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Helen N. Watts Dr Jan Francis-Smythe

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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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slide1

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

Helen N. Watts

Dr Jan Francis-Smythe

slide2

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.
slide4

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)

slide5
‘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?

- satisfaction ratings?

- members’ usage levels?

- intention to cancel?

What makes members give good ‘word of mouth?’

Research questions
existing approaches
Health psychology - physical activity

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

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

Retention

The club

The activity

Commitment

Brand identity

Service quality

Attitude

Subjective norm

Perceived behavioural control

telephone interviews
Literature review- a priori themes

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

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

The club

The activity

Commitment

Brand identity

Service quality

Attitude

Subjective norm

Perceived behavioural control

final template
Final template

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

- 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

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

Limitations
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Any questions?

Thanks for your time, enjoy the rest of the ICSS

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