n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - A descriptive and factor analytical study of salient retention strategies in commercial health and fitness centres : sport management and marketing

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Targeting, acquiring and retaining the right customers are at the core of many successful service organizations. Research has been consistent within the business world where it has been shown that competitors are always seeking innovative ways to allure customers away from where consumers currently conduct their business. Retaining a customer has become equally important to recruiting a customer since it is increasingly difficult for organizations to assume that there exists an unlimited customer base. Many organizations spend large sums of money in search of new markets and under-spend on retaining existing customers. Hence, the purpose of the study is to identify salient strategies that are applied at commercial health and fitness organizations in customer retention. The methodology involved gathering data through a questionnaire using a sample of commercial health and fitness centres managers and administrators in South, Central and Northern Gauteng. Data from 124 usable questionnaires were captured and analysed for the study. Factor analysis revealed seven strategies used by health and fitness organizations in retaining customers. Health and fitness centre managers can leverage these seven retention strategies in order to retain customers. A well documented complaints handling process is essential which can be used by managements of health and fitness centres to identify and act on problems which may motivate customers to stay within organizations. Future research on a comprehensive examination of satisfaction, loyalty, switching behaviour and retention is warranted.

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