Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., BESS |
Give back to current members, strategies to manage detractors, and how to avoid staff attrition at your fitness facility.
New year! New you!
It’s no secret that motivation is high as the new year begins. Discounted memberships, free t-shirts, and no annual fees are all ways that we help people sign up at the gym. New members are a great way to bring in more revenue and we love to help people work on their 2020 health and fitness goals, but what are we doing for our current members? They, after all, are the loyal clients that allow us to maintain our livelihood. Your leadership team may think that current members are happy and more than satisfied with your fitness center, but do we really know that for sure?
Current Members Matter
Sadly, we cannot assume that most of our current members are happy with the facility services. We’ve got to be realistic and open-minded to hear from our current members (even if we're a little nervous about what we learn). Here are a couple of things to think about with your leadership team:
Imagine this, it’s been about 6 months since you last chatted with a friend and you want to call him or her to catch up. What’s the first thing you’d say? “How are you?” Just as you would re-connect with your friend, the best way to check-in with your current members is to ask how things are going through inviting feedback. The trick is in being able to ask the right questions. A well-defined, thoughtfully constructed survey can be priceless for a business looking for sustainability.
It’s very likely that we will hear positive comments from highly satisfied members and more dissatisfied comments from unhappy members. But who we really want to hear from are those “fence sitters” that seem to fall through the cracks. Those members we don’t connect with as often as we should. A few ways to get a pulse from your current membership base are to broadcast a short survey on social media, use your facility’s app to push out notifications, or send a targeted e-mail to encourage completion and importance!
ACSM Members should check out Patrick Freeman’s article “Roadmap for Member Satisfaction-Is your vision 2020?” in the January/February issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® for sample questions that can elicit a great return rate. In this article, Freeman provides suggestions of how to give back to current members, strategies to manage detractors, and how to avoid staff attrition at your fitness facility.
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Article based on: Freeman, Patrick. Roadmap for Member Satisfaction-Is your vision 2020? ACSMs Health Fit J. 2020; 24 (1):39-41
Vanessa M. Kercher
, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., BESS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department for the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Kercher's research passion focuses on helping individuals optimize their physical activity experiences to promote sustainable, positive health behaviors. She serves as the digital editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal
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