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RETENTION SERIES


Members receiving face-to-face


communication have significantly higher


retention rates, yet fewer than half of


members report that reception and fitness staff spoke to them at their last visit


SMS texts and social media communication are valued more by younger members


external communication. Members who attend their club regularly value all forms of communication more than members who attend irregularly. The grey columns in Figure 3 show


the percentage of members who report both receiving and valuing each type of communication. The purple columns show the percentage of members who report receiving each type of communication, but who say they do not value them. For example, 56 per cent of members who value being spoken to by reception staff say they were spoken to by these staff at their last visit, while 12 per cent who do not value being spoken to by reception staff were spoken to. The grey columns highlight that there’s


considerable scope for increasing all types of communication to members who would value it. This is especially true in the most valued communication types: fitness and reception staff interactions and courtesy emails.


As noted above, the purple bars in


Figure 3 represent members who did not value each of the communication methods – and one stands out. Nearly a third of members who said they did not value email communication reported they had nevertheless received emails. As 32 per cent of members do not value email communication, the potential is there to irritate quite a number of members with unsolicited emails. Perhaps surprisingly, just a quarter of the members who value communication via social media actually report receiving any.


Is communication associated with retention? Retention rates were calculated based on the time from questionnaire completion (when all members were live) to either the cancellation date (for cancelled members) or 31 January 2014 for live members. Communication methods were separated into two


Fig 3: Proportion of members receiving communications according to whether they value them


56 43


55 32


12 Reception staff 11 Fitness staff


Courtesy call 12


1 Email


Do not value but received communication Valued and received communication


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


SMS 10


2


25 2


Social media


groups. Face-to-face communications were scored ‘0’ if members reported no reception or fitness staff communication at their last visit, ‘1’ if either the reception or fitness staff spoke to them, and ‘2’ if both spoke to them. Too few records were available to examine each of the other methods separately, so external communications were assigned


‘1’ if any were reported (phone calls, emails, texts and social media) or ‘0’ if none were reported. Figure 4 shows that, compared to


not being spoken to at their last visit, members who report being spoken to by either the reception staff or fitness staff have higher retention rates. Further, members who are spoken to by both sets of staff have even higher rates. These findings are true for members at any membership stage (data not shown). However, Figure 5 shows that


receiving external communications in the previous month is unrelated to retention at any period after joining. Although numbers are a little small to formally report, there’s a general trend in the data that indicates that members who receive the communication style they value have the highest retention rates, while those who do not receive what they value have the lowest rates. Only one exception to this trend


was observed: members who received emails they did not value had lower retention rates than members who valued them and did not receive them, suggesting that unsolicited emails may be detrimental.


May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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