Shaping a successful health and fitness membership strategy through Direct Debit

It’s a tricky business, maintaining a successful membership strategy. Most busy gym professionals find their time heavily saturated in their facilities, and unearthing solutions to boost attrition tends to fall to the bottom of the priority pile.

More often than not, the key is to adapt your membership payment options, as charity leisure organisation, Live Borders, discovered by partnering with revenue management solutions bureau DFC.

 

Positive steps

Live Borders is a not for profit organisation delivering leisure, cultural and sport services to communities across the Scottish borders. The organisation was established in 2016 (after operating as a standalone sports Trust for 13 years) with a clear vision to help everyone living, working and visiting the Scottish Borders to be healthier, happier and stronger.

They decided to work with DFC to reshape their membership strategy by streamlining their Direct Debit offering. Facilities Manager, Ben Lamb, had worked with DFC in a previous role and saw it as a fortuitous opportunity:

“During a review of the services that we offer it became apparent that the retention of our health and fitness membership was not as strong as we would have liked.

“We realised that committed contracts would play a key role in helping us to address this and decided to partner with DFC to administer the monthly collections of our health and fitness members.”
 

A big shift

Any new members signing up for a health and fitness membership with Direct Debit have since fallen under DFC’s careful management. This has enabled them to hone in on areas such as credit control, ensuring that no Direct Debit payment falls under the radar; and customer service, to provide members with a knowledgeable point of contact.

More importantly, however, was the implementation of a slicker and more user-friendly joining process. FastDD dovetails technology with administrative reprieve and is DFC’s answer to improved membership acquisition. Accessible through Live Border’s website, FastDD has acted as a 24-hour sales aid, enabling new members to sign up when they like, simply and easily across a range of devices.

Ben continued: “Partnering with DFC has not only allowed us to implement a more flexible online approach to joining but also allows customers to choose from any 4 collection dates and manage their payments through the online portal – all services that we didn’t offer before.”

The partnership has proved a success from the get-go. In the first 12 months of working with DFC, Live Borders saw an increase in membership numbers of 13% and an increase in membership revenues of 22%.

The next step is to transfer every health and fitness member on Direct Debit under DFC’s umbrella.

“We are currently in the process of moving all of our health and fitness direct debits over to DFC, having only used them to administer collections for new members previously.”