Sunday, 19 November 2017

How to handle the membership end process - The Sales & Retention Convention

How do you manage the process of members leaving your club? Many organisations do nothing about leavers, sticking their heads in the sand. If handled well, the leave process can help turn members around, or at the very least, improve your chances of getting an ex-member to return

The first session at the autumn 2017 Sales & Retention Convention started where the last event left off, focusing on members who have perhaps been absent for some time, and now are trying to leave. We talked about the process that leavers should go through, the opportunity for dialogue or discussion with the member who wants to leave, and collecting and making use of critical membership data. If you want to hear this session repeated live, please check out the live webinar on Tuesday 21st November 2017.

By breaking down the leave process into “How”, “Why” and “What”, we simplified the explanation and management of leavers:


How a member leaves (or tries to leave) is a good starter to decide how you are going to treat them. There are several different ways for them to leave, or stop their membership. Some will write or speak to you about their desire to cancel, others may let the membership terminate at a natural conclusion, others will cancel at the bank, or find another way to stop paying. We also had suggestions of members messaging their cancellation requests via social media (facebook messenger) which could possibly have more authenticity than email. By grouping these cancellation methods “How”, you can decide what steps you will take next – a call, email, survey link, etc.


Why is not to be confused with How. Cancelling at bank is not a reason to cancel. There are often a plethora of reasons that members cancel, but in reality, it’s best to group these into 5-7 generic reasons that members can choose from, such as financial, health, service, results, relocation, etc. This makes analysis of leavers simpler. You can collect more detailed information from a free format comments field that allows the member the space to vent their frustrations, and gives you more insight that you might use (if you can) to stop the same issue happening again.


Finally, we choose what we’re going to do with the leaver. They want to leave, we want them to stay, so is it possible to meet in the middle somewhere? Depending on how and why they want to leave, what offers or promises can you make to get them to stick around for another month? Is a membership freeze valid? If you can save the membership, make sure the promises/offer/freeze is recorded, agreed with the customer, and that there is a follow-up.

And finally, if the member does manage to leave the club, write to them saying thanks for their business, that you’ll stay in touch, and will be ready for them when they want to return.

This is a 5-minute summary of a 45 minute session on Managing leavers. If you would like to hear Guy Griffiths talking through the whole session, please register for the webinar on Tuesday 21st November.

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