How to Instantly Increase Your Member Retention [Featuring Alex Armstrong, Founder of Gymotion]

vito la fata Jul 26, 2019

Sexy? No. Necessary? Absolutely. 


In the episode below of the Fitnesspreneur’s Life podcast, Alex Armstrong and I hopped on the mic to jam on proven strategies to boost member retention.


I know what you’re thinking: I want new leads, V. 


Listen, leads are important, but retention is the freakin’ lifeblood of your business.


No, it’s not sexy, new, or cutting-edge. But the ridiculously simple nuggets shared below can exponentially increase your retention. Imagine the impact that will have on your bottom line.


Do yourself a favor. Keep scrolling to stop losing members (and money) and start maximizing your member retention…


Are You Insane?


Personal trainer-turned-retention extraordinaire and founder of Gymotion, Alex Armstrong,  already has an impressive following of gym owners and fitnesspreneurs like you thanks to his simple and effective approach to retention.


Frankly, he’s uncovered some glaring mistakes we’re all guilty of making and developed a solution-oriented approach to retention. 


If you’re anything like I was back in the day, you’re probably way too focused on acquisition – this quick interview will instantly change the game for you…



Over the course of 3 months, Alex visited 50+ gyms to analyze the industry as a “research project.”


The results? Fitness business owners are insane (but you already know that, right :)). 


But seriously. it seems every gym owner is doing the same thing over and over again; Frantically trying to outsell the problem that plagues us all: People leaving.


But selling is not the solution to your problems. 


Instead of joining the crowd pushing lead generation, Alex discovered the need for exclusive expertise on retention. Strategies, tactics, tips, you name it. 


The best part? He shared his expert advice below. 


The truth is you can keep attracting new clients, but there’s no way to scale and earn the right to live the freedom lifestyle if you’re not retaining your existing people. .  


Retention is science, psychology, buying patterns, and customer service blended together to form a mouthwatering cocktail your members can’t stop sipping.


Let’s discuss proven ingredients for remarkable retention...


Alex Armstrong’s Blueprint for Maximizing Retention


Yes, retention impacts ROI. But wrap your head around this: Retention also touches employee satisfaction, your Net Promoter Score, ancillary revenue, referrals, and much, much more. Heck, it will even drop your cost of customer acquisition.


Now imagine the cumulative impact all of those elements can have on your business. Suddenly, retention is pretty freakin’ important, eh?


Let’s jump into some straightforward and simple retention solutions – just how I like it. No fluff. No filler. No B.S.


Tip 1: Work backward.


Remarkable retention rates require working backward by analyzing and communicating with those who are leaving. The goal: Identify why they’re heading out the door. 


Ask yourself the following proven questions to start identifying the largest attrition influencers you’re dealing with:


  •       Are you onboarding them properly?
  •       Are you delivering on your promises?
  •       Are you providing the education they need to succeed?
  •       Are your packages solution-oriented?


This is a start, but let’s dive deeper as not all issues are this obvious…


Tip 2: Solve avoidable losses.


You can turn your brain to mush trying to solve unavoidable losses…


Or you can dedicate your energy and effort to solving what you can fix: Avoidable losses.


Unavoidable loss includes relocation, death (morbid, I know. But when you’re in the game long enough, it happens), illness, and job loss.


Anything else you’ve labeled “unavoidable” is a huge miss on your part. Accept it and fix it. 


Your services and offerings, your facility’s cleanliness, your environment, and your customer service are all avoidable losses within your control.


Tip 3: Stop relying on surveys:


How do you currently battle retention? If you’re like the rest of the industry, you proudly show Alex survey results.


Rather than patting yourself on the back, know you’re not doing nearly enough.


You need to get together and interview the people leaving, ask open-ended questions, and dig deep into the root cause of their exit. Your survey ain’t gonna cut it. 


As Alex says, be curious and be conversational.


  • Maybe you need more parking.
  • Maybe you need to offer child care.
  • Maybe you need to build a members-only lounge.
  • Maybe you need better Wifi.
  • Maybe your front desk staff is a problem.
  • Maybe the body wash in the showers suck (I’ve heard crazier things).


The list goes on and on …


But you don’t know if you don’t ask. And this kind of information is rarely communicated via your multiple-choice survey.


Take time to connect with your outgoing folks in a safe, one-on-one environment where you can really listen and they can really speak.


Even then, there’s more to uncover...


Tip 4: Dig into their emotions.


Maybe the parking situation isn’t the problem.


You need to go deeper.


Now that you know to interview your former members upon exit, dig into the emotional layers surrounding their leave during the “exit interview” process.


They may point to parking, when really the issue is they expected weight loss and only got workouts, or they expected education and only got equipment. 


When you find those deep, emotional issues pushing them towards leaving, you’ll know.


As Alex puts it, one conversation like this can completely change the game. 


Dig until you get there.



3 Simple Tricks to Prevent Attrition


We’ve jammed a bunch on how to learn from exiting members to fuel increased retention. But, how you can you start preventing attrition in the first place?


After examining 50+ fitness clubs. here’s how Alex suggests you instantly get ahead of attrition.


Tip 1: Be there. 


Seriously, just be there.


Whether they need to bend your ear about work, vent about the kids, talk sports, or talk shop, you being there can transform them front on-the-fence prospects to lifelong advocates.


The tough part? Always being there.


If you’re ever going to scale your business or finally get in on the online action, you’re going to need to step away from being the leading man or woman at your facility. 


Make sure your staff is as well-equipped as you are to serve your clients and they’ll stick around. (More on the best way to do that in a minute…)


By ensuring someone is always there for your clients, you can take one massive step toward living the freedom lifestyle.


Tip 2: Innovate.


Boutiques have gobbled up market share from big box gyms (and retail, in general) partially due to speedy innovation.


You need to do the same.


Think about what people are going to want in 3 to 5 years. Then, have a game plan to tackle those wants. Speed is on your side if you’re ready to innovate and execute.


Or as I like to put it, future-proofing your business starts right now.


Tip 3: Role play.


Double down on staff training by recreating the unique and challenging situations you and your team encounter daily while dealing with members.


It’s amazing what a little sharing of knowledge can do, and one of the best ways to get everyone prepped is through simple role-playing.


It’s a tremendously beneficial practice that sets everyone up for success. Ultimately, helping to boost your retention. 


Bonus Tip: Create an appreciation budget.


Did you catch that? I’m talking appreciation not acquisition.


This can sit alongside your acquisition budget. But keep in mind, it costs way more to acquire members than keep them. So why not invest in appreciating your current members to keep them around?


This is something I’m doing with my clients now across my portfolio of businesses and we’re all reaping the rewards of increased retention.


FREE: Experience the Retention Calculator


For a limited-time, Alex has opened his website’s Retention Calculator to fans of our podcast and fellow visionaries.


Hop over here to instantly calculate your retention.


Eye-opening, huh?


After you check out the calculator, expect an email from Alex with his Attention on Retention Audit. It’s as damn cool as the name implies.


His 10-step, Attention on Retention process analyzes 10 factors that influence your retention. It’s a behemoth version of this blog that goes even deeper to massively boost your retention.


And if you’d like to connect with Alex in the meantime, hit him up on LinkedIn or drop him a line at [email protected].



Stop wasting your time, money, and energy on the wrong stuff. I’ve helped thousands of fit pros and business owners just like you trade their confusion for confidence and supercharge their revenue, growth, and impact.

 Join me for a FREE, no-risk coaching call so I can  help you fast-track your success. After all, retention is only one piece of the puzzle. 

Click below to schedule your free call now. 




I remember what it was like to start out...so much confusion, so much wasted time, money and energy.  Let's jump on a call so I can fast-track your success getting the impact, freedom and income you're after.

Click the button and apply for your complimentary call now.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.