Sportsmith Blog
20Jul/15Off

12 Reasons People Quit a Healthclub

12 Reasons People Quit a Healthclub

Your bottom line isn't affected by whether or not people enjoy going to a health club; it's affected when they quit going to one. You can't save every customer, but if you know the top reasons why people leave a club, you can start trying to address the problems before they even start. As always, keep in mind that this is survey data with people reporting directly. Sometimes people won't say or don't even know the real reason that they actually quit. For example, they're not likely to admit that they're just far too lazy to work out, regardless of the consequences.

In this four part series we will examine ways you can use member interest to bolster your bottom line. Be sure to Subscribe to receive the upcoming articles in this series.

  1. The Cost.

It's a decent percentage that's taken out of members' paychecks each month for a gym, especially when you factor in all of the other expenses that can come up in a month. Considering they know it's possible to fill balloons with sand and buy an exercise tape, it's probably pretty hard for them to justify continuing to pay far heavier fees to keep going to a gym. Your biggest job in marketing is convincing them what they're getting for the costs. Whether it's equipment that is safe and easy to use, instructors for classes that will push them when they want to stop or a healthier lifestyle, make it clear that they can't get these things at home.

  1. Lack of Attendance 

If people don't get into a routine right away when they join your club, it's pretty much all downhill from there. They need to make the time during their busy work weeks, and often the gym is all too easy to skip. Excuses are incredibly easy to make, especially as an adult, but a true devotee will find a way to get their workouts in (even if they're in Siberia.) This can be a hard one to market against, but try putting up posters that help create reminders for them, such as, "After work, it's gym time to unwind." Once people have a response built up in their head, such as, "As soon as I turn the keys in my car to go to work, I turn left to go to the gym," you'll be able to keep your members for longer.

  1. Location 

You can't help it when someone moves, because at that point, the person's entire routine is disrupted — he or she will no longer be turning left to get to the gym anymore. This might seem trivial, but it really isn't. It can take a long time for people to recover from a change, and it can be very difficult for your business not to become the casualty here. Or sometimes, people sign up thinking that your gym isn't that far, but then after a while, even that 10-minute drive can just be too daunting to make. Again, your literature and materials should be focusing on creating a routine here as much as possible. Your club would be the one constant amidst change.

  1. Found a Free Place to Exercise

How can you compete against free? Well, exercise is always free, but there's a reason why people pay to do it. Equipment, access to pools, spas, classes and so forth are certainly one part of it, but a lot of people also won't do it unless they're somehow invested in the process. For example, if I don't go, then I'm just losing $30 a month. Remind your customers that they likely wouldn't stay on track if they had no financial incentive to work out.

  1. The Crowds

Having a crowded club seems like a dream come true, but it can work against you too. You obviously can't make more physical space unless it's gotten to the point where you absolutely need to construct an add-on, but you can rearrange your layout to fit in more machines. People don't like to wait, and if their favorite equipment or classes aren't available now, they might not want to risk that type of hassle the next time. Again, these can seem like trivial matters. Maybe it was only once that they had to wait, but that one incident can lead to a negative association with going to the gym.

  1.   Injury

There's not much you can do about this one. No matter how safe equipment is, people will still find a way to use it incorrectly. The main thing to do here is let them know that your policies are flexible and that they can ease back into working out and building up their strength again. Also, make it clear that staff is there to help people with technique so injuries don't occur.

  1. Didn't Fit In 

Some people go to a gym just to meet people, and some people want to remain entirely anonymous. If people feel like they can't talk to the other members, then you obviously can't force them to feel comfortable. What you can do is hire intuitive staff who can treat people the way they want to be treated. If they can either give people space or make them feel like a part of a family (whichever one they're more likely to want), then you can create a sense of peace around their visits.

  1. Lost Job

Again, you have no control over this one, but you can let people know that your policies are flexible for when they get back on their feet.

  1. Don't Like to Exercise

Exercise is supposed to release all these endorphins and make people happy, but if that were true for everyone, you'd see a lot more people working out. Adults understand that sometimes they have to do things in their lives that they don't want to do. Exercise is something they need to do to make themselves live longer, better and more fulfilled lives. Don't necessarily tout the reasons why exercise is good for them; they already know that. Have marketing materials that show that you understand where they're coming from, but that ultimately, they're better off continuing to do something they hate to do.

  1. Couldn't Achieve Fitness Goals

People have this image in their minds that they're going to become ripped or a supermodel after they start going to a gym. It doesn't help that impossibly attractive people are featured in the ads. Yes, it can help people become motivated to sign up, but it can also serve to discourage if people don't start looking like that sooner rather than later. This is the time to be specific. Any step is better than no step at all. This is the message you need to hammer into everyone with whom you're in contact. Your trainers should not be pushing extra sets on people or giving them goals they can't accomplish. It takes a special kind of employee to realize who needs to be pushed (because some do need that) and who needs to be encouraged just for doing something at all, but they're worth it. Little changes can lead to larger shifts in people's lives, but it takes time.

  1. The Intimidation Factor

Gyms can be intimidating for beginners. A person walks in for the first time and knows nothing. Others in the gym already know how to use the equipment, know the staff and have a routine. It can take people a while to feel comfortable, so the key is baby steps. You can encourage someone to just try one machine for the day. Test it out, and then go home. The next time, the person can try another machine or possibly even a class.

  1. Not Enough Help

Your staff members are working with people, so they need to be people-pleasers. Everyone wants something different, and it's a lot to ask of your employees to do a difficult (but doable) type of mind reading. Your employees should at least know the basics, such as when people are uncomfortable with attention or when they require more guidance then just a simple point of a finger if asked where the treadmills are.

These are all things that can be addressed with the right values instilled into your health club. It may take you some time to see the benefits, but your customers will appreciate the extra efforts put forth by your dedicated employees.

So often, it's hard to see the forest through the trees, but the truth is that it doesn't take a lot these days for a person to give up on a company. Just one broken machine or wrong comment can turn someone off forever. You won't be perfect, but a consistent and forward-thinking approach will always pay off.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

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Survey source The 2015 IHRSA Global Report

9Jul/15Off

12 Reasons Your Health Club Members Stay

healht club membersYou probably know as a health club operator that it's easier to keep a customer than to pick up a new one. Your current client base already knows where you are, how you operate, the membership fees and what you generally have to offer to them. Making a switch takes a lot of effort and a disruption in their routine; however this advice is often lost to owners because they're far too focused on expanding business as opposed to keeping it. You don't have to make big gestures or a huge 'thank you' statement, but you should have a general idea of what exactly keeps them coming back into your doors.

Their primary goals in staying with a health club doesn't appear to be what you can do for them, the crucial factor is about what they can do for themselves. In this way, you just need to be the best possible vessel for them to reach their goals.

In this four part series we will examine ways you can use member interest to bolster your bottom line. Be sure to Subscribe to receive the upcoming articles in this series.

So let's look at the top 12 reasons stay at a health club, so you can make the right choices when trying to entice them to keep their membership with you.
  1. Toned Bodies

They already have seen what their history with you has done for their bodies. They've seen the results and just want to keep those results. Giving them constant reminders that simply by walking in the doors again and again, they immerse themselves in the idea of keeping their bodies as pure and strong as possible. They are likely already addicted to the endorphins, so it won't take much to please them so long as you keep giving them a reliable place to exercise.

  1. Their Overall Health

These people aren't necessarily looking to win any beauty pageants. They just know how important it is to exercise, so they continue to come back to a place to keep their circulation, cholesterol and body fat in check within the recommended levels. Offer them information about the importance of exercise on every aspect of their health, both body and mind. They already know it, but since that's why they continue coming, it doesn't hurt to remind them.

  1. Location, Location, Location

People value convenience often much more than they let on. If you're in a place where people can easily find you or you're naturally in the middle of a large city, you have a huge advantage of both gaining the initial business and keeping it. As anyone in real estate can tell you, picking the right place for your business could make or break your future. It doesn't mean that if you find the perfect place you can just sit back and watch the money roll in, it just means that you're giving yourself a head start.

  1. Great Equipment to Target Different Areas of the Body

Having the right machines mean that you're giving your customers the means to get their workouts done faster and with fewer risks of injury. They'll work smarter and not harder with machines which help them with both their cardio workouts and cross-training efforts. Stress the benefits of each machine, and let them know that your club is set up to help a variety of different purposes. Some people want bigger arms, or a bigger butt. Tailor the information you give out to each person, or post a comprehensive and easy-to-read list by the machines. They'll appreciate being able to utilize your equipment in the most effective ways.

  1. They Came to Work, Not Make Small Talk

Working out with friends or joining an exercise club may be the only way for some people to stay on track. Others just want to be anonymous so they can workout and then get out. They come here so they won't have to spend time making small talk and awkwardly wondering if it's all right to just walk away from a conversation so they can finally tackle the next 10 reps they have to do before they have to get back to work. You can't do anything about customers who might chat them up, but make sure your staff knows who these people are so they give them every out to get back to their routine.

  1. Personal Goals

Your customers can't control how people feel about them at work or at home. They can only strive to be a better person in all that they do. Going to a health club means that not only are they trying to do the right thing, they're actually succeeding in it. This is one way they can feel good about themselves that they can depend on. They know that they've done something good for themselves by exercising and staying on track. You should be encouraging for this crowd, but not too demanding of them. They may not need a new goal every week.

  1. The Classes

Offering a wide variety of classes from Yoga to Spinning to Advanced Cardio means that you're appealing to the different types of people who may frequent your club. Sometimes learning and being coached through new moves can only be done by a qualified teacher, and if they don't have enough funds on hand to pay someone to do it one on one, this is the only way to get that tutorial. Also, you should really take some time in picking out the instructor for the class since that's going to make all the difference in whether or not people want to sign up.

  1. Fun

Ok, it's a little buried here, but exercise is supposed to be fun! All those chemicals being released make you feel alive and invigorated about your day. Upbeat music, smiling faces and great attitudes all just make people want to come back again and again to feel good.

  1. Their Friends and Family Go There

Endorsements mean the most coming from someone you know. If their loved ones already attend the club, then they're more likely to stay in a certain area. However, it's not a coincidence that all these people who know each other are all in your club. Impress your current customers, and their comments will go farther than any marketing campaign ever could.

  1. The Professional Fitness Staff

Everyone knows that personal trainers come at an additional cost, but sometimes just having access to knowledgeable, means that people are more likely to stick with their personal fitness goals. When you hire your employees, take into account not just how much they know, but also how well they're likely to interact with your customers. People should feel comfortable in approaching them with questions, comments and concerns.

  1. The Social Aspects

Ok, so some people do go to a health club to be able to meet with other people and share tips. Keep in mind that it's nearing the list, but it's definitely still a factor. Some people may just be encouraged to see other people working out. They know that if they're the only one who can't keep up in a class that it will motivate them to get better so they won't have to look like the outcast.

  1. The Money

They've already paid you at this point, so why not go? Some people need to make that investment first. It's not a terrible strategy, and not necessarily a reason you need to shy away from when you interact with them. Some people don't want to hide behind the fact that they want to stay healthy. It's entirely possible that they simply know that they have to exercise, they'll hate it every stage of the way and they need an external force helping them to complete their goals.

For whatever reason your customers keep coming back to you, keep an open mind and try to work approaches to your existing client base to meet their needs.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

Did You Enjoy This Article?

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Stay Up to Date on the Latest Fitness Equipment Maintenance Trends
Get Exclusive Money Saving Offers on Fitness Equipment Parts & Fitness Products
Be the First to Know About New Products
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Survey source The 2015 IHRSA Global Report