Retention…Optimizing the tenure and residual value of every member. Is it a science? Yes. Is it measurable? Yes. Does it define the overall success of your health club? Well Yes! Do you give it the attention is needs to grow? Probably not, and that’s why you are reading this blog.
Because you start too late. Retention practices need to be implemented when you are onboarding a new member, and while they are integrating into the club. Not when they have told you they are leaving. You need to ask why, but expecting to improve retention because you know why a member has cancelled is not the secret sauce. It helps, but just a tiny bit.
Excellent retention practices are not just one program or one new great piece of equipment. It’s a whole lot of consistent little things spread out amongst every single aspect of your business every single day.
If you are banking on your membership team to carry the weight of your retention stats. You are doing it wrong. Successful retention practices start and finish at the same place. Everywhere! Try this. Take some time a tour your own facility. Open your eyes and look through the eyes of your members. What are they seeing, feeling, experiencing? Once you have your list of items that need some fixing…get to it.
The Consultants at New Paradigm Partners and here at FitRewards are what we like to refer to as “Turn around specialists” They have this whole Retention thing in the bag. Here is how they do it 4 easy to implement steps.
Engage your members with programs. Engaged members are members that are getting results. Are you measuring results? Even the tiniest of them. Make sure you have a plan for measuring results and celebrating them.
How many core users do you have? Two or more workouts in a week defines a core user. How many do you have? Find out and build from there. How? engage them in programs, ask questions, get to know them. Core users stay longer, come more often and refer family members and friends.
What kind of relationships does your staff extend to members? How your members interact with your staff will determine if they want to come back. Is there a sense of community? Look for the “helpers.” Find the staff who “gets it,” celebrate them and hire more of them. If your members feel connected to someone or something they will come more and stay longer.
Reward programs are not going anywhere. Let me repeat. Rewards programs are not going anywhere. If you don’t have one, then get one. Use one that works with your CMS and that you would be excited to be part of. Fee month, not very exciting, new Fitbit or grilling set, that’s exciting. Acknowledging your members loyalty will impress them. Trust me I have the inside scoop on that one.
Finally, ask your members if they are happy. Listen, ask and listen again… No excuses, no blaming. Just listen. You can change what you don’t acknowledge. if you implement good retention practices now with consistency and follow up. Give it some time and practice. With that, I leave you with this quote from Bill Gates: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”
Director of New Business.
New Paradigm Partners/FitRewards.
Managing rewards and loyalty solutions like a rock star with FitRewards.