Friday, 6 March 2015

You cannot retain members by messages alone…

…but the messages can help!

OK, some low-cost gyms do rely heavily on email and sms messages as part of their member retention strategy. But to have a really positive effect, the retention messages have to be reinforced.

Here are some ways that you can use member communications to improve all-round customer service at your club:

Encouraging members to interact with staff

All messages should have a call to action, and most of those calls should be to talk to a staff member – that’s where the valuable retention actions take place. Just ensure that your staff are prepared to handle the requests properly.

Call warm-up

Sending a message to a recently absent member will reduce the number of absent member calls you have to make, but also makes those calls easier. Rather than “we miss you”, or “where have you been”, the member of staff making the call asks whether the member got the recent message(s).

Monitoring messages sent

Comparing how many “Month 1 congratulations” vs “Month 1 encourage” messages shows what percentage of members made 4 or more first month visits. How many absent messages were sent in a month shows how many members became absent. This is basic but critical member information that many clubs just don’t measure.

Tracking Opens, Clicks and Return Rates

How many e-mail messages are opened, links clicked, and ultimately, how many absent members return following a message. Simply put, more member stats, which tell you more about your members.

In summary, member messaging should be a critical part of your retention strategy. Not just because they encourage members to visit more, and show you care about them, but also because they can improve your wider member processes, awareness, and service levels.

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