Did you know there's a resource right under your nose that can generate 600% more income per member than your salespeople can?
To learn what it is—and to pick up other valuable tips—check out the IHRSA's comprehensive Member Retention Report, (Volume 3, Issue 3): Focus on Member Interaction. Conducted in partnership with The Retention People (TRP), the report is based on a survey of more than 13,000 health club members in the United Kingdom.
Here are 15 key takeaways…
- Almost 90% of club members say they value communication from staff members.
- Email is a more effective means of communication than phone calls (across all membership groups).
- Every two interactions fitness staff has with a member in a given month results in one extra visit from that member the following month.
- Every additional visit by a member in a given month, in turn, reduces the risk of that member cancelling in the subsequent month by 33%.
- Social interaction affects renewals. The risk of cancellation was 56% higher among members who just use gym equipment vs. those who exercise in groups.
- Social interaction also affects overall member satisfaction; 70% of club members who had made new friends through their membership self-identified as club "promoters" rather than club "detractors."
- Your best salespeople are your fitness staff. The TRP study determined that fitness-staff members can generate 600% more income per member than salespeople alone. Frequent interaction between fitness staff and members results in more member visits, and members who visit more often have higher renewal rates.
- Longtime members are the group most likely to become dissatisfied and convert from promoters to detractors. So don't take your most established members for granted—keep them happy and engaged.
- A TRP analysis of 40,000 member surveys generated "word clouds" associated with both "promoters" and "detractors" at top-performing clubs. The word that promoters used most frequently was "staff." The word that detractors used most frequently was "crowded."
- Reaching out to a member—whether by phone, email, text, or social media—more than doubles the likelihood that they will be a "promoter" rather than a "detractor."
- At any given time, one of the highest-risk groups for membership dropout are those who have not attended for more than a week—but have attended within the last two weeks.
- Your best promoters are both your youngest (ages 16–24) and your oldest (65+) members.
- Your memberships are expensive—for you. IHRSA's Industry Date Survey (IDS) found that leading club operators spend a median of $118.65 in sales and marketing costs per new membership account.
- On the other hand, the survey found that leading club operators generate a median of $793.40 in annual revenue per member.
- Doing something—anything—to try to retain members is better than doing nothing. Said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's executive vice president of global products, "Results show that any type of interaction with a member at risk of canceling can reduce the likelihood of dropping out by nearly 10%."