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Gym Membership Retention | The Ultimate Guide

Client 90-day journey

Your focus on gym membership retention should start the second after you’ve converted a lead to a paying customer, and the first 90-days are crucial.

If you’re reading this it probably means you run a smaller, independent gym with a coaching-focused business model (compared to access-based business models like Planet Fitness or PureGym).

Independent gyms tend to average 150 clients and provide a higher quality, premium service. With a smaller number of high-paying clients, you can provide a more personal, relationship-based service.

For the first 90 days we’d recommend an in-depth goal review each month (month 1 & 2), an SMS/WhatsApp or email catch-up every other week and lots of praise with each little improvement they make. Brag them up in your private Facebook and WhatsApp groups – make them feel like a star!

At the end of month 3, have another in-depth goal review, celebrate their progress so far and sell them on onto their next prescription. Head over to Two Brain Business to learn more about Increasing Gym Revenue and Retention Through Client Journeys.


Hire a CSM

CSM stands for Client Success Manager and they are your go to for all things client retention. Your CSMs job is to make sure everyone is happy, having a great time, feeling safe, feeling loved and seeing the progress they came for.

Look for somebody positive, cheerful and charismatic who has a deep level of empathy. You can hire externally but we’ve always found the best CSM is someone who’s already part of your community and invested in what you’re building – either a client or current staff member.

After you’ve created your staff playbook, give this to your CSM and make sure they understand the retention section. The playbook should detail what your CSM does, when they do it and how they do it. Learn more about how to build your staff playbook in our post How to Create a Staff Playbook For Your Gym (coming soon).


Book goal reviews

If you aren’t doing goal reviews with your clients, start now. Here’s why:

They help keep your clients accountable, and accountability means better results.

You have the opportunity to upsell by prescribing an additional/alternative training option if they need. Your job is to provide a solution to their problem.

It’s an opportunity to peel back their layers and truly get to know them. Your business is built on relationships, and the better you know your clients, the easier it will be to keep them for longer.

 

Celebrate your members

Your members are the lifeforce of your business and you should take every moment you can to celebrate their successes. Not only is it positive reinforcement for them and a huge motivation booster, it also allows you to show off your gym. “Julie has done so amazingly well and lost 20 lbs in the fast 4 months! And we’re the ones who helped her get there so jump on board.

It doesn’t have to just be public (Instagram, Facebook, newsletter) celebrations though. Posting in your private Facebook and WhatsApp groups can create a wave of internal support and turns each person in the group into a cheerleader. This is how the culture of your business grows like wildfire.


Private Facebook group

When your members are physically at your gym, they’re actively part of your community. But when they step outside, they instantly drop off from feeling like they’re part of the family. Launching a private Facebook group is a great way of keeping them involved. If you can’t be with each other at the gym, be together online. Keep it social while providing actionable knowledge based on the biggest problems your clients have – that’s one high-value Facebook group and a great asset in your quest to improve your gym member retention.


Focus on your best clients

Talk to your best clients and ask them why they joined. Then more importantly, why they stayed. You might be surprised by what they say. Two Brain Business calls them your Seed clients, and you can read more about them here: Seeds and Weeds: Your Best Clients.

Once you truly understand why your seed clients joined and then stayed, your messaging to the world and within your business will become crystal clear. Your media, your language, your website, your ads, your hiring procedures – it will all tie together to create a voice that your audience can relate to and trust.

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Related articles.

Use our software for free!

The Forever Free plan has everything you need as a freelance coach to take payments, book appointments and look after your clients.

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