Why should gyms track attendance?

Why should gyms track attendance?

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A ttendance tracking is often seen as an underrated (and boring) topic. A reliable attendance tracking at your gym plays a crucial role in determining your future strategies. Unfortunately, many gyms don’t think about it all that much. Believe it or not, attendance tracking is an effective way to keep your gym’s retention numbers up. Let's dive in deep.

But first, why should gyms track attendance?

Attendance tracking, as simple as it may sound is imperative for your gym business. It benefits your members as well as your fitness business. Attendance register can help you predict the future growth of your business. Whether there is a decline or a surge of members availing your service can be found from the attendance register and based on which you can plan your business strategies.

Business benefits of tracking attendance
An analysis of your attendance register can help you get an idea about your gym’s health. Let’s find out how.

  • Member Retention
    Daily attendance recording gives you an idea about your members visit patterns. Some members visit everyday while some may visit thrice a week or less. Attendance register can help you track changes in these patterns. With regular analysis of the attendance register, you can notice the variation in the member visits. For eg, a regular member has not been seen for a week, your front-desk staff can make a follow up call and check if the member is alright. This notifies the members that their presence is noted and they are valued. Such personal attention increases their chances of membership renewal and inturn improving the member retention of your fitness studio.

  • Calculate Churn Rate
    Cutomer churn is the percentage of members lost during a specific period of time. To calculate your member churn rate, select a specific period and divide your number of members who stopped coming, during the period, by the number of members at the start of the period. Then multiply by 100 for your percent that represents your member churn. A healthy churn rate is to be in 1-2% range per month.

  • Happy Hours
    Heat map is a two-dimentsional representation of data in which the values are represented by colours. Attendance heat map shows you the most and the least popular hours at your gym. This information can be used to make strategic changes to your schedule and make the most out of your empty gym hours. An example can be offering membership at a lower price during off-peak hours.

  • Know Your Loyal Members
    Attendance register can help you find out members who come to the gym regularly and renew their memberships on time. These loyal members can be appreciated with reward points. From the same register, you can also find out the not-so-loyal or irregular members. A quick small talk with such members can help you find out the problems within your gym.

Now, how to track attendance?
Tracking attendance has never been difficult. The old way was to leave a attendance register at the front desk (with a pen). The members were requested to mark their in / out times. Though this method is cheap and simple, it is cumbersome for members to fumble their phones for checking the time and is prone to error. And times have changed and obviously this system of attendance recording is outdated. With more fitness businesses moving towards using a gym management software, newer methods to mark the member attendance have been introduced. Let's list out a few options:

  • QR Codes
    QR codes have changed how businesses work to a great extent. They are seen on products, news paper ads to even billboards! Yes, they can also be used to mark attendance. Simply print your gym’s unique code and paste it on your gym door. Your members can easily scan it while entering/leaving the gym and mark their attendance.
    If you are wondering, what if the staff takes home the code and keeps marking the attendance without stepping into the gym? Well, there is a solution. You can opt for QR codes that change daily!

  • Access Control Devices
    These devices are fitted with the door or the turnstile at your gym. They either work with RFID tags or fingerprints. Moreover, when connected to a CRM these devices can restrict access for members whose membership has expired. So no more ’free’ days.
    The one-time setup cost of these devices are high but they do offer you complete security and peace of mind.

These methods when clubbed in a CRM can bring you meaningful insights. For example Okfit, analyses the attendance pattern at your gym and shows you a heatmap with the gym's busiest and empty hours. It also shows you how your attendance is split between the morning and the afternoon sessions. Moreover, just like the chat apps, Okfit also shows the 'last seen status' of your members.

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