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One of the key retention indicators that we study and apply concerns club usage. This is because a member that spends more time in your club actually remains a member longer.
There is no doubt that this is an excellent key performance indictor (KPI), but in actuality, it is a secondary factor. More important is the level of engagement that the member experiences during their visit to your club.
Old-school industry veterans referred to this KPI as how many “touches” a member received. Many health clubs actually had their staff keep a record of the number of times they talked directly to the member. The thing is, if you need to have your staff record the number of times that they talked to a member, perhaps you actually have a bigger problem.
Welcome to 2017 and the “Era of Member Engagement,” where you do not need to keep track anymore of the literal number of touches. Actually, this era has been around for a long time, but many have yet to experience or implement it correctly.
That is because it is not easy to implement and for many if they want to enter this era, they will not need to make significant investments — but simply adjust their approach to building their business.
It starts at the top and is the responsibility of each club executive and department manager to accept the role of being away from their office during key times of the day and be with the members. Managers should walk the floor at key times, be at the front desk greeting members to the club — overall, be seen. It is clearly the best example of “trickle down economics.”
When the health club’s leadership team is engaging with the members and having fun, the staff will follow.
Member engagement is contagious with your staff, will positively impact your retention, and position your business to out-compete your competition in the future. Go beyond club usage as a KPI and figure out how to get members truly engaged within your club, versus focusing on planned “touches.”
Kevin McHugh is the COO of The Atlantic Club. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.