How Improving Net Promoter Score Helps Fitness Clubs

Let’s start with the basics here so you can learn how improving net promoter score helps fitness clubs increase member loyalty and retention.

What did NPS come from?

NPS was introduced in 2003 and developed by Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company, and in cooperation with Satmetrix, a California consultant company which provides customer experiences management solutions. Reichheld was looking for a way to measure customer loyalty, satisfaction, and opinion of a company’s performance. 

What is NPS?

The Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric that thousands of companies now trust to measure overall customer satisfaction, and they have begun to do so across different touchpoints. Net Promotor Score can give companies awareness into their customers experiences, both positive and negative. It is important to determine what your Net Promoter Score is, however what is even more crucial is to use the information you collect in order to improve your score. In order to improve your Net Promoter Score, you want to convert as many members as you can into ‘promoters.’  This leads to increased member loyalty and increased member retention. The more promoters you’ve got in your gym, the more members they will refer to you!

NPS is determined by measuring responses from gym members to one single question:

How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend?  

Members then answer this question on a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 being “extremely likely” and 0 being “not at all likely.”  Based on the score submitted, members are then categorized into Promoters, Passives, or Detractors. 

Satmetrix defines each of these Customer Groups as:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others fueling growth. 
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impeded growth through negative word-of-mouth. 

Determining your final score – your total NPS – isn’t complicated.  Your company’s net promoter score is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. 

% promoters - % detractors = Net Promoter Score

According to Satmetrix, the average score is around 5, but the most efficient growth occurs for companies whose NPS is in the 5-80 range. 

The advantage of NPS is that it’s simple.  But data is only worthwhile if you do something with it, and if it results in action!  As Fred Reichheld, creator of NPS states:

 “Most customer satisfaction surveys aren’t very useful. They tend to be long and complicated, yielding low response rates and ambiguous implications that are difficult for operating managers to act on.”

How Can a Fitness Club Improve Their Net Promoter Score?

High quality member feedback is crucial to the fitness industry, especially because fitness clubs are always trying to better their member retention rates. NPS has been proven to be one of the most dependable ways to gather solid, applicable data, allowing fitness club operators to really improve the member experience.  

  1. Measure Regularly, Consistently and Comprehensively!
    You first want to check for measurement accuracy.  Make sure that you are always phrasing the NPS survey question exactly the same way and presenting the survey in the same format. In addition, ensure that you are scoring the survey consistently in the same manor, and surveying NPS in all areas of your website and in a multitude of customer service interaction areas. 
  2. Discover Your Problems & Fix Them!
    Once you have measured NPS correctly, yet still see a score lower than you would like – the next step would be to discover where your problems areas are by examining your biggest detractors.  Since detractors have a score of 6 or lower, this means that these members have brought to your attention that they are not having a positive experience at your fitness club. However, more times than not – these negative experiences end up having a common cause that you can easily tackle. 

    In order to tackle these issues – first find out which of your members have these low NPS scores and then look for a common thread.  For example, are all of these members participating in one specific class at your gym? Are all of these members visiting your gym during common times of the day or night?  If you see a trend that may set these detractors apart from other members, it is time to take action!  

    It is important to routinely check in with these detractors to communicate with them about what their negative experience entails, and what they dislike about your gym; and then observe all future responses to NPS surveys to evaluate for progress. 

    If there are specific areas of your gym that are causing most of the problems, thus creating detractors, you can easily monitor these and reassess how to overcome the issues. By eventually converting these detractors into passives (those with an NPS score of 7-8), you are taking another positive stop in decreasing the likelihood of these detractors from speaking negatively about your gym. 
  3. Responses and Follow Ups are Key Here
    The worst thing you could do is fail to respond to your members. Communication is key here!  Simply by responding to every single member inquiry at your gym will help increase your NPS. If your members are reaching out by completing the NPS surveys, you want to always respond to these members by thanking them for the engagement, and then ask the member if there is something that might make their experience better for them at your fitness club.  These members have already taken the time to complete the survey, now the ball is in your court to respond and follow up, to ensure that you aren’t missing out on invaluable insights! Once these detractors see that their problems are being solved by your team, it increases the likelihood of converting them into promoters.
  4. Never Stop Monitoring!
    Once you start to observe your NPS going up, the last thing you want to do is forget about it and assume that your work here is done. Never be complacent! You should be constantly monitoring your NPS and continuing to make improvements – even promoters can turn into detractors if they have a handful of negative experiences in a short period of time. 
  5. Encourage Promotion of Your Brand!
    Don’t make it too difficult for members to share their experiences with their family and friends! Encourage your members to share their positive experiences with your gym on their social media platforms.  You can even create incentives for those members who do take the time to promote you! If your members feel like their voices matter, and feel appreciated, they are much more likely to promote you on their own. 

Every fitness club in the world is constantly attempting to improve member satisfaction, member experience, and increase their member retention.  But, if you aren’t able to visualize and measure the outcome of every touchpoint that a member encounters, and measure those touchpoint experiences in your members’ journey – you won’t get very far. 

The Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric to measure member satisfaction.  But, it’s real worth is the awareness that you gain about your members experiences.  By improving your Net Promoter Score, you end up transforming many passives and detractors into promoters, and at the same time you will keep your existing promoters content!

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