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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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Thrive Global, the wellness and behaviour change tech firm founded by Arianna Huffington, has acquired ...
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Regular exercise is highly beneficial for all patients with cardiovascular disease regardless of age. A ...
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The number of UK adults classed as physically active has increased by 1 million in ...
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Australian health club operator Viva Leisure has acquired eight Healthworks Fitness Centres in the state ...
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Featured supplier: Join FitNation - the new fitness congress about innovation
FitNation, the new premier event about innovation in the fitness industry, will kick-off in Amsterdam on 4 October.
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promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
Opinion: Dr Crionna Tobin on nutritional training for PTs and fitness experts
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
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Ojmar: Locking solutions
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Stages Cycling: Fitness equipment
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Property & Tenders
Kirklees Active Leisure
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
28-30 Oct 2019
Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-08 Nov 2019
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, 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
Physical activity bodies ukactive and EuropeActive have agreed to strengthen their partnership in the event ...
Latest News
The first-ever FIBO Southeast Asia fitness event will be held in Singapore next year. Taking ...
Latest News
Cancer survivors should undertake a minimum of 90 minutes of aerobic and resistance training each ...
Latest News
Thrive Global, the wellness and behaviour change tech firm founded by Arianna Huffington, has acquired ...
Latest News
Regular exercise is highly beneficial for all patients with cardiovascular disease regardless of age. A ...
Latest News
LXA has inserted a 2,000sq ft (186sq m) indoor/outdoor boxing gym into a mixed-use building ...
Latest News
The number of UK adults classed as physically active has increased by 1 million in ...
Latest News
Australian health club operator Viva Leisure has acquired eight Healthworks Fitness Centres in the state ...
Latest News
The physical activity economy is now a US$828bn (€752bn, £655bn) market – and its value ...
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UK-based architects Invisible Studio, founded by Piers Taylor, have designed a 150sq m (1,600sq ft) ...
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Boutique fitness operator The Foundry, which offers free and subsidised classes for those on state ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Join FitNation - the new fitness congress about innovation
FitNation, the new premier event about innovation in the fitness industry, will kick-off in Amsterdam on 4 October.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Crown Sports Lockers to launch sector first at IHS 2019
Crown Sports Locker will launch a waterproof locker that will open the door to facilities demanding a sustainable solution for wet changing areas.
Opinion
promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
Opinion: Dr Crionna Tobin on nutritional training for PTs and fitness experts
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Stages Cycling: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Property & Tenders
Kirklees Active Leisure
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
28-30 Oct 2019
Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-08 Nov 2019
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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