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RETENTION SERIES


The Human Touch C


What forms of communication do your members value? In the second part of his series based on the findings of the TRP10,000™ study, Dr Melvyn Hillsdon looks at the art of communication


Almost half of members had received a courtesy email in the past month


lubs interact with their members in a variety of ways. When members visit their clubs, face-to-face


communication channels are via both reception and fitness staff. Away from the club, they receive communication via phone calls, SMS, email and social media. But what level of communication are they receiving, what specific channels of communication do they value, and what quantity and/or types of communication are associated with improved membership retention?


Table 1: Communication type received by gender, age group, length of membership and visit frequency


Reception staff Fitness staff Tel


Gender Females Males


Age group 16-24


25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+


Months since joining 3 < 6


>=6 to <12 >=12 to <36 >=36


Visit frequency Less than 1x week Less than 2x week Less than 3x week


45.9 36.5


31.7 31.2


41.4 46.5 57.7 66.6


33.8 33.1 38.7 62.5


37.6 41.4 43.9


More than 3x week 50.7


40.8 30.8


35.6 34.5


35.8 37.0 39.6 43.0


33.9 34.1 38.8 39.1


27.7 36.5 43.4 44.2


4.1 2.6


2.58 2.36


3.67 3.69 4.74 6.33


4.19 2.05 2.94 4.47


2.68 3.42 3.4


5.74


COMMUNICATION TYPE RECEIVED Email


SMS


45.5 53.4


49.9 50.2


48.5 49.1 45.7 48.6


48.3 55.0 52.3 40.2


49.2 49.3 48.3 47.5


4.4 5.4


4.8 4.6


4.8 5.9 4.4 3.0


6.6 5.2 3.9 3.5


5.4 4.1 5.1 5.7


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10.3 9.8


12.2 12.4


11.9 8.4 4.7 4.6


9.4


11.4 11.8 7.8


8.6 9.8


10.9 13.4


Social media


What communication occurs? Members surveyed were asked whether reception and/or fitness staff spoke to them during their last visit. In addition, they were asked whether they had received a courtesy phone call or email, SMS text or message/information via social media. Finally, members were asked to indicate how much they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about how much they valued each channel of communication. Figure 1 shows the proportion of


members who reported receiving each type of communication. Less than half of members reported that fi tness staff and reception staff spoke to them during their last visit. The most common form of communication away from the club was email, with just under half of members reporting receiving a courtesy email within the last month. Does communication vary according


to gender, age or length of membership? Table 1 shows that females are more likely to receive face-to-face and telephone communication than males, but a little less likely to receive a courtesy email. Face-to-face and telephone communication also increases by age group, but older members are less likely to receive messages via social media. Longer-standing members are much


more likely to report being spoken to by reception staff at their last visit compared to newer members. This is also true for fi tness staff communication, albeit the difference is smaller. Although longer-standing members are less likely to receive a SMS text than newer


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