Most health clubs across the U.S. are truly committed to developing strong retention programs. Similarly, many of these clubs also do many activities and have developed outstanding retention improvement processes that benefit their members. However, we still continue to lose members at a rate much higher than we would like each year.
But before you can look at positively impacting your retention number, there are a few questions that will need to be answered first.
Question #1: Do you feel all of your members know what you are doing to retain them?
Question #2: How many accurate member email addresses do you have in your database? You may be surprised that a lot of your addresses are out-of-date or undeliverable.
Question #3: Do you only inform members of all the improvements you made last year when you send out your price increase letter?
Question #4: Have you asked your members what their preferred form of communication is?
Question #5: Do you think there’s an opportunity to improve your retention levels by obtaining accurate contact information on your membership base?
Question #6: Are you willing to do the work required to obtain more accurate contact information?
The Atlantic Club asked these same questions and found that yes, we can significantly improve in this area. To address this opportunity we launched a major information campaign in February. This program involved our front desk member experience team, our group exercise and fitness team and many other staff members, with the goal of obtaining correct contact information — emails and phone numbers. We created a quick survey card that includes the opportunity for our members to identify their interests, so we can keep them up to date on information they’re most interested in.
Members want to know you care and be informed about the latest club happenings and events. But you can only do that if you have their correct contact information. Make that a priority in 2018 and I guarantee your retention rate will improve.
Kevin McHugh is the COO of The Atlantic Club.