Group of people sitting on a gym floor with thumbs up.

When fitness business owners think about needs, they often think about member recruitment and retention numbers. But as it turns out, another number may be equally if not more important when it comes to driving growth: net promoters. Here’s a closer look at the concept of net promoters, why they matter, and how to cultivate more net promoters among your membership.

What Are Net Promoters? 

Created by Fred Reichheld and Bain & Company, the Net Promoter Score (AKA “NPS”) asks customers one question: On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend our  company or business to a friend or colleague?”  A core metric for customer experience management, the NPS calculation categorizes customers into three categories: 

  • Promoters (9s and 10s) who fuel growth through their own loyalty and by referring others
  • Passives (7s and 8s) who are satisfied but otherwise unenthusiastic and are therefore susceptible to the competitive offerings of others
  • Detractors (0s through 6s) who are unhappy and can hurt your business and brand through negative word-of-mouth

Explains leading global provider of customer experience management software NICE Satmetrix, “Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).” Generally, scores higher than 0 are considered to be good while those over 50 are viewed as excellent, according to Customer Guru.

Why Net Promoters Matter

Just how important are net promoters? Extremely so, if you look at the data. Says Reichheld, “In airlines, for example, a strong correlation existed between net-promoter figures and a company’s average growth rate over the three-year period from 1999 to 2002. Remarkably, this one simple statistic seemed to explain the relative growth rates across the entire industry; that is, no airline has found a way to increase growth without improving its ratio of promoters to detractors. That result was reflected, to a greater or lesser degree, in most of the industries we examined—including rental cars, where Enterprise enjoys both the highest rate of growth and the highest net-promoter percentage among its competitors.”

According to IHRSA, NPS offers clubs unique insights into how the current member experience can be transformed into the ideal member experience. 

Says Nezar Yaggey, director of fitness and retention services for Edmonton, Canada’s World Health, ‘We’ve tried various approaches in the past, including different in-house tools, and even having a full-time director of member experience. Nothing else has provided us with the kind of structure that’s inherent in NPS. It’s inspired us to empower our staff to spend more time on the floor with members, and to log meaningful interactions into the system. We’ve also created a member experience training course to supplement our use of NPS. We want to ensure that our staff have all of the tools and resources required to provide ‘above and beyond’ customer service.” 

Woman consulting with a personal trainer in a gym.

The best part about NPS? It’s dynamic — meaning that even if your fitness business’s NPS isn’t where you want it to be, you can take immediate steps to improve it. Tactics include encouraging internal buy-in, strategically using your promoters, engaging with detractors to identify and address common issues, responsiveness, consistency, and vigilance. 

Speaking of vigilance, it’s critical to remember that just as your NPS can change for the better, so can it change for the worse. Proposes CloudCherry, “Complacency is the ultimate killer when it comes to improving your Net Promoter Score. Just because you have a good score or the strategies you are implementing are leading to positive outcomes, that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. You need to constantly monitor your Net Promoter Score and keep making improvements because just as loyalty can be earned, it can also be lost.”

“The path to sustainable, profitable growth begins with creating more promoters and fewer detractors and making your net-promoter number transparent throughout your organization. This number is the one number you need to grow. It’s that simple and that profound,” concludes Reichheld. The takeaway for fitness business owners? If you’re not asking your members this one question, you’re missing out on a major chance to learn, improve and grow. 

One way to engage members and elevate them to Promoter status? Incorporate more technology in the form of fitness monitoring equipment.  Request a demo today to learn more about what AccuroFit can do for you.