I was asked to represent the fitness industry at the physical activity and community sport conference in Budapest in Hungary. I thought I had 90 minutes until I got there when I was told you have 15 minutes. So this is the result.
Below is a transcript of the Move Congress 2019
I'm Dr. Paul Bedford. I have a PhD in behavioural psychology, applied to fitness environments. I started in the fitness industry having spent 12 years as a plumber. So by trade I'm a plumber. And then I got into fitness because I was into exercise and I worked in my local YMCA, which is a charitable organization in the UK as a volunteer instructor. They then gave me a job. I moved up through that organization till I was running their facilities and then I've moved on to work in both public and private sector. But there was, I've always been a drive for me to understand why people start, but don't keep going with exercise. So after a number of years, I did a master's degree at City...
This article first appeared in Fitness MANAGEMENT international (Germany)
In this article, we want to explain the factors that have a lasting influence on member retention for fitness studios, as well as provide food for thought and possible solutions for your studio practice.
In the first part of the article in fMi 1/2021 we illustrated the two basic factors for effective retention of your members in your studio: the regular visits of your members to the studio as well as the finely "dosed" interaction with members and prospects.
As the third most important aspect of member retention, we have identified "programming" in the team. This refers to the training offered in the studio in general as well as its individual design in the form of training plans. What training options does the club offer its members and how does it communicate them to its members and interested parties. In order to be able to better understand the mechanisms in this area, we divide...
In this post I want to focus on how quickly we are actually recovering and what can we do to accelerate that process.
I want to talk about you looking at your own data. I want you to trust in your own data.
There's an awful lot of data and numbers being produced by trade organizations, by operators and also financial institutions and I think you need to be mindful that comparing yourself to some of that is not going to be useful. Just focusing on what what's going on within your business is probably the most important thing you can do right now, rather than trying to compare you to someone else.
Typical club groupings of members, pre pandemic, let's say this is a thousand members. You have your hardcore exercises, your enthusiasts, regulars, irregulars and your sleepers.
Once the pandemic hit, we saw was there was an overnight contraction of the business.
Within that, we came up with our descriptions, we talk about hard core exercises by visit frequency.
Then you have the...
Your business is constantly experiencing change. Whether caused by the global pandemic, fitness trends, new technology implementations, procedural updates, department reorganisation, or customer/member service improvements, change is constant and necessary for growth and profitability.
Developing a consistent approach to the measurement and management of your retention processes will aid in maximising the impact it has on your customer/member s and staff.
One of the most common challenges operators describe to us about tackling retention, is there are so many things they could do, but they don’t know where to start. What should take priority, what will have the biggest impact and what will be the easiest to deliver.
In this blog I will talk about the planning and communications required to develop a successful retention plan.
1. Begin with the End in Mind
Yeah one of Stephen Coveys seven habits, but it’s a concept that has been around since the beginning of time....
Q1. If you were to pick just three KPIs for clubs to focus on around member retention, what would they be and how often would you be tracking their progress daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
The first thing I would look at measuring is the retention time and I'd be doing this perhaps every four months, maybe twice a year. Certainly at the beginning of a project, we will always use survival analysis to measure the gap between when people join and when they leave and when people join and when they stopped paying. So we use survival analysis to do that.
That gives us a curve that allows us to see where to intervene in order to improve customer retention. If the curve looks like one of those Olympic ski slopes that the ski jumpers use and there is a cliff almost straight away, that tells us there is a different problem than if there is a fairly flat line for the first three to four months, and then it starts to drop away. So the first thing we would measure would be the time that someone...
This week, on the Fitness + Technology podcast, host Bryan O'Rourke welcomes special guests from across the industry in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As leading thinkers and experts in fitness and club operations, listeners will hear their foresight into the future and how you can stay prepared in this time of uncertainty. The upcoming podcasts will be a series of interviews we hope will be of value to you as this situation unfolds. If there is anything we can do for you, please reach out @bryankorourke or at [email protected].
Please know, we will get through this. We send our prayers and best wishes to you and your families.
One Powerful Quote:
In this second of our four part series on customer retention, we explains the importance of the customer journey…
We use segmented data in our marketing to attract new customers by age, gender and sometimes by sociodemographic group. But once they've joined, we need to start segmenting them based on their behaviours. How frequently are they visiting? What activities are they doing? What are their preferences? What feedback are we getting in terms of their net promoter score?
Visit frequency is a key behaviour, because if visit frequency is low, there's a tendency for that person to drop out.People are much more likely to stay customers if they visit a minimum of four times per month in the first month.
My preference is to describe visit frequency per month, because so much fluctuates weekly. Sometimes people can't visit three times in one week, but they might make up a session the following week. So give your members a range rather than an absolute number, and...
Retention has been a key business issue in the fitness industry since the first retention report produced by Dr Melvyn Hillsdon in 2000. This was the first report on the topic to use scientific methods for reporting what was actually going on within clubs. Subsequent reports began to unravel the behaviours of members during the adoption and maintenance phases of membership. A key element identified early in the reports was that members who visited their club at least once per week in the first four weeks were more likely to stay members over the longer term.
As a result of this many operators rushed to develop gym induction systems forcing members to attend multiple appointments to ensure this four visit frequency. Little thought was given to the content of the inductions beyond extending the amount of equipment that was introduced. This lead to inductions processes that increased time with an instructor to 2-5 hours over multiple appointments. Little consideration was given to the...
I have spent much of the last fifteen years standing in gyms talking to members about their expectations and realities of the health club experience. In the week leading up to Easter I was once again on the gym floor. Three days of interviewing in three sites across the country. While the interviewing had a specific focus much of the insight gained from members whilst they exercised had remained the same. To few interaction if any with the staff, little support on the development of exercise programmes and beginnings of a trend to get support from the internet rather than from a member of the fitness team.
On day one while interviewing one member I asked one of the standard questions I ask. When was the last time an instructor spoke to you? The response was somewhat alarming. You were. You were the last person to speak to me, the last time you were in the gym doing this stuff. They were right I had been in this particular gym four years ago and i had spent time interviewing members...