One of the most critical challenges facing fitness clubs is customer (or member) retention. About 30 percent of club members do not renew their memberships, according to IHRSA. In some clubs, turnover rates are even higher.
In larger fitness chains, improving retention rates by even one percent can mean millions in revenues. So how can Brand Advocates help fitness clubs keep more members? Here are four ways:
1. Members are more likely not to renew if their usage levels are low. Brand Advocates can help educate other members about services they may not currently be using like Group X classes, personal training, swimming lessons, spa services, and more. As the club’s most enthusiastic and engaged members, Advocates are glad to tell others about these services.
2. Brand Advocates will happily create content about why they’re loyal customers. Ask your Advocates why they stay with your club. Advocates will create compelling answers, which you can then share with other members and even prospects.
3. Sponsor fun events where Advocates encourage new members to participate in club events and take advantage of club services.
4. Lastly, engaging your Advocates increases the likelihood that these enthusiastic members themselves will continue renewing their memberships month after month, year after year. By building and nurturing relationships with your Advocates, you deepen their commitment to your club.
We saw this at Apple, where I worked as a marketing consultant for ten years. Apple Advocates drove loyalty by acting as a powerful marketing force. These enthusiastic customers went out of their way to:
- Educate other Apple customers about product features and benefits, which increased product usage.
- Defend the Apple brand against negative word of mouth, a significant cause of attrition.
- Build communities of other Apple customers, which drove engagement.
- Remind Apple customers why they purchased Apple products in the first place.