services so members don’t have to worry about finding a spot.


Creating a gym that gym-goers will want to visit and use takes more than just putting in the equipment and telling people to come in. While this might take a lot of planning and budgeting, it’s a necessary step in creating a gym that’s going to be successful. It is essential to keep these things in mind to ensure gym members are satisfied, and it brings a smile to their faces.

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