Who are your Most Valuable Members (MVM)?

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...

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Retention: The importance of self-knowledge - HCM Feature

Retention: The importance of self-knowledge

There’s no one thing that will fix your member retention, but clarity of mission, a strong culture and an eye for data will drive significant change. Kate Cracknell reports from this year’s Retention Convention


“The fitness industry today is a place of blurred lines between a proliferation of business models,” said Dr Paul Bedford at last month’s Retention Convention. “Before you can define your customer experience, or create your customer journeys, you need to define who you are.”

Bedford was speaking at his fifth annual Retention Convention – this year sponsored by Precor, The Retention People, DFC, Coach AI and Willmott Dixon – which saw a series of high-performing operators sharing their retention best practice.

Bedford’s message: Be absolutely clear about who you are and who you’re targeting, and build a company culture that reinforces this at every...

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7 Ways to get your Members to LOVE your Club

Member loyalty is of extreme importance to any club, it is the base that member retention is built on.  Many clubs find that their ‘loyal’ members often defect to the competition, because of price, location or that its just a new facility. Yet we find that there are clubs that have ‘members ’ who are loyal to the extent that they love them, will never leave them and will be willing to pay more money for the same product/service.   Usually we find these types of ‘members ’ in sports, music, and charities. 

For example, when have we heard of fans giving up support for the Boston Celtics or Manchester United, just because they didn’t win the trophy?  Or when have you heard of people flocking to the music stores to buy a particular music album just because it’s on sale.  People will only buy music they love, not because it offers more points, is cheaper, or just because it was conveniently available. ...

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Best in Class, the Worst of Ideas

Best in class

As I travel around the world I see a variety of practices, which I sometimes look at with my head tilted to one side,questioning the decision theoperatorhas made.  One of these, more common in North America than Europe, is buying equipment from a variety of manufacturers on the premise of giving members access to 'best in class’ kit.

Firstly I would challenge the methodology used to decide best in class. All too often it means the person choosing the equipment has a personal preference or is buying the equipment they want to use, rather than thinking about the experience of the customer. Some of this is based on what we are used to; the feel of a certain type of equipment or the way we want to train, but how can you decide what is best in class unless you’ve have tried every piece of equipment in that category?

Simplicity is key

As I look at equipment choice through the lens of retention and attrition my first consideration is the exercise experience....

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Is Technology Holding us Back

With so much new technology that claims to aid retention are we ignoring what’s right under our noses?  We explore what’s out there, the challenges operators face in implementing new innovations and how we can overcome them.

The Walled Garden

The infrastructure of our industry's membership management technology is inhibiting our ability to move forward and more often than not it doesn't interact with other technology, behaving like a walled garden, as software companies try to do it all themselves.”

I believes it’s a question of build or buy. Large operators with their own software engineers are in a far better position to develop their own retention technology, such as US-brand Equinox, which has built an AI-led digital coach, that learns customers’ habits to keep them engaged, into its mobile app. Smaller operators can commission projects, but it’s fraught with challenges and there’s massive cost associated with keeping software up to...

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