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In Print The Essentials

Waging War on Retention

Mark Miller

Mark Miller shares tips for retention.With the advent of new models and boutique studios, there is hyper competition more so today than ever before. As a result, it is highly critical that club operators wage war on retention.

It is my belief that retention should not be measured in simple attrition data or as a percentage based off of sales and cancellations. It is my belief that retention is more of a lifecycle that occurs over the length of a membership. It is our job as industry providers to try and extend the length of that membership. Doing so can equate to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, for one’s facility.

With this in mind, let’s consider a myriad of simple items that can initially impact the customer lifecycle and retention of our members — for the better, of course.

1. The perception of one’s facility within the local community must be understood. Conducting secret surveys and things of that nature will help get a clear picture of what your community members think of your brand.

2. Mapping the marketplace and understanding the personalities of every competitor, as well as their compelling reason for being, helps clubs create differentiation.

3. Hiring, training and developing only the best staff in the business.

4. Ensuring a structured integration for all members aligned with their needs, wants and fitness personality.

5. Feverishly working on club experience and touch points and how one can improve it. Tracking new members’ usage over the first 30, 60 and 90 days is something the REX organization has been leading the forefront on.

6. Creating a re-engagement and reactivation strategy that can be well executed. In addition, making a cancellation process seamless and easy. Doing so should help improve retention 10-fold.

Best of luck and feel free to share any ideas you’re trying. Let’s keep an open dialogue.


Mark Miller is the vice president of Merritt Athletic Clubs. For questions on retention, he can be reached at mmiller@merrittclubs.com.

Emily Harbourne

Emily Harbourne is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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