By Kristen Walsh
What’s the danger in a detractor? Plenty, as it turns out. High member attrition is a threat to any health club’s bottom line.
In July, in an effort to help more clubs retain more of their members , IHRSA released its latest IHRSA Member Retention Report (Volume 1, Issue 4). Conducted in partnership with The Retention People (TRP), this edition expands on the Net Promoter Score (NPS®) as a member loyalty and retention tool. Also analyzed are NPS® findings based on a study of nearly 20,000 health club members, providing insight into how the NPS® can help predict membership terminations.
“As a powerful member loyalty tool, the utility of the NPS® extends beyond establishing a benchmark and identifying the characteristics of successful clubs,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of global products. “Being able to understand and identify members at risk of leaving their health club will help target and improve the retention efforts of club operators.”
The current installment of The IHRSA Member Retention Report examines whether NPS® can predict membership cancellation in the 12 months after the survey is completed. Specific criteria analyzed include age, gender, and duration of membership (in months). Further details on promoters and detractors are explained alongside age, gender, and tenure. (Promoters are respondents who are likely to recommend their club to friends, colleagues, and family members. Detractors are respondents who are not only unlikely to recommend their club, but may actually discourage others from joining.)
Not surprisingly, promoters attended the club more often than members who were detractors. And those same detractors are the ones most likely to cancel their memberships within 12 months of completing the NPS® survey. As the report bears out, winning over members as raving fans and converting passive “fence-sitters” to promoters is critical in order to maximize membership tenure.
“This latest research highlights the importance for clubs not only of identifying detractors, but of implementing sustainable and measurable processes to ‘close the loop’ and convert them to promoters”, said Phil Bonomo, Director of The Retention People North America. “It’s yet another piece to the ‘customer experience’ puzzle, and can provide operators with a real focus for their retention efforts.”
The IHRSA Member Retention Report (Volume 1, Issue 4) is available as a PDF at ihrsa.org/research. It is free for IHRSA members and US $29.95 for non-members. IHRSA member clubs can also participate in the IHRSA-TRP member loyalty survey at no cost (a $1,500 value). Participating clubs will receive a licensed NPS® score and access to member comments via a real-time online dashboard. Details are at ihrsa.org/retention.
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