Retention Convention is all about teaching you how to create memorable and meaningful experiences for your clients so they keep coming back for more.
The blog was originally written for the Fitness Business Podcast. If you would like to read it in its original location click on the link at the bottom of this page.
While most people today know me more for work on retention, attrition and member loyalty, the first half of my career was as a fitness instructor, a personal trainer and a trainer of trainers. Much of this time was focused on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and exercise program design. I thought I was pretty good at exercise program design but I could never understand why customers and clients wouldn’t stick to these programs that I had crafted for them, and that’s why I began to study psychology.
Two masters degrees, numerous short courses, workshops and a PhD later I am still just a focused on improving exercise adherence and retention.
Much of what I have been reading in the past two years has been in the area of experience design. My rational is if members have a better experience they stay...
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...
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...
Each week I get contacted by suppliers who have developed products that claim to improve retention. Some are existing companies and others are start ups. So I have decided to review them and publish those reviews. This is the first is with Shai from CoachAi. I discus the product, how clients are using CoachAi and the result they are getting. I summarise and give my evaluation a the end.
You can also download the one year case study hear. https://www.coachai.com/pub/coachai-one-year-case-study-2019.pdf
Considering the current situation globally I decided to make a short video for my clients to help them understand what they need to do to retain customers at this time. It ended up being a little long than I had planned (14 mins), but in it I describe the three phases of change that need to be managed.
These are the phases you need to manage as a health club operator
As this week progresses I am sure I will have more ideas about what operators can do and will update within our lunchtime lesson posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you have any questions email me at [email protected]
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Paul Bedford PhD
Retention Guru Ltd
+44 (0) 7956 311 899 ...
In gaming infinite variability are games that no matter how long you play them for you never repeat the same experience. The highly successful and very addictive Fortnite is just such an example. Many games have finite variability where players can become very accustomed to the landscape and challenges placed in their way. Some of this is by design, so that game producers are able to release further additions of popular titles or new versions every year.
The more niche you are the more finite your variability. The challenges that may be faced by boutiques and single activity studios over the long term is the concept of finite variability, a posh way of saying nothing new. Which can only combated by larger population density and frequent turnover of inhabitants.
Now no business can ensure that its customers will use its products or services forever, however the more limited the options or choices the quicker someone reaches the point where the experience just becomes...
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...
Ultimately, if you want to stay in business, people must use your facility, and, as I've mentioned previously, you want members to visit a minimum of once per week or four times per month and upwards.
My Retention VIP project focusses on just three areas: visits, interactions and programming. In conversation, the staff’s responsibility is simply to drive visits, because if they don't attend, it doesn't matter how well-educated your staff are or how beautiful your club is, it's irrelevant.
So a lot the of work I do with staff is based around about asking customers when they are in next. When they are next training, and when they were in last - trying to get them into a routine. People who follow exercise on a routine behaviour, for instance, same day / same time, adhere to their exercise programme, what we prescribe for them, much more strongly. Plus they retain their memberships much, much longer.
Vice versa, people who train on an ad hoc basis drop in and out much more...
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...