Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Rewarding Member Retention

Who should be rewarded for good retention? When we talk about rewarding retention at GGFit, we talk about rewarding club staff, but also about rewarding members.

Staff rewards can be tricky because a lot of people equate rewards with money. Of course, research shows that money does not create long term happiness or job satisfaction, and “motivation by pizza” does not work. Sure, some clubs employ sales staff and pay commission for new members, but the sales people are rarely interested in members after they join.

Most often, the staff best placed to affect retention are the instructors working on the gym floor, and good fitness professionals are motivated by seeing their members achieve results. And guess what, if members are achieving results, they stay longer.

As well as member results, instructors tell us they have a more interesting day by interacting with more members. Competition with each other for number of contacts made, or effectiveness of contacts is rewarding, when it is measured. For some, good motivators are being top dog on retention metrics, or getting a number of lapsed members back into the club. I’m not saying that a financial bonus is not rewarding, but it’s not going to be the prime driver for member retention.

The other person to reward for good retention is the member, of course. A few clubs fix prices for long term members, or have discounts or gifts when the member reaches a milestone, but again, the best motivation comes from achieving results.

Nuffield advertise a fantastic member retention scheme. You have a health MOT and design your personal action plan with your instructor. When you improve your personal health score, you get one month’s free membership. Your club is actually going to help you to get results, and when you do, they will also reward you with something of value, rather than a free (branded) bag.

This kind of offer is starting to shift the public perception of our industry towards clubs that want to invest in the member and make them stick around. Social rewards also help – clubs or instructors congratulating members on their goals, and supporting member by commenting on, or liking their fitness status updates.

Working towards results is what matters to both the instructor and the member, so you can reward retention by simply measuring results.

This is an extract from Workout Magazine April 2011