Friday, 23 July 2010

What really motivates members - Programming vs Goals

What really motivates members and increases membership length? We’ve discussed programming before, and seen impressive results from talking to members about their exercise programme. We know that it’s the staff-member interaction that actually helps improve visit frequency. Members’ goals are the critical factor in member retention; understand each member’s goal, and then support them in move towards the goal. Simply recording a member’s goal can have a profound effect on length of membership, as you can see here:

The graphic above compares average length of membership for members with goal(s) recorded in the Wellness System against members whose goals were not recorded. For both Casual and Contract members, membership length is considerably longer (over 60% longer for Contract members) when a goal is recorded in the system.

The figures are taken from a local authority club with around 2,000 active members and historical data for over 4,000 members. Other analysis shows trainers that record their members’ goals are more successful in terms of active member status and member retention. We were really pleased to see goal recording, and it will be actively encouraged moving forwards.

Taking a similar comparison using active exercise programmes shows quite a different picture:

There is very little difference between members who have current programmes and those whose programmes have expired. In fact, members with old programmes seem to stay longer. Changing the filters to included members whose programme recently expired does not change the trend significantly.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t focus on updating exercise programmes, this staff-member interaction is important. What is clear is that during programme reviews, checking goals and aspirations is vital, and if you can record the member’s goal, especially a SMART goal (more soon) you will help to prolong their membership, which is good for everyone.

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