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Membership retention in the fitness industry: A qualitative study and the development of a predictive model. Helen N. Watts Dr Jan Francis-Smythe. Overview. Industry background/ the problem Research questions Approaches/ literatures Design/ methodology Sampling Results (final template)

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Membership retention in the fitness industry: A qualitative study and the development of a predictive model

Helen N. Watts

Dr Jan Francis-Smythe


Overview

  • Industry background/ the problem

  • Research questions

  • Approaches/ literatures

  • Design/ methodology

  • Sampling

  • Results (final template)

  • Implications

  • Limitations


Industry background
Industry background

  • 2004, 4.2 million adults - members of private clubs in UK

  • 9.1% of the adult population (Mintel, 2005). 11% (2007)

  • Increased governmental campaigning to increase well-being and reduce health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles (Robinson, 2004; UK Government, 1999).

  • Rapid growth over the last 15 years to £2.5bn.


The problem

  • Poor retention rates of members

  • Average retention rate- approx. 60%

    (Mintel, 2005, FIA, 2002)

  • Membership fees- 76% of revenue

  • Driven by economic competition

    2000 – 2004 MV ↑ 43%, growth ↑ 30%

    (Mintel 2005)


‘any industry that is losing nearly 40% of its customers on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

(Mintel, 2005)

  • Retention- cheaper than acquisition

  • (Reicheld, 1996)


Research questions

What determines cancellation decisions? on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

- satisfaction ratings?

- members’ usage levels?

- intention to cancel?

What makes members give good ‘word of mouth?’

Research questions


Existing approaches

Health psychology - physical activity on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Consumer psychology - satisfaction/ service quality

Mostly measure either activity levels or intentions, not actual cancellation decisions

Mostly descriptive or concurrent, not predictive

Existing approaches


Mixed design
Mixed design on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

2. MRQ

a) Concurrent b) Longitudinal

3. SEM of questionnaire results (n=500+)

Method

Interpretation

QUAN

QUAN

qual

qual

1. Telephone interviews

4. Interviews at the end of/ exit from longitudinal study


A priori themes
A priori themes on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Retention

The club

The activity

Commitment

Brand identity

Service quality

Attitude

Subjective norm

Perceived behavioural control


Telephone interviews

Literature review- a priori themes on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Recorded interviews (n=25) using Skype and Callburner

Approx. 23 minutes each

To avoid biased data and provide comfort

Manually transcribed and thematically analysed

Telephone interviews


Sampling

Maximum variation on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Initial pool of 72, 24 current, frozen and ex members (expecting 50% response rate)

Most non-response due to invalid numbers

Sampling

Current

members

(n=12)

Length ofmembership

5 yrs (n=2)

1 yrs (n=2)

3 mths (n=2)

X15 pm (n=2)

Monthly usage

x5 pm (n=2)

X1 pm (n=2)

Frozen

members

(n=3)

Ex

members

(n=10)


A priori
A priori on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

The club

The activity

Commitment

Brand identity

Service quality

Attitude

Subjective norm

Perceived behavioural control


Final template
Final template on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

The club

The activity

Commitment

Brand identity

Service quality

Attitude

Subjective norm

Perceived behavioural control

Habit

Self-determination

The individual

Social Physique Anxiety

State anxiety

Social identity

Rapport


Implications

The same club- different experiences for different members on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

- different levels of rapport and feelings of identity

- different levels/types of anxiety

A club can be also be a place of anxiety as well as well-being

The need for individual profiling and monitoring throughout membership

Implications


Limitations

Low number of frozen members on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Same interview technique used for different groups- concept mapping may have been better for ex members

Limitations


Any questions? on an annual basis needs to scrutinise itself very carefully and ask if it can do more to try to retain their business.’

Thanks for your time, enjoy the rest of the ICSS


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