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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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Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
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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
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is dipping its toe into the wellness tech market with a ...
Latest News
Health-tech brand hero has acquired Revitalise London – a preventative health and vitality specialist – ...
Latest News
Wellness tech platform Mindbody has signed a five-year partnership deal with fitness franchise F45. The ...
Latest News
Luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi has revealed plans to launch the first "floating yoga studio" ...
Latest News
Tech giant Apple is venturing further into the wellness space by launching a new Apple ...
Latest News
Bells + Whistles have designed a "social wellness club" in Los Angeles that has been ...
Latest News
Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) will officially open on 24 January. The ...
Latest News
Snap Fitness has made international expansion its priority for 2020, with plans to enter new ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore: Creating a fitter, happier and more productive workforce
Inactivity is described by The Department of Health as the ‘silent killer’ of our generation.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass expands in Ireland with flagship operator Gym Plus
Gympass, a leader in corporate fitness sales, has expanded its network to Ireland following a new partnership with Gym Plus.
Opinion
promotion
Gyms need to look at ways to deploy technology that helps them engage with customers on a human level. This can be done by encouraging customers to leave as much real-time feedback as possible
Opinion: Customer Feedback: the Good, the Bad and the ‘Could be Improved’ Why health clubs need to take action in 2020 to retain their New Year customers
Video Gallery
Wattbike AtomX
Wattbike
Join our tribe. Become powered by Wattbike. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Incorpore Ltd
Incorpore is a leading fitness and wellness company who have been successfully delivering solutions to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Pavigym
PAVIGYM is the premier innovator of flooring and interactive solutions for the global fitness industry....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
Physical Company Ltd: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
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
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
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