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RETENTION


Plenty of members expect to meet people with common interests and make friends with staff and other club members


Experienced exercisers repeatedly


described terminating their memberships with no questions asked – not even an exit interview or any attempt to save them. “Someone called me once when I quit


to ask why I’d cancelled my direct debit. When I told her I’d had enough, she just said ‘oh’. She tried to explain the cancellation policy but made no attempt to understand why I was leaving or to stop me. They made me feel even less valued than before,” commented one survey respondent. Indeed, experienced members often


believe clubs have no interest in them beyond the income they provide. They feel clubs operate in a manner that’s solely based on fi nancial transactions, with no attention paid to whether the member is enjoying the club experience or achieving the results they desire.


Frequency of use Finally, although it’s already been seen that lack of usage leads to membership cancellation, clubs need to bear in mind that, among experienced exercisers, irregular usage of the club due to work and life commitments may not necessarily lead to cancellation. Members do not always adhere to the behaviour of exercising at the same


54


Experienced exercisers repeatedly describe terminating their memberships with no


questions asked – or any attempt to save them


time on a certain number of days a week. Those who have been members of multiple clubs, or of the same club for a long period, do not always achieve the recommended frequency of exercise – but they do continue to exercise, and consider themselves exercisers even when there’s an extended break in regular training. “I’ve been a member of fi ve clubs


and I work out around work and family commitments,” explained one respondent. “I mostly do the same type of workouts each time, and when I train regularly, I notice that my fi tness changes. But when I’m busy at work or when there’s a lot on at home, I train less. I’ve been training for more than 12 years and I don’t think I’ve strung together more than six weeks of consistent sessions.” This calls into question the idea that


experienced members will use their clubs every week. Being able to predict member behaviour through analytics


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


based on more than just visit frequency will begin to unlock the next wave of strategies that will help to improve member retention. Until then, we must rely on


developing member experiences that are consistently delivered by quality health club staff, providing support and guidance in environments that are refreshed more frequently to reinvigorate the senses, and with exercise programmes and classes that are designed get members the results they’re looking for. ●


Paul Bedford PhD has worked in the fi tness industry for more than 20 years. His business, Retention Guru, helps health club operators increase retention, reduce attrition and improve member loyalty. Email paul-retentionguru.co.uk Twitter @guru_paul LinkedIn Paul Bedford


March 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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