Clear, engaging communication to members & participants
Why (good) customers leave – and don’t come back!
Understanding why people decide to move on is important. It can happen for many reasons, nearly all of which can be prevented. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll realise that you have probably been guilty of at least some of these in the past.
One of my mentors in marketing and branding, Dan Kennedy (www.dankennedy.com) wrote about why customers leave and I’ve always found it to be true within sports organisations. Here’s the percentage breakdown as to why people typically leave sports organisations:
One percent die
This is sad and there is not much you can do about it. It happens to all of us eventually, so make the most of the time you have before you go!
Three percent move away
People do move, and if your sports organisation offers products to those only in the immediate geographical area, then you lose them. That’s a great reason to develop a program that doesn’t rely only on people living near you. For example, you can keep these people in your database and sell them other products, such as training programs, camps (for when they come back during holidays) and merchandise (so they can remember ‘the good old days’!).
Five percent follow the advice of a friend and move to another organisation
Sometimes there are genuine, unavoidable reasons for this. For example, some make this decision so that the children of friends or family can play in a team together. But why do they choose the opposition’s organisation over yours? That’s something you can change!
Nine percent switch because of price or a better product
Sometimes price really is the reason: they just want it cheaper. But sometimes it’s value. That is, what they get for that price. You need to ensure that people always understand the full value of what they are getting from you. Don’t leave it up to their imaginations either – tell them at every opportunity you get so it’s ingrained in their heads!
Fourteen percent move because they are dissatisfied with the service or product
Some of the best customer relationships I’ve ever had resulted when something went wrong. That’s because I (or others around me) realised the error, fixed it, and went over-the-top to ensure we made up for it, being honest about our mistakes and genuine in our desire to fix them.
Poor service and faulty products happen. It’s called human error. Too often that human error turns to apathy about the value or quality that is delivered, and sadly, that is the norm for a lot of sports organisations. Worse, most people won’t tell you they are not happy: they just won’t come back. Deliver your best value all the time, and when you don’t or can’t, go all out to fix the issue immediately.
The majority …
To save you the calculation, that leaves 68 percent. Why did they leave? They felt under-appreciated, unimportant, and not really valued as a member, participant, volunteer, staff member, or other stakeholder. They felt like they were taken for granted. They felt like no-one cared about them despite the fact that they were contributing directly to the success of the organisation concerned! So most people leave for reasons that are entirely preventable, because you or others in your sports organisation didn’t act like they mattered!
This is so common it’s come to be expected. Case in point: when was the last time you had any sort of appreciation from a business or sports organisation where you are a repeat customer? A little card in the post, a free voucher for a coffee at the canteen with the uniform you just bought, a special offer for long-time customers, even just real, heartfelt thanks? It’s not hard, but it doesn’t happen too often, does it?
Imagine how you could stand out from your competition if your sports organisation adopted an attitude of care and appreciation. I can tell you now that you would stand out like a beacon because no-one else is doing it! Its all about strong, engaging communication that makes them feel like they have truly found a place to call home.
There’s more information about this subject and a range of others if you want it: