How to Handle Fitness Member Delinquency

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The topic of fitness member delinquencies is like a tug-of-war. As gym owners and managers, you know that member dues are critical to the revenue stream of the business, but how can you approach the situation to ensure that members pay on time?

These three tips can help you and your team master managing your billing and collections and prevent future delinquencies.

1. Be Personal When Handling a Fitness Member Delinquency

Understand that there is a definite psychology around delinquencies that your team has to master. They should understand the member’s mindset to figure out the real problem and the best possible solution. If you’re wondering where to start, begin by reminding your employees to keep these difficult conversations personal. Once your employees start having this conversation with delinquent members, they’ll start to realize what is really causing the fitness member delinquency. There are many common reasons why people pay dues late. They might be in a tough financial situation and can’t pay the dues in full, they might have thought they had paid but forgot… or maybe it’s their employer or a third party who forgot to make their payment.

Train your employees on the different options members have to make a payment. If they can’t pay it all in one chunk, advise them to set up a different payment strategy where they can pay less, more often. If they thought they had paid already, but forgot, have them use an automated payment processingsystem to automate their payments. If it’s a third party who missed the payment, have your employees give that member any necessary resources they need to discuss with that third party.

Practicing these difficult conversations one-on-one with your employees will help them become more comfortable with guiding the conversation and can help your team master the psychology behind delinquent follow-up.

2. Automate Your Follow-Ups

Waiting to address a fitness member delinquency can be a big mistake. Sending out immediate, automated follow-ups for members who are late with payments is a simple way to remind them to pay. This is often done through automated emails. You could send a single follow-up email or a series of follow-ups if they still haven’t paid in full after a period of time. In the follow-up, don’t just remind them to make their payment, but also outline how easy it is. Tell them they can pay online rather than having to make an extra trip to the front desk or how they can automate their payments in the future.

3. Reach Out for Assistance

If you or your team is not comfortable managing delinquencies, or if you’ve tried different methods that have yet to work, find a partner who is an expert at managing these situations. It takes the time and stress off of your hands and ensures that your members will pay on time. ABC Financial is a partner you can count on to reduce delinquencies and improve your bottom line by using gym management software.

Discover how gym management software can help you reduce fitness member delinquencies by downloading our “Methods to Solving Health Club Member Payment & Retention Challenges” eBook.

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at:

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