GYMS could be risking member loyalty by ignoring the needs of two thirds of their members according to new research.
BMRB Sport has revealed that while 28 per cent of members are loyal enough to definitely recommend membership to a friend, an almost equal amount, 27 per cent, would not.
The sports research company have offered advice to gyms on how to tailor their treatment of members to improve their loyalty and improve their chances of getting recommendations.
They surveyed over 1000 health centre members and divided them into groups by looking at their primary motivations for joining the gym and their gym going habits.
Their analysis revealed that loyalty from members was based on three key areas.
These included physical benefits, like getting fit and the equipment available; the social benefits of relationships with other members and staff and, finally, overall value for money.
They took these fundamental motivations and divided the survey participants into four groups.
The largest group of members in the survey, representing 35 per cent, were classed as ‘confident socialites’.
These clients, typically under 35 and with a female bias, enjoy the social aspects of going to the gym and prefer a busy and energetic atmosphere.
This was classed as a loyal group, with 38 per cent recommending their gym to friends.
However, while this suggests gyms are meeting the needs of this type of member, gyms were warned that focussing purely on them could alienate other clients.
Attention was also drawn to the smallest and youngest group, described as ‘unengaged newcomers’.
These members may avoid gym staff, lack motivation and are least likely to recommend membership to their friends.
However, looking after this segment of members has huge potential for a gym as young people are more likely to stay loyal throughout adulthood if they are catered for at this stage.
Recommendations for doing this include offering discounted memberships for younger people, as well as specific classes catering for their music and exercise preferences.
The conclusion drawn is that segmenting members in this way will allow them to be targeted much more effectively than with a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Go backPosted on 5th June 2007