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In Print The Essentials

Retention For 2016

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Perhaps you have just finished a very successful year, and yet you are not seeing the positive increases to your bottom line that you expected. Could it be that members are leaving your club at rates that are equal or exceed the prior year? If so, we all know this reverses the benefits from your increased memberships sold in 2015.

Once again, it is that terrible “A” word: Attrition. The vast majority of clubs across the industry, large and small, high priced and low priced, continue to struggle to reverse this problem.

Retention is an important piece of the membership equation and yet, it isn’t managed by a senior person. Clubs have a sales manager, spa director or personal training director, but most do not have a senior retention director. However, retention’s impact far outpaces the financial contribution of these departments to the bottom line.

In 2016, health and fitness club operators that want to see positive changes in their retention will pursue the hotel, hospitality and consumer goods industries as models. Products and services like Two Rivers Consulting’s Member Engagement Analysis, Medallia’s Member Experience Surveys, as well as Epsilon’s Member Profile, are all examples of services that will help produce new insights and identify new opportunities to positively impact a club’s retention rate.

However, these tools need to be owned by a senior-level individual who will use these resources and develop actionable steps to positively impact the bottom line of your club. Every successful club operator and manager knows the benefit of reducing the attrition rate by just 1 percent. It is so easy to calculate the yearly savings, as well as its impact on ancillary revenues.

So, who is going to change the course of attrition in your club, or will you once again review your financial situation again in January 2017 and wonder why you continue to accept your attrition rates? The choice is yours and the best time for evaluation is now.

Kevin McHugh is the chief operating officer of The Atlantic Club. For more information email kevinm@theatlanticclub.com. 

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Kevin McHugh

Kevin McHugh is the chief operating officer of The Atlantic Club. He can be reached at kevinm@theatlanticclub.com.

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