Last year, the Gold’s Gym SoCal group had an attrition rate it wasn’t comfortable with. Brian Morris, the vice president of sales, marketing and service revenue for the franchisee group, knew they needed to find a solution, but wasn’t 100 percent sure what to do.
It was at the 2016 Club Solutions Leadership Retreat that he had an epiphany, which was somewhat of a radical thought. Could the answer to their attrition problem be found during the cancellation process?
“The moderator told us to think of the cancellation process from the customer’s perspective,” said Morris. “Is it easy to cancel? Are we making the process difficult?”
Morris returned to Gold’s Gym SoCal and one of the first moves he made was hiring a retention specialist, known as a “customer service specialist” to customers. He trained her on sales so that she understood the sales process, and also how to manage cancellations.
During the sales process, when a customer expresses that they’re interested in a membership, Gold’s Gym SoCal has them fill out a guest courtesy card that asks them questions like, “Why are you interested in a membership?” and “What are your goals?”
“We then save that guest courtesy card digitally, and it’s linked to their member profile when they join,” Morris explained. “Then when a person comes in to cancel, we take some of the questions that were on the guest courtesy card and give them back to them in the cancellation survey — it breaks down some of the negativity and reminds them of why they joined. We then try to save them. If the price is an issue, we bring their membership down a few bucks a month, to show we care. We also took the cancellation process out of our CMS provider’s hands and back into our own.”
As a result, the gym has lowered its attrition by 13 percent. “We are saving 120 members a week and it’s going in the right direction.”
Currently, the 2017 Club Solutions Leadership Retreat is in full swing, and Morris will have his ears perked for the next epiphany that makes a huge impact on his business. For those looking for epiphanies of their own, Morris advised to do what he did: Be open, and listen to what others are doing.
“Don’t be set in your ways,” said Morris.