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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Did you know…?

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon and Dr Paul Bedford share their lessons for boosting member retention, based on their latest studies

Published in Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1

10% of online joiners never visit the club

Ten per cent of those who join online never even enter the club. They then purchase just two months of membership before cancelling. Meanwhile, members who join online and visit the club only once continue to pay for five months before cancelling their membership.

Creating activities that prompt member visits – even just one visit – appears to have a significant return on investment.

Six Months

Creating a routine boosts retention

Routine is a strong predictor of retention. Members who create a routine – visiting their club at the same time and on the same day each week – stay on average six months longer than those who visit on a more ad hoc basis.

2 weeks

The gap between joining and first visit strongly predicts future behaviours

Those who take longer than two weeks to make their first visit are less likely to establish a sufficient visit frequency to retain membership or achieve results, and are therefore at a much higher risk of quitting.

Those who join and make their first visit to the club quickly are more likely to establish a visit frequency of at least four visits per month.

40%

Friends do make a difference

It’s long been believed that members with a workout partner or buddy are more likely to remain as members than those who train alone. Now data has put numbers behind the theory: members who made a friend at the gym in the last three months are 40 per cent less likely to cancel than those who haven’t.

Friends do make a difference / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Friends do make a difference / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

23%

Wearables may not be the magic bullet we were hoping for

About 27 per cent of members report tracking their behaviour with an app – a figure that’s higher among younger members, and among male rather than female members.

So what’s the impact of using an app or tracking device on membership retention? Overall, app users have very similar retention rates to non-app users. But there’s one exception: in male members aged over 25 years, tracking app use is associated with a 23 per cent increase in the monthly risk of cancellation.

3 Minutes

How fitness coaches speak to members can have a direct impact on subsequent behaviour

The more a conversation encourages members to express their perceptions of the personal benefits of increased gym attendance, the more likely they are to attend more regularly.

Borrowing from the principles of motivational interviewing, we can describe a brief motivational intervention – a three-minute chat will suffice. Ask questions like:

What do you think is good for you about exercise?

What, for you, are the three most important reasons to work out regularly?

On a scale of 0–10, how motivated are you to make another visit to the club within the next week – and why do you think that is?

What might you need to do to make your next visit happen?

Summarise their answers to each question back to them.

There are gender-specific hassles and uplifts that influence retention

When members visit our clubs, they can experience a range of enjoyable uplifts and a range of negative hassles which correlate with retention rates.

Completing a challenging workout is the most highly cited uplift for males and females. For females, the second and third most cited uplifts are reception staff speaking to them and encouragement from fitness staff. For males, it’s achieving fitness goals and being spoken to by reception and fitness staff.

The main negative hassle experience reported by both males and females is club staff not speaking to them. For males, queuing for gym equipment is also a common hassle, whereas for females it’s dirty changing facilities.

When the various hassles and uplifts are compared, among women, reception staff communication is most strongly related to retention; for men, the key factor is having to queue for equipment.

3 Million people

Things haven’t changed…

Age, visit frequency, interaction, membership contract length and price point all continue to be strong predictors of retention.

This holds true both nationally and internationally, with similar results replicated in 26 countries, on four continents and over three million member records.

About the authors


Dr Paul Bedford is a leading authority on the management of retention, attrition and customer experience, and author of the world’s largest retention study – www.retentionguru.co.uk

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon is associate professor of exercise and health at the University of Exeter, where he researches physical activity and population health. Since his landmark retention report in 2001 (Winning the Retention Battle), he has published numerous reports on the determinants of membership retention.

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon & Dr Paul Bedford
Dr Melvyn Hillsdon & Dr Paul Bedford
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/320627_768576.jpg
Dr Melvyn Hillsdon and Dr Paul Bedford share their lessons for boosting member retention, based on their latest studies. Members who work out with a partner or buddy and receive fitness staff interaction are more likely to stay
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The unmissable independent fitness event is back!
Pre-sale tickets are now available for the UK’s only event created exclusively for personal trainers, gym owners and fitness managers working in the independent gym and health club sector.
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
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Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
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Company profile: EXF Fitness
EXF offer so much more than modular systems and pick and mix installations, they don’t ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
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Fisikal: Management software
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Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
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Sothys: Skincare
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Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-29 Mar 2020
TeatroGoya Multiespacio, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
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04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
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17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Did you know…?

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon and Dr Paul Bedford share their lessons for boosting member retention, based on their latest studies

Published in Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1

10% of online joiners never visit the club

Ten per cent of those who join online never even enter the club. They then purchase just two months of membership before cancelling. Meanwhile, members who join online and visit the club only once continue to pay for five months before cancelling their membership.

Creating activities that prompt member visits – even just one visit – appears to have a significant return on investment.

Six Months

Creating a routine boosts retention

Routine is a strong predictor of retention. Members who create a routine – visiting their club at the same time and on the same day each week – stay on average six months longer than those who visit on a more ad hoc basis.

2 weeks

The gap between joining and first visit strongly predicts future behaviours

Those who take longer than two weeks to make their first visit are less likely to establish a sufficient visit frequency to retain membership or achieve results, and are therefore at a much higher risk of quitting.

Those who join and make their first visit to the club quickly are more likely to establish a visit frequency of at least four visits per month.

40%

Friends do make a difference

It’s long been believed that members with a workout partner or buddy are more likely to remain as members than those who train alone. Now data has put numbers behind the theory: members who made a friend at the gym in the last three months are 40 per cent less likely to cancel than those who haven’t.

Friends do make a difference / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Friends do make a difference / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

23%

Wearables may not be the magic bullet we were hoping for

About 27 per cent of members report tracking their behaviour with an app – a figure that’s higher among younger members, and among male rather than female members.

So what’s the impact of using an app or tracking device on membership retention? Overall, app users have very similar retention rates to non-app users. But there’s one exception: in male members aged over 25 years, tracking app use is associated with a 23 per cent increase in the monthly risk of cancellation.

3 Minutes

How fitness coaches speak to members can have a direct impact on subsequent behaviour

The more a conversation encourages members to express their perceptions of the personal benefits of increased gym attendance, the more likely they are to attend more regularly.

Borrowing from the principles of motivational interviewing, we can describe a brief motivational intervention – a three-minute chat will suffice. Ask questions like:

What do you think is good for you about exercise?

What, for you, are the three most important reasons to work out regularly?

On a scale of 0–10, how motivated are you to make another visit to the club within the next week – and why do you think that is?

What might you need to do to make your next visit happen?

Summarise their answers to each question back to them.

There are gender-specific hassles and uplifts that influence retention

When members visit our clubs, they can experience a range of enjoyable uplifts and a range of negative hassles which correlate with retention rates.

Completing a challenging workout is the most highly cited uplift for males and females. For females, the second and third most cited uplifts are reception staff speaking to them and encouragement from fitness staff. For males, it’s achieving fitness goals and being spoken to by reception and fitness staff.

The main negative hassle experience reported by both males and females is club staff not speaking to them. For males, queuing for gym equipment is also a common hassle, whereas for females it’s dirty changing facilities.

When the various hassles and uplifts are compared, among women, reception staff communication is most strongly related to retention; for men, the key factor is having to queue for equipment.

3 Million people

Things haven’t changed…

Age, visit frequency, interaction, membership contract length and price point all continue to be strong predictors of retention.

This holds true both nationally and internationally, with similar results replicated in 26 countries, on four continents and over three million member records.

About the authors


Dr Paul Bedford is a leading authority on the management of retention, attrition and customer experience, and author of the world’s largest retention study – www.retentionguru.co.uk

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon is associate professor of exercise and health at the University of Exeter, where he researches physical activity and population health. Since his landmark retention report in 2001 (Winning the Retention Battle), he has published numerous reports on the determinants of membership retention.

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon & Dr Paul Bedford
Dr Melvyn Hillsdon & Dr Paul Bedford
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/320627_768576.jpg
Dr Melvyn Hillsdon and Dr Paul Bedford share their lessons for boosting member retention, based on their latest studies. Members who work out with a partner or buddy and receive fitness staff interaction are more likely to stay
Latest News
Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
Latest News
Physical activity sector bodies have welcomed the government's measures to help the UK's self-employed workers ...
Latest News
Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth is making his online fitness programme Centrfit available for free for ...
Latest News
American Council on Exercise (ACE) has urged US policymakers to not leave the fitness sector's ...
Latest News
Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym, appeared on BBC Question Time last night (26 March ...
Latest News
A new national campaign has been launched to encourage people to stay physically active at ...
Latest News
ClassPass will begin offering its partners the opportunity to live-stream classes through its app and ...
Latest News
Gym operators are pivoting to digital in a stampede to engage with members during the ...
Latest News
Leading organisations in the physical activity sector have urged chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide urgent ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The unmissable independent fitness event is back!
Pre-sale tickets are now available for the UK’s only event created exclusively for personal trainers, gym owners and fitness managers working in the independent gym and health club sector.
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: EXF Fitness
EXF offer so much more than modular systems and pick and mix installations, they don’t ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-29 Mar 2020
TeatroGoya Multiespacio, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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