Club Management

Top 3 Most Effective Ways to Retain Your Members

3_most_effective_ways_to_improve_your_club.jpgListen360 analyzed 9,900 survey responses from customers of 66 randomly selected Fitness and Health brands to determine what makes members tick. They categorized their responses into three categories: Barriers, Delighters and Key Drivers.

Barriers are basic expectations that will upset members if you don’t meet them, but won’t move the needle if you do them extremely well. For example, a dirty locker room will drive members away, but members likely won’t refer your gym to others based solely on a clean locker room.

Delighters are activities that go the extra mile, but aren’t expected by customers. If you offer a free couples class on Valentine’s Day you will make your members happy, but they won’t be upset if you don’t as they were not expecting it in the first place.

Key Drivers are make-or-break club actions. Key Drivers will increase member loyalty if you perform them well or will cause you to lose members if your club performs them poorly. Having quality group classes is an example of a Key Driver.

Listen360 determined what Barriers, Delighters and Key Drivers are most important to gym members. Exceeding your members’ barriers, delighting them and excelling at key member drivers is the best way to retain members. These are the 3 most effective ways to improve your club.

1. Top Barrier: Equipment and Changing Rooms

Having poorly cleaned and maintained equipment or changing rooms was reported as one of the biggest barriers by gym members. If your club isn’t meeting your members’ expectations of cleanliness and functionality every time, you are likely losing members unnecessarily. Investigate hiring extra cleaning staff or re-examine your equipment maintenance processes if you are struggling with meeting member expectations in this department. Other significant barriers are poor communication from staff, temperature or air flow issues and the lack of member issue resolution by clubs.

2. Top Delighter: Friendly and Fun Staff

It’s hard to quantify ‘fun,’ but when it comes to delighting members a friendly, professional and helpful staff is the clear winner. Your hiring and training processes should reflect this. Look to hire people that can show off their winning personality and encourage your current staff to put in the extra mile to delight your members every day--your members will notice. Other delighters are personalized services or a warm invite every time members come into the club.

3. Top Key Driver: The Instructors

The most important factor for members is your instructors. While a segment of members just wants to use the equipment on their own and get out, across the board members reported that an effective training staff played a key role in how they felt about their health club. While having clean and working equipment meets members’ barriers, it’s your club’s staff that ultimately determines if your members are going to refer your club to their family and friends or try out a new gym come January 1st. Other important key drivers are engaging classes and having convenient hours or scheduling.

Want more ways to delight your members? Social Media is the next evolution of member engagement. Have more effective online engagement tomorrow with the Ultimate Guide to Social Media:


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