Friday, 13 June 2014

The leaving process - Health Club Management Article June 2014

If you want to stop members leaving, there are lots of lessons from other industries. Take a look at the rapidly diversifying TV subscription sector; offering different packages, payment holidays or discounts, and ‘value-add’ (tie-in) services such as on-demand. They are competing for our monthly subscriptions.

Once a member has decided to leave, there’s often little you can do to change their mind, so the best option is to make it relatively easy. You have two priorities; find out why they’re leaving, and then to stay in touch with them.

A leaver’s form or survey can formalise the process, whether it’s completed face-to-face or online. You can tailor follow-up messages based on responses; we always suggest asking similar questions again after a month, as responses could change once they’ve left. Ask if they’re interested in future offers; if they say yes, treat them as an ex-member-prospect, otherwise just treat them as an ex-member.

Thereafter, don’t be afraid to communicate regularly with ex-members. You should value their opinions almost as much as your members’, so ask them for feedback on new initiatives, and find out what they’re up to now. Ask why they joined in the first place, rather than why they left. We recommend a quick quarterly survey with a reward for those who complete it (discount code, or month free trial)

The results of these surveys can help you to reshape your offering and improve retention, but the ultimate aim is to re-engage with ex-members and get them back.

This is reproduced from Health Club Management Magazine - June 2014. You can read the original article here

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