Goal achievement improves retention
Set goals and track progress to improve member retention

Members join a health club or fitness facility for a number of different reasons, whether it’s to lose weight, feel fitter, to improve their health and wellbeing, or for social reasons, but does achieving these goals affect whether they remain a member?

Depending on the goal a person has set and the regularity of their attendance, people may have different expectations about how quickly they will achieve their goals. For example, strength gains may be achieved more quickly than weight loss goals. Members may have unrealistic expectations about how quickly they can achieve these goals which can lead to disappointment if the results aren’t immediately tangible. But what difference does their perceived achievement make when it comes to member retention?

Goals and perceived achievement

As part of the TRP 10,000 research, the question surrounding the type of goals set, perceived achievement and the impact of both on member retention was asked. 10,000 members from a range of demographics and stages of their membership, were asked about what motivated them to exercise and the responses included a range of different motivation types including appearance, fitness, enjoyment and socially driven motivations. These included everything from making new friends and attending as regularly as planned, to improving muscle tone, feeling fitter, losing weight or improving appearance.

The findings of the research demonstrated that during the 7 months after the members were surveyed, for each factor members reported they have made progress on, the risk of cancellation reduces by 10%.

Member satisfaction

With this in mind, how do you track what your members achieve and demonstrate that being a part of your club helps them achieve their goals, and how important is it to your member’s satisfaction?

A follow up piece of research as part of the TRP 10,000 series focused on what impact a members motivation and their perceived achievement had on their Net Promoter Score (NPS). The research consistently found that a member was more likely to be a promoter (scoring a 9 or 10 on the NPS question) of a club, if they had achieved their goal, whichever the category of their goal.

The evidence suggests understanding your members goals and helping them achieve them is not only beneficial to member retention but also makes the member more likely to recommend your facility to others. With this in mind, what strategies can be implemented as part of your broader member retention strategies?

Top tips

Here are some of our top tips to improve member retention based on learnings from TRP 10,000 and our experience with partners:

  • Identify a range of specific and measurable goals for each of your members.
  • Help your members set realistic goals and time frames, focusing on smaller, achievable milestones including attendance targets and areas with a clear sign of progress (cardiovascular fitness, strength, duration of aerobic activity etc.).
  • Provide positive encouragement in person and via digital communications, recognising when milestones have been met.
  • Use regular assessments to show what progress is being achieved in as many areas as possible.

What does this mean to operators?

We spoke to Dominic Morrow, Head of Product and Proposition at the Gym Group, to find out how goals and tracking progress fit in their member journey.

“Our core purpose is to break down barriers to fitness for all. We want to make fitness accessible and want to help people achieve their fitness goals, whatever those goals are. If members have a great product and service experience, and make progress towards their goals, they will not only stay longer, but will become advocates of our brand.

FitQuest plays 2 vital roles for our members; it helps them to identify areas where they need to improve their fitness so they can set the right goals initially; and then gives them the data to track their progress. It is a key component for us to deliver a great member experience.”

Here at FitQuest, we’re keen to support our partners and their users by providing immediate feedback about their achievements encouraging regular assessments using digital support mechanisms to help them track each element of their fitness and body composition.

Interested in understanding how FitQuest can support you and your members? Get in touch here!