Andrew Lock - Retention Secrets
Ready to learn the
secrets of customer retention?
It all started with a visit to my local gym...
It was a cold January morning in Salt Lake City in 2013, and one of my new year's resolutions was to get in shape.
Salesman Steve slid the paperwork over his desk to me and as I signed up, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd beat the stats. Stats? Yeah, ironically, that same morning I had read a news article that said 82% of people who join a gym in January cancel within 3 months!
Woaaah! That's crazy! That has to be the worst retention rate of almost any industry, right?!
As it happened, this particular gym was well aware of the challenge, and as soon as I had signed on the dotted line, Steve smoothly guided me through a checklist of items clearly designed to WOW me, and avoid the dreaded cancellation.
As a business owner and ever curious marketer, as soon as Steve showed me the new member 'checklist' I immediately started studying and analyzing what they were doing, and it made me even more curious.
First, Steve sincerely congratulated me for my decision. Next, he gave me a tour of the facility and introduced me to key members of staff. Then he took me into a high-tech room that looked a bit like a lab, and introduced me to Tiffany, who measured my body mass, blood pressure, heart rate, and so on, as a "baseline to work from." And so it went on... I was escorted like a celebrity from one area to another, rolling out the red carpet. The tour ended in the on-site juice bar where I was given a really cool sports bag, and then invited to order whatever I liked off the menu, as a welcome gift!
As I was sipping my freshly squeezed "Julicious" juice, Steve explained that all sales staff had been meticulously trained to take new members through a carefully designed 'hand-holding' process, and that it was working really well.
"How well?" I asked. I couldn't help myself.
"Well, let me ask my boss, he's right here" Steve replied, helpfully.
A quick discussion ensued, and get this... the long and short of it was that the gym had reduced new member cancellations from 74% down to 48%, within the first 12 weeks.
To say that's an epic result is a gross understatement. It was nothing short of a revolution for their business. They had been able to slash their front-end marketing costs by 62%, and net profits were up more than 25% because they were keeping so many more members than previously.
Bottom line is, they didn't need to put so much time, effort, and money into customer acquisition anymore, because they were keeping the gym full MOSTLY with existing members!
That experience was 7 years ago, and you might be interested to know that I remained a member of that gym until I moved out of State to California!
More importantly, the cleverly designed retention process I experienced had a huge impact on me, and it led me on a quest to study and master the topic of customer retention.
Fast forward to today, I'm considered a world expert on the topic, I'm invited to speak Internationally about it at industry events like The Subscription Show, and I help companies implement proven systems for customer retention. Some people call me a subscription scientist, but I prefer to say "Retention Geek!"
But before I get too ahead of myself, I want to share the first big 'aha' moment I had, with you on the topic of retention...
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