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Tennis Membership & 6 Reasons Why Players Stop Paying For it

tennis membership, tennis club marketingEven though your tennis club members may not tell you why they want to quit your club, I can assure you, there is always at least one reason. People decide to become members because they believe your tennis program will help them achieve their goals. As long as they continue to believe that, they will continue paying their dues.

In this blog, we describe a few reasons why people might be quitting their tennis membership. We will analyze them & propose ways to prevent that from happening.

Reasons why players quit their tennis membership

1. "I do not have time anymore"

Most of our friends spend hours per day online, on social media, and the phone (texting and calling). Therefore, this may not sound like a true reason at first. You do have to remember, however, that a lot of things competing for people's attention these days. How often do you sit in front of the TV watching a movie, and get interrupted by a text, a phone call, or a Facebook ping? What about those that are parents? It is incredibly hard to make time for yourself when you are a parent.

The only way you can change their mind and keep them as members is if you figure out and explain to them how you (and your tennis club) can help them be less busy and why what you have got to offer is worth their time. You can offer parent-child private lessons where the parent and child interact with a tennis coach or a group class where the parents assist their kids in accomplishing a task assigned by the tennis pro.

As an alternative, you can offer two classes (one for the parent and one for the child but at different locations) happening during approximately the same time of the day and length. For example, at 11 am you can try to offer a 45 min class for kids 10 and under, while at 11:15 am you start a 30 min tennis fitness class for adults. Many clubs also offer a babysitting service for their members, so if there is enough demand and you have the resources, that could be a great solution.

2. "I do not have anyone to play/practice with"

A lot of players join tennis clubs not just to play tennis but also to meet new people and make friendships. Many also looking for hitting practice (e.g. just rally with another player) instead of taking clinics and/or playing tournaments. If you hear that reason, you can offer to introduce them to two or three players of similar levels and organize a game or two for them. After that, make sure you follow through with your promise and make it happen within a reasonable time frame. Be sure to also include new members in your email list and notify them of scheduled tournaments and new events.

3. "I am not using it enough"

If people say that they are not using their membership enough, they normally have already made up their mind about their decision to quit. In those types of situations, instead of wasting your time trying to change their mind, you can simply let them know you are sorry that they are not staying, and tell them that they are always welcome to come back anytime.

4. "I am not getting any better"

There could be many different reasons why a tennis customer is not getting better. It is a good idea to investigate this further - maybe it is not the right tennis class for what they are trying to achieve or maybe the student and coach are not communicating well. If you suspect one of those reasons you can go ahead and observe the tennis lesson and see whether changing a class is a good idea.

However, during your actual conversation with your client, talking about the exact reasons why may turn counterproductive because that just reminds them that they failed (how they did not get the results they wanted). Instead, talk about the steps they need to take to achieve their goal(s) and how you can help them do that. Let them know that you will be there for them and suggest a deadline for achieving their goal (e.g. be ready to play on the next level team by the end of the year or whatever sounds realistic in your opinion).

5. "I found another tennis club"

Generally speaking, your tennis member will not tell you straight away that they are going to your another competing tennis club. When you do find out, however, make sure you do not badmouth your competitor. Doing so can backfire because what you are actually doing is badmouthing your client's decision.

Instead, figure out what was the reason they are moving there (is it better price, better service, etc.). Then, tell them you know of tennis club and their tennis programs. Ask them whether they would be willing to stay if you provide . If they reject, let them know they are always welcome to come back if they change their mind and how they can contact you.

6. "Your membership here is way too expensive"

Firstly, not everyone will be able to afford your tennis membership. That is the reality, even if it is reasonably priced. Just because someone cannot afford to join our tennis club, it does not mean that your membership is worth any less.

If only a few people tell you that your tennis membership fees are too expensive, it does not mean it is true. It could simply be that they are trying to negotiate a better price (which is perfectly normal in some countries, by the way). Hold your ground with people like this and do not offer discounts or price reductions! Think about it - a Ferrari salesman would not reduce his prices for a person wanting to price-match a Ford and neither should you. Instead of offering a discount give them a two-week free trial or a free class trial or something else that will show them your value.

However, if you keep receiving that feedback all the time, it might be time to review your pricing strategy or reframe the perception and get people to focus on your value, not price. You must be able to quickly and effectively explain what a member will get when they join your membership, so the value of their tennis membership makes the price they are paying irrelevant. To do that, be sure to answer the following critical questions:

  • Why do people want to join your tennis club?
  • What problem(s) are you solving for them?
  • What are they hoping to gain from this tennis membership?

Do not read too much into the opinion of the minority

At the end of the day, if only a handful of people give you specific feedback, you do not have to read too much into it. You do not need to make changes to your entire business model because of a few isolated cases. Instead, listen to what they have to say, thank them for their feedback, and move on.

It is a good idea, however, to keep records of all feedback received in case you see any patterns.

What other reasons for quitting your tennis membership have you heard from your clients?

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