To keep members coming back for longer, you need to provide excellent service. That can be tough, especially if your team is small. There are many things you can do to provide consistently high service to members. Get 9 ideas.

According to the latest LeisureDB State of The UK Fitness Industry Report 2023, there are 4,460 privately owned gyms in the UK. And this number has pretty much been the same since 2019. So, competition can be fierce.

If you want to stand out, you need to provide consistently high service to members. And create gym member experiences that inspire loyalty. That’s easier said than done for many gym owners and operators.

Many fitness clubs are suffering staff shortages and struggle with high staff turnover. So, providing consistent levels of service is tough. Plus, with high operating costs and consumers seeking a bargain, many clubs need to do more with less.

We’re here to help. There are loads of ways to increase retention by engaging and supporting members. Here are 9 ideas for small changes you can make that’ll boost your gym member experience.

Let’s get stuck in!

Powering exceptional experiences

The right partner will help you deliver stand out service and build memorable experiences. All with less heavy lifting for you and your team. A gym software partner like Xplor Gym.

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1. Set the right expectations

Start by thinking about the early days of a new member’s journey with you. What impression is your gym marketing and sales approach giving prospects?

It can be easy to over-promise in your sales and marketing process. When the reality of your member experience may not live up to the expectations you’ve built up.

Review your messaging, how you talk about your club, equipment, classes, and more. Look at any claims you make about the results members might achieve. Make sure you’re accurate and realistic at all times.

That also means selecting the right images. Ideally, you’ll have photographs from your own business. And if you’re using stock photography, stick to images that reflect your facilities and your target members.

Regularly review the sales approach taken when you’re speaking with prospects. Provide training where needed to improve the approach. Make sure everything that’s said reflects reality.

2. Make joining easy

In a competitive landscape, it’s essential to make it easy and convenient for prospects to join. Today, that means a smooth online joining experience.

Look for online joining tech from your gym software partner. Tech that integrates with your website and reflects your branding. Clearly showcase your membership options and packages. So, prospects can choose the right option for their needs fast.

Make it simple for new members to opt into bolt-ons during the sign-up process. So, you create a more personalised experience from the start. And earn extra recurring revenue too!

The online joining solution available should allow you to capture details of prospects who abandon their membership sign up. So, you can target and encourage these potential new members to finish joining.

3. Nail new member onboarding

Did you know that gym members who had a gym induction keep visiting and using their membership for 4+ months longer than those who don’t? Offering a personalised induction can help set new members up for success.

Go beyond an induction for new members.

Extend your new gym member onboarding journey to cover key touchpoints over the course of their first 90+ days with you. And that way, you’ll engage and motivate your new members to keep showing up.

Automation is essential to creating a personalised onboarding journey. One that guides new members to success. Use the messaging and gym marketing software features within your gym software to send the right message at the right time.

“Send the right message, at the right time, to the right person to generate that return visit, which is essentially what we’re looking to achieve from any form of communication.”

Julie Allen, Active Insight
Banner promoting the free new gym member onboarding made easy playbook

4. Automate comms & marketing

On a similar note, think about other ways you can use your software to automatically send other communications at key points in a member’s journey.

So, you create a personalised experience throughout a member’s lifetime with you. An experience that makes the most of every opportunity to engage a member.

For example, when a member hasn’t visited recently, set up a triggered campaign to send an email letting you know you miss them and encouraging them back.

How to re-engage high-risk gym members


Want to increase retention? A re-engagement strategy for gym members at risk of cancelling soon is essential. Find out how to build a powerful re-engagement strategy.

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You can also boost the member experience by sending gym marketing emails. Emails that are targeted towards each member and personalised using your software.

For example, if a member normally books classes, send them a personalised email about a relevant new class you’re launching.

Need inspiration? Get the ultimate gym email marketing guide. It’s packed with ideas for campaigns and messages you need to be sending. The free guide even includes 16 gym email templates that you can use and adapt.

Banner promoting the guide to email marketing for gyms and fitness clubs. This free guide includes 16 ready-to-use gym email templates.

5. Let your members do the talking

Did you know that 88% of people trust recommendations from people they know more than any other type of advertising? And 77% are more likely to buy if they’ve received advice from someone they know?

So, a gym member referral programme is the perfect way to attract new members and reward existing ones.

A refer-a-friend programme takes advantage of the power of word-of-mouth marketing. So, you can lean on happy members to encourage their friends and family to join.

Typically, you’ll incentivise both your existing and new members to take part. For example, with a discount or other perk when the referred new member joins your club. Use your gym management software to run your referral programme, tracking referrals made.

Added perks like this can really delight members. Boosting your gym member experience with minimal effort from you and your team.

Create a referral programme that turns members into advocates


Find out how to set up a successful refer-a-friend programme that wins you new members.

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6. Make the most of your personal trainers

So far we’ve mainly concentrated on ways that use tech to boost your member experience. You should also make sure you are making the most of your team to deliver outstanding service.

A starting point should be your personal trainers (PTs). There are many different ways to work with PTs. And the exact model you choose will depend on the needs of your business.

Regardless, make sure what you are offering PTs is attractive for them. You’ll know how many hours of gym floor support you have from your PT team. Make the most of this time.

Think beyond getting your PTs to do outreach to attract new clients and keeping your equipment clean. Get them to use their skills to support and add more value to your members. For example, you could have your PTs:

  • Run weight management seminars
  • Provide inductions and follow-up consultations
  • Teach chargeable small group PT
  • Interact with members identified as high-risk

7. Offer group fitness

Group exercisers who visit a club at least once a week are 20% more likely to be loyal members than those who visit 3 times a week to use the gym.

So, that makes building a regular timetable of group fitness classes another great way to boost gym member experience. When designing your timetable, think about what you and your members are going to get out of it.

Your classes need to live up to member expectations. And reflect the quality of your overall member experience.

So, invest in class formats that will appeal to your target audience of members. And find instructors who’ll motivate members to attend regularly.

When done well, group fitness classes will elevate your member experience. Helping you build loyal members who stick with your club for longer.

8. Manage membership payments effectively

Next up, to boost your gym member experience a smooth membership payments experience is essential. The best membership payment experience for members is one they hardly even notice!

You should be able to automatically collect membership fees each month. Payment information should be available in your gym management software in real-time. Always up-to-date and accurate.

By choosing software with embedded payments, you’ll be able to automate access based on the latest payment statuses. No confusion, just streamlined access. And if a missed payment occurs, your software should let you automatically notify the member.

Managing payments can be time-consuming. So, look for a partner with proven processes and a contact centre team. So it’s easier for members who’ve missed a payment to get back in your club fast.

Relying on a partner to manage membership payments for you will free you and your team to focus on engaging members. And you’ll know your members are getting excellent service to help with payment queries.

“We needed an all-in-one solution that could handle all the member billing for us now and in the future, as well as general member management and marketing.

We would spend hours a day reconciling and manually processing payments. Our collection rates needed to be better.

We needed a system that would automate these processes and improve efficiency and collection success.”

Mike Garner, Director of Evolution Fitness XL

9. Look for new ways to incorporate tech

Finally, incorporating tech into your fitness business can add serious value for members. As well as making sure you use your gym software to its full potential, find new ways to integrate tech into your club.

For example, if you are using a best-in-class software platform, it should be easy to take advantage of integrations with other solutions that’ll elevate your gym member experience.

Use the Technogym Mywellness CRM? Get more out of your solution, and take your member experience to the next level, with the Xplor Gym integration. Power experiences that wow members. Deliver outstanding levels of personalisation every visit and touchpoint.

The wrap up…

Boost your gym member experience and deliver excellent service. And you’ll stand out in a busy market. So, you’ll be set to grow retention, increase member lifetime value, and even attract a steady flow of new members.

As we’ve seen, there are many ways to elevate your member experience without the need for a large team. Steadily make small changes to have a big impact over the longer term.

It’s essential to embrace tech that automates processes and empowers members to take control of their experience. Make simple changes to how your team interacts with members and to your timetable to enhance the value you bring to members.

The Xplor Gym team is here to help you boost your gym member experience. And we’d love to have a chat and see what we can do for your business. Get in touch now.

Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 29 April 2024

Last updated: 29 April 2024