Catching up with industry legend and longtime friend of Network, Paul Brown, at this year’s FILEX convention reinforced to me the growing importance of member retention in today’s market.
In 2019 more and more clubs and niche facilities, studios and trainers are competing for their slice of, essentially, a similarly-sized pie as a decade ago. Consumers have a plethora of choice, so if an interesting-looking new studio or PT appears in your neighbourhood, what’s to stop your members or clients ditching you for the new kid on the block?
And that’s just the ones that are engaged enough with the fitness process to even consider checking out their other options. If they haven’t had their head turned by a new young thing, then their fidelity to you is still by no means assured: if they’re paying their dues but aren’t attending, or committing to their goals, then the likelihood of their continued custom is low.
In his article 'Five minutes to retain a member - right?' in the new Winter 2019 Network magazine, Jon Nasta writes that members that attend their club less than once a week are twice as likely to discontinue their membership. Oh well, attrition can be offset with some sales, right? This was perhaps once the case, but with figures showing that acquiring new members costs up to seven times more than retaining current ones – and that the cost of getting new members has doubled over the past 10 years – it really makes a compelling argument for investing in the success and engagement of current members.
We cannot take our lifeblood for granted. They will be loyal only for as long as we provide them reason to be. It’s perhaps never been clearer that an investment in their happiness and success is also an investment in our own.