Put a lid on attrition with you computer. Part 1

Make use of your computer system to manage member-retention programs.

According to statistics in Potentials in Marketing (a marketing trade publication), 9.2 million U.S. businesses spend about 75 percent of today’s marketing dollars in a futile search for more and new customers. The U.S. today is faced with a stabilizing population that makes it harder to find new customers, an aging population that is changing the needs of our existing customer base, a perception that the club industry does not offer a quality product worth paying for, and plateauing incomes that create more sophisticated and demanding consumers who want to be sure they are receiving value for their dollar. Faced with all of these factors, it is more important than ever that we retain our existing customer base.

Knowing that we must retain our customer base to grow and prosper, the next question is, of course, how? To address this issue we are including more programming in our facilities, more customer service training for the staff, better member integration programs, and so on. These issues, as well as program ideas, are addressed in fitness trade magazines, at conferences and through consultants. If we are doing all of this, then the question becomes, “How do we know that the efforts we are making are actually achieving the results we want?”

Over the last several years, as savvy business operators have become aware of the need to track their retention efforts, many formulas have been devised to look at this data. The most important factor in tracking retention/attrition statistics (no matter which formula or method you use) is that you consistently use the same formula from year to year. This is the only way to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples and will be able to measure significant fluctuations in your market.

Using formulas

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