How important is the fitness staff to member retention? There are probably a couple schools of thought on the subject.
The latest edition of the IHRSA Member Retention Report, conducted with The Retention People, definitely leans toward one side, that positive interaction is vital. The report shows that the fitness staff of a gym can be more beneficial, as far as retention, than the sales staff.
“The latest Member Retention Report highlights what many of us may intuitively believe: the fitness team plays a critical role in keeping members engaged and onboard for the long-term,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of Global Products. “Training and incentivizing fitness staff to build upon interactions with members can positively impact employee and member retention.”
The IHRSA Member Retention Report is a quarterly report designed to help club operators improve efforts around membership retention. The latest IHRSA Member Retention Report (Volume 2, Issue 1) examines the role fitness staff plays in improving member retention and tenure.
The report says the fitness staff can bring in up to six times the amount of money per member than the sales staff. The report isn’t knocking sales departments but instead it is stressing how important trainers and fitness staff are to a club’s bottom line.
The current installment of the IHRSA Member Retention Report shows that for every 100 health club members, 16 will leave in any given month in which there are no interactions with fitness staff. However, if these same members receive just one fitness interaction throughout the month, only seven will leave. Furthermore, every two interactions a member receives from fitness staff it yields an additional visit per month.
Historically, IHRSA research has shown that frequent attendance often correlates with longer membership tenure. According to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, 80% of “core” members, those who use the club for at least 100 days per year, belong to a health club for at least two years.
“This latest research highlights the importance for clubs not only of identifying detractors, but of implementing sustainable and measurable processes to ‘close the loop’ and convert them to promoters”, said Phil Bonomo, director of The Retention People North America. “It’s yet another piece to the ‘customer experience’ puzzle, and can provide operators with a real focus for their retention efforts.”
For more on The Retention People, vitis its website at www.theretentionpeople.com.
The Report is available free to IHRSA members at ihrsa.org/research. Member login is required to download. Non-members can purchase the report for $29.95 at ihrsa.org/store. The IHRSA Member Retention Report expands on insight provided in the IHRSA Guide to Member Retention, also available at ihrsa.org/store.
IHRSA member clubs can participate in the IHRSA-TRP member loyalty survey at no cost (a $1,500 value). Participating member clubs will receive a licensed NPS® score and access to member comments via a real-time online dashboard. Members can visit ihrsa.org/retention for details.