New members often find it hard to maintain that same level of motivation that they signed up with. They can get overwhelmed by the environment and they stop coming. Connections are a great way to get commitment from our members. Connections are our retention glue. Every member is part of this connection process that keeps a member coming to the club and in return we must all take individual responsibility for someone who stops coming.
The following connection and retention scale can help explain this process. It runs from negative five all the way up to positive ten. A negative five is where people don’t enjoy squash. Positive ten is where people work within squash and absolutely love it. A zero is where someone is starting to contemplate trying squash and a five is where they are looking to join as a member.
The journey from negative five to zero and how long it takes is based on experiences. A positive experience with squash moves someone up, while a negative experience moves them back down. When someone makes it to plus one, this is where they have started playing squash. The journey from plus one to plus five is again based on experiences. It is during this ‘In/Out’ phase where a lot of members can be lost before they have firmly established themselves within the club. Plus five to plus ten is where someone is heavily involved in the club, they are starting to refer their friends and they have become advocates for the game.
For best effect, it takes multiple connections to move someone along the membership scale. However, we know that people can move down the scale for several reasons:
The secret to moving more of your members up the scale is helping them to form connections – which is a great way to get commitment from your members. As a club, you'll need to be inclusive of everyone and influence them to form connections with each other. The more members your club has, the more opportunities for connections to take place. Also, the more positive members your club has, the more likely that this enthusiasm will rub off onto new members – which creates an upward spiral effect and builds a community.