Price has always been an important factor for gyms when attracting new members – and retaining existing ones.
In our recent survey of fitness consumers, one of the top two priorities for members and their fitness experience is the price competitiveness of their gym. 72%* believe their gyms need to be more competitive with pricing.
Competitive pricing doesn’t always mean cheaper. In fact, members recognise the importance of health and fitness and understand the benefits of their gym memberships. They don’t always want cheaper, but they do want more value.
They want to see their memberships offering maximum value. That means focusing on experiences as well as price. The kind of experiences that help your members recognise the superior value of your offer – like payment experiences.
To prioritise your payment experience, you need to meet your members’ demands. They want:
1. More choice
Your members don’t want to be constrained by the ‘typical’ membership type choices of peak and off-peak. With working patterns changing, they want the freedom to choose a membership that best suits their lifestyle.
They want to choose the kind of access they’d like to your facility, and they don’t expect to have to pay for those times when they won’t be visiting your gym.
Some may want to opt for ‘weekend only’ memberships. Others may recognise they will never visit at a weekend, but only train weekdays after 5pm. Or perhaps some members only want access in the morning?
The more freedom you can give to your members with membership types, the more valuable they’ll find your offer.
2. More customisation and personalisation
That freedom to select the right membership access extends to customisation and personalisation options too.
One size doesn’t fit all. Members want to tailor their memberships to meet their needs.
Some may simply want to use your gym and its state-of-the-art equipment on their own. They want a ‘gym-only’ membership. Others may only be interested in your classes, and have no intention of solo training. They want a ‘classes-only’ membership.
Take that a step further by allowing members to fully personalise their memberships. Perhaps they could:
- Add all types of dance classes or select just spin classes to include with their gym only membership
- Bolt-on a once a week personal training session to help them focus their goals
- Add and remove family members when it suits them, with kids, teen and student options that reflect the relevant use of your facilities
A tailored, personal membership plan adds real value. Members are happy to pay for your facilities, but they don’t want to fork out for those they know they’ll never use.
Instead of letting members start questioning their membership “because they don’t use the gym or never do any classes”, let them customise their memberships and be grateful they only have to pay for the facilities they want.
3. More flexibility
Your members want that freedom and flexibility with their actual payments too.
They want to control their own payment schedules to fit with their lifestyle.
To do that – and continue to add value – you could offer flexible payment dates. By letting members choose the day of the month that their Direct Debit is collected, they can make sure it aligns with their wage payments and better manage their own finances.
It prevents any issues arising from missed payments due to insufficient funds, delivering a seamless payment experience for everyone.
And when members don’t need to keep checking their bank account to make sure they have enough in there for payments, they won’t be thinking about cancelling.
4. More ease
That quick and simple payment process is essential to delivering value and giving your members what they want.
They don’t want to be sorting out paperwork when they join. They don’t want to have to pay at reception every month. They don’t want to keep thinking about payments and prices.
Your members want to pay digitally, as simply and effectively as possible. The most convenient option for them – and for your gym – is Direct Debit payments.
It automates all future payments so members don’t need to think about them again. And if there are any issues, your software should flag them immediately so members can quickly resolve them.
A simple, seamless payment process also makes it easy for members to access your gym. They expect their payment details to update instantly so entry is hassle-free, and a streamlined Direct Debit set-up – with the right membership management software – delivers that.
Creating the perfect payment process
Choice, personalisation, flexibility and ease. The perfect payment process prioritises all these member demands, and more, delivering a simple, seamless and valued member experience.
Couple that with gym membership management software like Xplor Gym that:
- Gives you the flexibility to update memberships types and create new ones
- Lets your members manage their own payment preferences and customise options
- Seamlessly handles Direct Debits, missed payments and instant database updates…
…and you’ll be one step closer to adding value to your offer and giving members what they want.
It’s a great way to keep more members for longer. And if you’re looking for more simple and effective strategies to improve retention across your gym business, grab a copy of our latest eBook – for free: 8 Ways To Supercharge Gym Member Retention.
*Research conducted on behalf of Xplor Gym’s parent company, Xplor Technologies, Untangld conducted an online survey of 1,065 respondents during December 2021. The sample for the study was nationally representative and defined as people who were members or regularly attended gyms, health clubs, studios, leisure centres or sports clubs pre-COVID.
Article by Xplor Gym
First published: 12 August 2022
Last updated: 02 November 2023