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Four Factors that Affect Member Recruitment, Engagement and Retention

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Member Recruitment

Here are four factors that play a role in how effective your plans are for member recruitment, engagement and retention.

As customer expectations continue to rise, an essential business practice is to remain open about adjusting your services. These adjustments send the message to current customers that you are invested in continual improvement. In addition to better retention, these updates can give you a competitive edge and support recruitment and engagement rates. Operational decisions hinge on understanding your specific community and target demographic.

Consider the four factors below to differentiate your fitness offerings from others in your area.

1. Terms and Conditions

Among the top decisive elements for membership include the logistics of membership price and your clienteles’ proximity to services/facilities. The average gym member travels less than five miles to their facility, so observe the demographics of your community to ensure you understand their needs and preferences. Consider membership options that reflect your findings to boost appeal to locals in your area.

2. Customer Service

Every interaction a member has with your facility is associated with a positive, negative or neutral sentiment. Encourage your staff to adopt customer service strategies that maximize member satisfaction in each scenario. Indirect interactions with your brand can also influence member perceptions. They are especially sensitive to staff and instructor turn-over and are more likely to keep attending classes led by energetic instructors that encourage them without being too pushy.

3. Core and Supplementary Services

To elevate the experience for members that are looking for alternate training options, add supplementary services that create excitement and strengthen community ties. For example, group fitness classes are considered a key service that strongly impacts retention. Studies suggest that individuals value a variety of classes that vary in intensity and highlight the influence of engaging instructors.

4. Marketing

Get to know who you serve to create a memorable brand image and to optimize your promotion efforts. Consider surveys about the psychographics of your community, specifically their activities, interests and opinions about achieving a healthy lifestyle. This helps you to position your marketing and can help you select messaging and imagery that aligns with their goals. Establish a brand voice that translates to both print marketing and digital mediums such as your website and social media pages.

Address the four factors above to reaffirm your member’s loyalty every time they interact with your brand. They’ll be excited to exercise in an environment that reflects their values and preferences, which is crucial for generating a positive buzz that will attract even more of your community. 

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Karlie Intlekofer

Karlie Intlekofer, Ph.D. is the global wellness researcher at Matrix Fitness. For more information, email karlie.intlekofer@matrixfitness.com or connect with her via LinkedIn.

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