I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Association of British Climbing Walls event at the Magna Science Park in Sheffield. In this keynote presentation I describe what we have learnt in the fitness industry that may help improve retention for climbing wall businesses.
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...
I’ve said it in meetings, at conferences and in webinars that the member experience and member service is one of those parts of your business that you just can’t afford to get wrong. The recent pandemic has seen many businesses relocate staff from brick and mortar to work from home environments. Often without sufficient training or the technology to support such interactions. I have changed my business banking and telecoms supplier during this time simply because my existing providers were not able to meet my self-service needs. Yes I do want to be able to do some things using self service tools, particularly if they are routine behaviours.
With so many more interactions and transactions taking place online, members are really getting an insight into those businesses that have evolved and those that are still lagging behind.
Think about how uncomfortable you feel when you hear someone speak negatively about their experience with your business and how often is it because...
How can you use surveys and customer feedback to attract new members to your club and, more importantly, make sure they stay? In this blog I’m going to share with you some invaluable tools that you can use to gain important information about your customers. I’m also going to tell you what you can do with that data in order to create member retention success.
If you want feedback from your customers, always think about why you're actually asking them questions. What is it you're trying to understand by getting feedback from your members? Who are you wanting to hear from and who is actually responding when you send out a survey? For feedback to make a difference to your business, you need a robust methodology.
Think about the timeline of them being a customer before you survey them. Are you going to ask them for feedback on day five, day ten, day 90? Or maybe your goal is to get to know what’s going on with your customers at different...
What’s the best way to build confidence amongst members when it comes to reopening the doors of your club? How can you communicate rules relating to Covid-19 and ensure they are followed by all?
There's an increasing amount of speculation and information about the process of reopening gyms, but very little so far to do with training staff on how to cope and deal with reopening when it comes to the actual member experience.
One of the things to be aware of, is that we often take our cues from visual prompts. When we see a red traffic light, we know it’s a signal to stop, but the traffic light doesn't actually stop us. It's just a signal.
When it comes to reopening gyms, we can use visual prompts to help our customers behave the way we need them to behave at this time.
Visual prompts need to be both before, during, and after their visit. Adam Zeittsiff's team at Gold's in the US are preparing to open some of their clubs and have...
In the final part of our series on customer retention, Digital intervention for retention not sales we explain how to use CRM systems as a digital intervention for retention…
Most CRM and marketing systems are all aiming to resell. Think about your Facebook feed, if you click on an ad you’re then haunted for the next three months by the fact you searched for a new greenhouse for your Grandfather! But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can use the same technology when someone has joined your club to send reassuring, supportive messages.
So, when a new person signs up from your joining page, send them a thank you note and use a retargeting pixel to interact with them via pop up messages during their first three months of membership, such as ‘How are you finding the club?’, ‘We're glad you're part of our community’, ‘Here's a testimonial from someone who's achieved similar things to you’. You can simply...
In this four-part series we take a look at the essential steps to building an effective retention strategy.
To measure retention you need to measure a time period, which usually starts with the day of joining and ends with their last payment or visit. You also need age and date of birth, gender and membership type. Collecting as many variables as you can allows better interrogation of the data to see what's impacting retention.
For example, we had almost a million member records for the Australian industry retention report. Fairly unique to Australia and New Zealand is weekly and bi-weekly membership payments, so we looked at whether the frequency of payment made a difference - it didn’t. But what we did find was that it made a difference to the sales figures. So Australian operators now know they can disregard the payment structure as a retention tool, but recognise it as a sales tool; without accurate data we wouldn’t have been able to see this trend.
Across the rest...
If we take the data from your membership management software, we can break the content down by many variables. The White Retention Report identified that older members, who pay more and were on a contract were more likely to retain their membership than those that were younger, paid the least and were on month-by-month agreements.
We could go further and look at their social demographic profile, use the Sport England, Scotland or Welsh profiles to try and understand who our members are. However these are now rather dated and Experian, who produced these classifications for the sports bodies, are about to update their data system MOSAIC for the third time since these were originally introduced, such has been the change in the economy and the buying habits of consumers in the past 10 years.
While these approaches enable you to label the types of members you have, where more of them are and what magazines they read etc, etc, what it doesn’t do is consider the behaviour of...
Historically our focus had always been on membership sales, and whilst we had data relating to visit frequency and how long our members stayed with us, we needed to put a strategy in place to improve upon these figures.
We signed up to Dr. Paul Bedford’s 6x6 retention project, which saw our team engage in six one-day business growth training sessions across a six month period, because we wanted to really understand our existing member journey and then create a new one with quality service, member retention and operational excellence at its forefront.
During the early sessions Paul focused us on ensuring the staff, no matter what their job, understood that members are the number one priority. We took time out to make certain everyone was on board with this, from support staff team members to the community outreach team, and that has stayed with us and made a huge difference.
At Active Stirling our main site is the £27.3 million Stirling Sports Village, which...
Suggestion– Intervening at the right time
The major difference between suggestion and tailoring is that suggestions have a time element. They are designed to build on peoples existing motivation, they are also compelling and timely. Amazon and McDonald’s have very clear examples of suggestions at the right time. Amazon have the section of their website that is ‘people who bought this also bought this’. In McDonald’s just before order completion,’ they ask ‘is that a meal or do you want to go large with that?’
Of course once you have ordered your 2050 Kcal burger you will want add-ons and fries. How kind of them to ask.
At various times throughout the year you can see the efforts made by many companies. New year challenges, summer offers, and Black Friday discounts are some of the most obvious marketing approaches. We also get suggestions from technology as well, when the oil light comes on in your car it's a suggestion that you need...