How to Win Back Lost Gym Members?

As someone who runs a fitness business, you would definitely want to retain all your members as long as possible. After all, retaining a client a new client will cost you more compared to retaining an existing one.

But regardless of whether you consider your gym the best out there, some of your gym members may decide discontinue their memberships or stop coming to your gym. And if this keeps happening, your bottom line will suffer. It's always best to not lose members in the first place. But let's face it, you're always going to lose some. And while you can always sell memberships to others, you don't want your pool of prospects to dry up.

Therefore, you need to find ways of winning back some of the gym members that you may have lost along the way. In this article, we will walk you through reasons why it’s worth winning back lost gym clients. We will also share strategies that may help you to win back lost gym members.

Spacy gym with lots of fitness equipment.

1. Should You Bother Trying to Win Back Lost Gym Clients?

As much as some of your lost clients may not be worth your reacquisition campaigns, others can prove extremely valuable to your businesses, if you manage to win them back.

Studies show that your businesses have a 20% to 40% probably of winning back a client they’ve lost compared to a 5% to 20% probability of converting a prospect into a new client.

Another report shows that sales cycles for past customers are approximately 70% shorter, compared to the sales cycle of new prospects. Simply put, your lost gym members provide great opportunity for generating serious revenue for your fitness business, at a low cost.

2. Tips for Winning Back Lost Gym Clients

Without a doubt, winning back lost gym members can pay massive dividends for your fitness business. So, how can you win them back? Here are some tips and strategies that can help you to win back lost fitness clients.

2.1 Find Out Why They Left

Before anything else, you first need to determine why your lost gym members cancelled their memberships or discontinued coming to the gym. Figuring out this answer will help you to identify the best course of action.

Some of the reasons why some of your gym members may have cancelled their memberships include:

  • Poor customer service
  • Cheaper options available
  • Inadequate equipment
  • Lack of motivation
  • They relocated to another town or city

Different clients will leave for different reasons. So, the best way to figure out the different reasons is by conducting a customer loss survey. Once you’ve put together the survey questions, you can then send it to the members via email. Also, make sure you include an option where the respondents can provide a reason that may have not included in your survey questions.

2.2 Identify Members Likely to Return

As you may expect, trying to win back every gym member that has cancelled their memberships is next to impossible. You will end up wasting your time, money and effort.

Instead, it will be highly advisable to go through your list of those who have cancelled their memberships and select those likely to return. The question is, how do you differentiate between those likely to return and those who can’t?

Well, if a member has referred your gym to others, cancelled because of price, never had issues with you or they had their complaints resolved successfully, such an individual may return.

Also, if someone discontinued their membership because their favorite personal trainer left your gym or because it took you long to replace a certain piece of equipment, you are likely to win such an individual back.

On the other hand, if your data shows you that someone was constantly skipping their workout sessions or they were constantly complaining about your services, the chances of winning back such an individual are slim.

Furthermore, if someone stopped coming to your gym because they relocated to another town, city or neighborhood, there’s not point of trying to win them back. And you shouldn’t waste your resources.

2.3 Request a Sit-down

By now, you’ve already identified some of the gym members likely to return and their reasons for cancellation. At this point, you should now request to have a face-to-face meeting with this group. As you may expect, some will refuse your offer, regardless of how many messages you send them.

But, some may accept your offer of a sit-down. You simply need to arrange a meeting with them, depending on their availability. You can have the meeting either at your gym, in a coffee shop or at the individual’s preferred location.

2.4 Acknowledge the Issue and Offer a Solution

During this meeting, you should take this opportunity to discuss the reasons why they may have discontinued their membership.

If the client canceled their membership because of issues within your control, you should acknowledge the problem and take responsibility.

For example, if someone stopped coming to your gym because of inadequate gym equipment, you will need to own up to your mistakes and promised the individual that you’ve corrected the issue.

But, words alone may not be enough to convince such an individual. You will need to provide proof of the changes you’ve made since then to improve this area.

To this end, you can invite them to your gym and give them a tour, showing them that you’ve indeed purchased adequate equipment.

You can even give them an opportunity to try out some of the new equipment that you’ve added since then. And, there’s a high chance that some may be convinced to come back and renew your memberships.

2.5 Offer an Incentive

Even after correcting the issues that may have driven your gym members away, some may still be unwilling to return. An effective way of reviving the relationship you had with them and convincing them to come back is by offering them incentives, which are compelling enough not to turn down.

But as mentioned earlier, different gym members will cancel their memberships for different reasons. Hence, the incentive that you offer should align with the reasons why they canceled their memberships.

For instance, if someone stopped coming to the gym because they felt like your pricing was too high, you can offer them a discounted membership for several months.

At the same time, if someone stopped coming because they were not getting adequate attention, you can offer them free one-on-one personal training sessions, free entry into your VIP programs, as well as access to premium workout guides and nutritional plans.

3. Strategies for Preventing Churn

Probably the most cost-effective and efficient method of winning back lost gym clients is to prevent them from canceling their memberships in the first place. So, instead of waiting until your gym members have let, you should identify those likely to leave and then target them proactively using re-engagement email campaigns.

And you can easily identify those that are at risk of leaving by checking the last time they logged into their online portal, opened their emails, or attended a workout session. Once you’ve identified this group, you can then come up with strategies that can help to prevent them from churning.

3.1 Ensure Your Rates are Competitive

Membership costs remain one of the main reasons why people cancel their gym memberships. So, if your rates are too high than other gyms in the area, there’s a chance that some of your members will quit and join your competitors’ gyms. So, to prevent this from happening, you need to ensure your rates are competitive. Unless you are offering something unique or special, your rates should be comparable to what the other gyms in the area are charging.

3.2 Make Sure Your Gym is Adequately Equipped

Inadequate gym equipment is yet another reason why some gym members may cancel their memberships and seek services elsewhere. At the end of the day, no one wants to waste their valuable time waiting on a queue to use a certain piece of gym equipment. To this end, you need to make sure that your fitness center is adequately equipped. Also, you should ensure all the equipment in your facility are in perfect working condition at all time.

3.3 Offer Outstanding Customer Service

Some gym members will cancel their memberships due to poor customer service. And as you may probably know, there’s no guarantee that you will win a client back, once they cancel their memberships.

So, you should always make sure that all gym members are getting premium customer service. Whether it’s handling their complaints, workout sessions, booking workout sessions, or any other area, you should always make sure your level of customer service is exceeding your members’ expectations.

You should also make it a habit of asking for feedback from your members often. So, in case one of your members is unhappy for any reason, they will point it out early enough. And, you will have an opportunity to correct that problem before they can cancel their memberships.

4. Wrapping It Up

Losing clients is normal for every fitness business. But, if you keep losing clients, you will be forced to spend more money, trying to acquire new ones. And this will ultimately affect the profitability of your fitness business. By implementing the above strategies, you can manage to win back some of the clients you may have lost and continue earning from them.

Jay Bats

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