Two weeks ago, my “new customer promo rate” with my home cable & internet service with AT&T U-verse was coming to an end and my bill was set to increase by $60 per month.
Yup – same service for a higher price. Obviously I wasn’t having that.
In their defense, AT&T did offer me a new lesser discounted rate going forward, but after a year of lackluster service, I decided a change would be for the best. So I reached out to my only other option, Comcast XFINITY, for a summary of their services and pricing.
Not only would I be saving $20 per month over what I was originally paying, but I would be receiving a more “feature rich” offering.
Weary of change & being somewhat comfortable with the “devil that I know”, finding out that Comcast offered a 30-day money back guarantee made my decision easy.
Sign me up!
If I followed through on my end (that is, if I kept the equipment in good working order), I would be refunded all setup and first month service fees upon return of the equipment.
Health clubs have the same opportunity here.
According to information reported by IHRSA, prospective new members (and former members) do not have a good perception of the sales experience when joining a health club.
In fact, fear of “high pressure sales tactics” is one of the five fears of joining a gym, identified through an IHRSA-commissioned research study. So offering a “money-back guarantee” of sorts can help to alleviate that fear.
Some gym owners already get this.
Brick Bodies in Maryland, for example, provides new members with a “14 Day Comfort Guarantee”.
Another includes AussieFIT in Columbus, OH. AussieFIT offers a 30-day “Feel Good Guarantee” to new members.
“The Comfort Guarantee – or Feel Good Guarantee as we call it – removes the need to make a joining decision on the first visit to the gym. This allows the prospective member to experience the club at least two times per week for four weeks. And if they are not completely happy at that point, they can request a full refund,” according to Geoff Dyer, AussieFIT Owner. “On average, we see less than 1% of new joiners canceling each month under the Feel Good Guarantee.”
And the concept is alive and well in other parts of the world, too! For example, Fitness First in Australia provides new members with their version of a “14 Day Comfort Guarantee” promising “If you’re unhappy and change your mind within your first 14 days of joining, you can have your money back on your weekly dues.”
But how does this contribute to member retention? I thought you’d never ask!
Well remember my Comcast story? The stipulation in place for the money-back guarantee was that I return all equipment in good working order. In the case of the “feel good guarantee” new members must typically commit to some regular usage of the club during the guarantee period in order to quality.
This accomplishes two things:
- It ensures that members are using the club EARLY & OFTEN after they sign up and keeps them motivated during the initial onboarding period.
- It sets them off on the right path to meeting their fitness goals so that they ultimately get results.
And, as I covered in The Secret Member Retention Tool that the Big Gym Chains Don’t Want You to Know, three of the top reasons people stay at a gym – a) getting in shape, b) improving overall health and c) making progress towards fitness – are directly impacted by the above!
Does your gym have a money back guarantee in place? Leave a comment and tell us about it!