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Health Club Management Retention Hub


We’ve pulled together the latest retention series written for Health Club Management by leading industry experts Dr Melvyn Hillsdon, Dr Paul Bedford and Guy Griffi ths. This one- stop online shop gives you quick access to the latest thinking, stats, trends and reports in this vital fi eld.


RETENTION SERIES ABSENT &


EX-MEMBER JOURNEY


Ignore absent members at your peril, and use your


ex-member database as a prospect list and a resource for feedback, says Guy Griffiths, in the third and final part of his series on retention and the member journey


A


bsent and ex-members are two under-used segments in many clubs’ databases. Not only can they provide


critical business information on how you could adapt or improve retention, but these member groups can also be a great source of sales. Fear is the main reason that these


members are not contacted: club operators worry about awakening dormant members, and are concerned that they will receive negative feedback from people who have left. But sticking your head in the sand is a much riskier alternative; if all your dormant members cancelled tomorrow, your business would be in serious trouble, and if you don’t know why members are leaving, how can you expect to make people stick around?


In the same way that the member


journey should not end after the fi rst few weeks, you need to plan what happens when a member stops visiting, and after they leave.


‘Measure’ or pay vs stay Let’s start with measurement. Knowing your average membership length is a good place to start, but ‘length of pay’ is different from ‘length of stay’. Consider a member who stops paying in month 12; it’s no good contacting them in month 11 if they last visited in month seven. At GGFit, we often work with length of stay – ie first to last visit – as it’s a truer identifier of member engagement and allows you to affect retention more directly. Another useful metric to understand is the average time from the last visit


FIGURE 1: CONTACTING THE ABSENT MEMBER


Absent 3 weeks


We miss you


Still absent 4 weeks


Where have you been?


Still absent 5 weeks


speak Call message


Follow-up message


1. sms 2.email


1. sms 2.email


phone & sms?


sms, email, post?


phone, email, post leave


Still absent 6 weeks


We want you back!


Still absent 7+ weeks


Call again/ message/ news only


date to cancellation date – this gives you an idea of how long you have to try to re-engage a dormant member.


Who’s going to call? When deciding how to contact absent members, you need to know what’s most effective, but also take into account what’s practical or possible with the resources you have at your club. Phone conversations are most


effective at getting members back, but you will often have to make a lot of phone calls to have a few conversations, and timing is key to success. Some clubs use customer service staff or even a call centre to make these calls, but


50 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital June 2013 © Cybertrek 2013 RETENTION SERIES


Members who make a friend at the gym are less likely to cancel


RETENTION SERIES The PERSONAL touch NEW YEAR,


friendship, reducing queueing and incorporating group exercise. Dr Melvyn Hillsdon offers his top five new year’s resolutions for clubs looking to improve member retention levels


instructors are best placed, since they have already had face-to-face member contact in the gym. Whether or not they are motivated to actually call absent members can depend on their own goals, rewards – or, to put it bluntly, job spec. If some of your instructors prefer to do cleaning rather than calling absent members, perhaps it’s time to adjust their focus or change their job spec. Properly motivated instructors should be keen to get their members back into


June 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


the club. However, if you know that other staff


will get the job done, they may prove to be the best route.


Send a message first A great way to reduce the number of calls required is to text or email members before you call them. This will bring a few back already, as well as making the calls easier – you can ask if they received the message as an


Arum venihil lacerum nis acepres adigenti conet fuga. Nem fugia volloria


“ACIA NIA EXER QUOD UTATI AUT ABORERNAT OD MOLUM AB IDIS ALIBUS ENDITIUR MO MOS MA CONSED OLUPTAE PED ESTIUR SI AUT INCTIS SANT RE EIUS”


NEW STRATEGY Targeting older members, focusing on interaction and


ice-breaker (see Figure 1 for an example of an absent member communication process). Some clubs use text/email only for


their absent member communication. This is better than nothing, but you can get a much better return rate if you check the reports from your retention communications to determine which members should be prioritised for follow-up calls. Mixing up your communication


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 51 I 50 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital January 2015 © Cybertrek 2015 W


hat will your club do differently when it comes to member retention this year, and how might this


impact your bottom line? During 2014, Health Club Management


n this latest article in the series of reports from TRP 10,000, we report on which members purchased personal training (PT), what their main reasons were for purchasing PT and how PT is associated with visit frequency,


published a number of articles reporting on the results of the TRP 10,000 study – a longitudinal study of 10,000 members, conducted by myself in conjunction with The Retention People, which was designed to understand member behaviour at all points of the member journey, and how different factors infl uence retention. In the HCM series, we highlighted a range of factors that are positively associated with membership retention – including motivation, progress, group exercise, hassles and uplifts, and communication. In this article, we’ll pull together the


reported progress and retention. Members were asked how many PT


FIGURE 1 Estimated income over eight months based on TRP 10,000 retention data, from a sample of 1,000 members paying £50 a month


Health club members in the 25–44 age category are the most likely to use a personal trainer £44,090


Does personal training increase member


£52,000 £50,000 £48,000 £46,000 £44,000 £42,000 £40,000 £38,000


sessions they had purchased in the previous three months, with possible answers ranging from ‘none’ to ‘12 or more’. Members who purchased at least one PT session were asked what their main reason was for purchasing PT, selecting from four possible options or an ‘other’ category. Members were followed up for seven months, at which point it was recorded whether they had cancelled or not. January 2015 ©


Cybertrek 2015


Who receives PT? Overall, 10 per cent of members reported purchasing at least one session of PT in the three months prior to the survey: 4 per cent reported purchasing one to three sessions and 6 per cent purchased four or more sessions. Figure 1 shows how many sessions of PT members


lessons learned so far into a strategy for 2015. The focus will be on the fi nancial gain from improved member retention and potential memberships saved.


Data and analysis To estimate income from member dues, we’ll model the effect of retention on 1,000 members over the first eight months of membership (the follow-up period of TRP 10,000). To standardise fees, we will assume all members pay a monthly fee of £50. All members pay


retention? Dr Melvyn £45,050


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Months since joining


Hillsdon offers his insights on this topic, based on the findings of his ongoing TRP 10,000 study


the members who purchased at least one session of PT said motivation and assistance with achieving goals more quickly were the main reasons (multiple answers were allowed). A lower proportion of members


£42,720 £42,500


have purchased by gender, age group and length of membership. Females were more likely to purchase


PT than males, as were members aged 25–44 years compared to younger and older members. Mid-term members (between six and 36 months since joining) were most likely to purchase regular sessions of PT compared to new or long-standing members, with the latter the least likely to have bought PT.


Why do people purchase PT? The primary reasons for purchasing PT are shown in Figure 2. Just over half of


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


the first monthly payment, yielding £50,000 (1,000 x £50), and from then on we can plot the income for every other month by multiplying the £50 monthly fee by 1,000 and then by the proportion of members still paying in the given month. So if 90 per cent of members survive the second month, the yield from membership dues would be £50 x 1,000 x 0.9 = £45,000.


reported purchasing PT to help with exercise confidence (36.7 per cent) and to get started with a programme (36.2 per cent). Other reasons given by a small number of members included


‘help with a rehabilitation programme’, ‘training for a specific event’ and ‘help with weight loss’. Females were a little more likely to say they used PT for motivation than males (57 per cent vs 50 per cent), with little difference between age groups and length of membership. The youngest age group was most


Overall yield from 1,000 TRP members? Eighty five per cent of TRP 10,000 members retain their membership for at least eight months. Figure 1 shows that the total yield from a sample of 1,000 members over the first eight months of their membership, based on the TRP 10,000 retention rate, would be £366,165. So how can this be improved?


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


likely to say they purchased PT to help them achieve goals quicker; those in the oldest group were the least likely to quote this reason (63 per cent vs 43 per cent). Similarly, a higher proportion of the youngest health club members said they had purchased personal training to increase their confidence for exercise compared to older members (43 per cent vs 34 per cent).


April 2015 © Cybertrek 2015 51 £50,000 Total income = £366,165


£48,500 £47,115 £46,190 The survey showed that female members were more likely to purchase personal training services than males There was little difference in gender,


age and length of membership when it came to the proportion of members saying they purchased PT to get started with a programme, apart from members age 35–44 years who were least likely to say this (29 per cent).


Is PT associated with visit frequency? The level of PT sessions purchased is positively associated with regular club visits (see Figure 3). In addition, regular PT is associated


with a much lower level of non- attendance. On average, health club members who purchased four or more sessions of PT in the previous three months averaged 1.4 more club visits a month than members who did not purchase personal training.


Do members who receive PT report greater progress? Compared to members who don’t purchase PT, members who do purchase PT report higher levels of progress in all areas they were asked about (see Figure 4). Not only was this


April 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


FIGURE 1 Number of PT sessions purchased by gender, age group and length of membership (in months)


100% 98% 96% 94% 92% 90% 88% 86% 84% 82% 80%


7.2 4.6 5.4 7.1 6.9 5.0 5.5 7.8 7.2 3.9


3.2 6.0 5.1 4.0 4.4


3.1 3.9 5.9 4.6 3.4


87.7


92.2


88.7


88.9


88.7


91.1


88.6


87.6


89.4


93.0


Female Male


16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54


4 or more


1 to 3


None Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 41


Let the experts keep you up to speed on the latest retention trends


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Income per month


< 6 months 6 to <12 months


12 to <36 months >=36


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