Managing a Fitness Center? 3 Ways to Solve Member Payment and Retention Challenges

January 4, 2018

By: Ali Adcock

Are you currently managing a fitness center? Do you have trouble with members not paying their dues? Are your members leaving before their membership is up? How can you collect the most dues from your members and retain them for years to come? Below we’ve outlined 3 ways to help you solve these problems:

1. Manage Reporting in a Spreadsheet

No one said managing a fitness center would be easy. When you realize you have a member retention problem, it’s time to make a change. To get started, you can create some basic Excel reports to keep track of how many members you’re losing to help determine why.

Although this is not the best or only way to create a plan of action, it is better than doing nothing at all. It will be a slow and manual process but by seeing the data in a report month after month you will be able to analyze and create a better solution to retain members.

While spreadsheets will solve your basic member payment and retention problems, automated gym software is a much better solution.

The downfall of using spreadsheets the amount of time you’ll spend manually creating and analyzing these reports monthly. It’s also not a secure way to manage your members’ data and you run the risk of creating human error.

2. Use a Payment Processing Tool

Finding the right payment processing tool can be difficult when you have multiple forms of payment options and recurring billing. However, this option is better than manually handling it yourself! There are online programs that can handle payment collections to make your life a little easier, but they can’t solve all of your member payment and retention issues.

You may find a company that can handle your payment processing and even scheduling, but even then you’ll need to ensure they are safe and secure. There is still a downfall as these payment processing companies aren’t tailored to fit your gym’s exact needs. You need a complete software solution that solves ALL of the member payment and retention challenges you are facing.

3. Gym Management Software

Complete gym management software can not only handle your payment processing but also manage your members and employees.

Maybe you’re new to managing a fitness center and just realized these issues. That’s okay, we are here to provide a solution before you lose members or have to spend time chasing them down for payments. Although there are a few solutions to member payment and retention problems, gym management software is tailored to your gym’s needs and will solve the issues you’re facing as a gym owner.

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Below are some features that will help solve your member retention challenges and allow you to:

  • Freeze a membership– stop members from simply canceling
  • Switch memberships to a lower price tier instead of canceling altogether
  • Renew memberships online
  • Email surveys to members to determine what they like and don’t like
  • Provide a calendar of easily accessible classes to members through a member portal
  • Keep your members engaged through email marketing

Additional features that will help you solve member payments challenges include:

  • Automatic payment – EFT provides a seamless payment processing through a secure e-billing system
  • Automatic credit card renewals – member’s credit card issuers can share updated account information with your gym
  • Prohibit gym entry to those who haven’t paid – flag accounts with notifications, block check-in access and provide a grace period for members to pay

The price of purchasing gym management software is typically a big concern for gym owners, especially those who own smaller mom and pop facilities. ABC Financial’s customers have seen a 94% collection rate and a 10-15% increase over gyms with no management software. So, don’t let the price scare you away. By learning how much you can earn from collecting more dues and increasing membership sales, you’ll thank yourself for choosing a complete software solution that’s right for your gym.

Are you struggling to retain gym members? Download the free eBook to learn how increase your member retention rates.