I recently had the opportunity to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was a pretty amazing experience, and it occurred to me how member retention is a lot like your air when you are scuba diving.
In diving, your main job is to keep the regulator in your mouth and just breathe. If you do that well, you get to enjoy the sight of fish, corral and your surroundings 60 feet under water.
In your clubs, the membership line is really the lifeline for your club’s success and health. When you take care of your membership base, everything else falls in line and becomes enjoyable.
When I finished the first dive, I was surprised and impressed with the master dive guide. As soon as we boarded the dive boat, he exhibited so many attributes we look for with our staff that allows them to connect with members.
What traits do those include? He was positive and energetic. I was also pleasantly surprised when he remembered my name. I met him only minutes before we dove — we were basically strangers.
But he gets it. He cared about my experience, and wanted to know if all the equipment worked well, if my fins and mask fit. He then complimented me on my minimal air consumption and immediately invited me back for the second and third dive. It was a large boat of people and he made each of us feel welcomed.
We have so many opportunities to create memorable experiences with our members during each and every visit. Using their name and noticing what they do at the club sets the groundwork for connecting. Genuinely asking about their experience and inviting them back shows they are valued and appreciated. Remembering details about their kids or significant other means you care.
These individual connections allow you to separate yourself from other providers.
Remember: Your club’s retention is your air tank. Good luck with your connection building. Enjoy the dive.
Andrew Barranco is the regional operations and aquatics manager for Merritt Clubs.