red flag waving on stormy beach

As a fitness business owner you invest everything you have in your clients’ success. Day in and out, your mission is to help them reach their goals. You see their struggles, but you also see their gains. So when a client drops out of your gym or program, it’s disappointing.

It’s also concerning from a business perspective. You know it’s less expensive to keep a member than it is to acquire a new one. With every student you lose, you have fewer resources to devote to your existing members. Instead, you must spend your time and money on marketing so you can keep your membership base at a minimum level.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can prevent your membership attrition if you look out for certain red flags that signal a member is in danger of leaving. Once you see these flags, saving members at-risk is usually as easy as talking to them to help them solve their concerns.

To keep you ahead of the game, we created this list of the top five red flags you’ll likely see when a member is in danger of leaving your gym.

1. Attendance

The first and most recognizable red flag is when a member doesn’t come to class anymore. If someone normally comes in with a predictable frequency but abruptly deviates from it, you’re seeing a red flag. From there, it’s worth the time it takes to check in with them to discover the reason for their absence. It might be that they don’t feel motivated to workout or don’t live in the same area now. Either way, it’s time to connect with your member and see what you can do to bring them back.

In Zen Planner, you can easily set up our automations feature to send out an email whenever a member misses a certain number of days. By doing this, you aren’t forced to think about the process, and nobody falls through the cracks. You can also run attendance reports to verify any suspicions you might have about attendance patterns.

2. Issues or Complaints

This one is pretty obvious. If you have a customer that is not happy, it’s time to personally check-in with them to see if the issue(s) are resolvable. Maybe it’s a one-off concern, like discontinuing their favorite recovery drink or toiletries in the shower room. Or it could be something serious like a concern with someone on your coaching staff. Complaints are a positive thing because they give you the opportunity to address a member’s concern before they leave your gym.

It’s important to note that many people won’t tell you directly what is going on because they hate confrontation. A gym member who is dissatisfied will likely try to quietly slip out the door, so it is important to monitor attendance trends and other red flags. When they arise, you can approach the member directly either in person or over the phone.

3. Removed/changed their payment method to shut off autopay

You know we are big fans of autopay. It removes that monthly decision point so your members don’t have to rethink the value of your services over and over again. However, if your members are set up on autopay and someone asks to be taken off it, you’re likely seeing a red flag. This presents you with an opportunity to check in with your client and see if they are unhappy or simply unable to pay monthly fees.

4. Removed contact information in order to stop receiving group emails

Some people are private and may opt out of emails when they join your gym. But if you have a member approach you and ask to remove their contact information, you have cause to be worried. Ask the member why they want to be removed from email lists (Do you send emails too often? Does the member not find any value in them?) After you reach out to the member, you’ll know if there’s anything that you can do to keep them at your gym.

5. One of their workout buddies/partners left to go somewhere else (left town, went to another gym)

You know the feeling of community is one of the most important motivators for your members. If your community is thriving, your membership base is likely growing. Unfortunately, this theory also works in reverse. If you’re losing key community members, you’re likely seeing an alarming trend indicating others may leave too. This is a critical time to check in with your member to try and make staying at your gym the easy choice.

Get your copy of our free guide, Gym Member Churn Prevention & Warning Signs. This guide provides tips on how to combat common churn warning signs, as well as advice on how to create a culture open to member feedback.

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