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What Language does your Software Speak?

By | Customer Experience, Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery | No Comments

mtenhakenThis is a guest post from Mark Ten Haken, Director of Information Systems for the Greater Green Bay YMCA. In this post, Mark shares his experiences when searching and selecting a new YMCA software provider. 

Guppy, SACC, AOA, MFA, Engagement, Retention, Termination, Renewal….what language is that? I bet if you show that list of terms and acronyms to somebody outside the Y, you get an entirely different set of answers than if you show them to Y staff. Yes, we at the Y speak our own language but does the software we use understand it?

When we started the process of selecting a software vendor, we developed an extensive list of functionality requirements. Can the software handle 2nd child discounts? What about 3rd party billing? Is there social media integration? Can we draft people other than the 1st and 15th of the month? Is there a simple way to print invoices? Will the software handle gift cards to our expectations? Is there a convenient way for people to join online? Can you divide your campaign into teams? Are there reports for this…are there reports for that? ….well, you get the idea. These things (and more) are all important things to consider when selecting a software vendor.

After you have put together your long list of functionality requirements. After you have developed the surveys you will distribute to staff to evaluate vendors. After you have crossed your ‘t’s and dotted your ‘i’s, there may be one final question that you should consider that may be the most important one of all; what software best speaks the Y language? At the surface this may seem insignificant or overly simplified, but after you give it some thought, the answer to the question in invaluable.

For a decade, we struggled with a piece of software that got lost in translation. What we considered a terminated membership meant something different in the software we were using. A renewal wasn’t really a renewal as we think of it. Retention was hard to measure when the system didn’t quite know how to treat a renewal or termination…an upgrade from an adult membership to a family membership? …whew!.. that really skewed the retention measurement. What about member engagement?…that might as well been Martian language to the software we were using because it didn’t understand the concept. How do we expect staff to be effective and efficient when they, and the software they are utilizing to better serve and engage members, speak two different languages?

We shouldn’t need translation between all the terms, concepts and measurements that are involved with the Y model and the software that serves us. We shouldn’t need a translator to accurately measure what the Y considers to be a terminated member, a membership renewal, or a retained member even if the member upgrades from adult to family. We shouldn’t need to compromise customer service because answers are hard to find. We shouldn’t need to bend and mold our way of doing things to fit into the confines of a piece of software that doesn’t speak our language.

We should expect our software to understand social media integration. We should expect our software to accurately measure year over year terminations and new member comparisons. We should expect the software that we use to understand MFA, SACC and AOA. We should expect our software to understand the need to quickly serve and provide answers to members either online or at our front desks. We certainly should expect our software to intimately understand and measure member engagement so we can better serve our members. We should expect our software to speak the Y language. Daxko speaks our language. What language does your software speak?

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A Recap of Daxko Reach

By | Customer Experience, Facilities, Industry, Mission Delivery, Online, Organizational Health | No Comments

Brivo LogoThis is a guest post by Jonathan Polon, Director of Business Development for cloud-based security company, Brivo. Daxko recently partnered with Brivo to provide SaaS-based facility access controls to health and wellness organizations across North America.

I recently had the opportunity to exhibit on behalf of Brivo at the annual Daxko REACH conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The majority of YMCAs and many JCCs in the United States use Daxko Operations software to run their associations.

During his keynote, Dave Gray, CEO of Daxko, announced the new partnership between Daxko and Brivo to the Daxko customer
community. The partnership will allow Daxko’s customer base to run their facility access directly through Daxko Operations software. This will be made possible by integrating with Brivo’s cloud-based access control system Brivo OnAir. The new product will be called Daxko Facility Access.

The customer base at the conference received this concept very well. Key benefits of the new partnership include:

Security:  Increased level of safety at the facilitiesdaxko_facility-access-grey
Efficiency:  The ability to run this key function through the same platform being used to manage other functions allows for a smooth operations
Groups and access levels:  The new product allows for the smooth creation of various access levels based on association membership within Daxko Operations
Data:  As Daxko deepens the integration it will allow association managers to gather critical data on the utilization of their facility that can be used to inform decisions on the design and use of facilities.

Brivo is an ideal partner for Daxko as our flagship product Brivo OnAir, like Daxko Operations, is a SaaS-based solution. Brivo has also put substantial resources and effort behind the Brivo API, which allowed for the easy integration of the two systems.

The Brivo team is excited to begin working with Daxko to help the YMCAs and JCCs carry out their great work and mission.

To learn more about the partnership, please read the full announcement.

 

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Video: Adapt to Change

By | Engage, Engagement, Fitness, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Videos | No Comments

“To change lives, you have to adapt to change.”

That’s the premise of a new video from Daxko, out last week. Daxko is the largest provider of mission-critical software for YMCAs, JCCs, and other member-based health and wellness centers. The video talks about the changing health of communities, the changing ways community members connect, and how health and wellness organizations can stay ahead of the trend with processes and software dedicated to staying with current trends. Watch the video here:

“Community health is changing. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise. Daxko helps you promote healthy living to reverse this trend.

Demographics are changing. From millennials to boomers, Daxko helps you connect with members through social media, targeted email, and text notifications.

Technology is changing. It can be challenging to keep pace. Only Daxko provides the integrated software, predictive analytics, and expertise that allow you to stay ahead of the curve.

With Daxko it has never been a better time to join forces with the largest peer network of community wellness centers, Ys, and JCCs.”

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Akron Area Y More than Doubles In-Person Engagement

By | Engage, Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery | 4 Comments

Earlier in the year we published a story about the Akron Area YMCA’s efforts to increase in-person engagement at their centers. We spoke with their Technology Director, Ken Hoyt, about his efforts to motivate staff to create good engagement habits.

Today we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of conversations that his staff is having with members but also an increase in the quality of conversations initiated and tracked. In fact, looking at the first half of May, the Akron Area Y is reporting 899 in-person conversations. This is more than double the 404 conversations that were tracked during the whole month of April.

Why is it important to track these conversations? This is the best way to get stories. The stories the staff at the Akron Y have logged range from basic:

“Since joining the Y ___ has tried to come every weekday. He really enjoys his new routine of working out before work.”

To the inspirational:

“___ just lost her husband 2 months ago. Trying to get back on her feet. Coming here has really helped her cope. She is interested in water aerobics for her bones and joints. She thinks she will try it next week.”

By having these conversations, the Akron Area Y is connecting with their members on a deeper level and they are logging these stories to help tell the Y story to those who don’t know or don’t understand it. These stories serve as a foundation for community outreach as well as donor and volunteer recruitment. The mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility is reflected in stories like these:

“[I] talked about her 11 year old using the fitness room because school will be out soon. I told her that if he is big enough to use the machines and goes through teen wellness that would be okay for the summer. We discussed making the teen wellness a one on one session with a wellness coach for several sessions. We also talked about camp and volunteering for day camp for the summer as an option for him to be involved in the Y…”

“I asked what his workout goal is and he said, ‘not to worry about his wife for an hour.’ He talked extensively about his wife and her medical condition. She is home now and resting.”

“Got to sit with ___ and her newest little princess who is 2 weeks old now. Said they were all doing very well. She is ready for a run and the doctor has permitted her to start back because she was so active throughout the pregnancy. She and the kids just came in to play with the other kids in CW today. The kids were missing their friends.”

You can set your staff up for success when capturing conversations with members. By tracking and recording these interactions you have the stories that support the Y mission, inspire staff, donors, and volunteers, and benchmark your engagement efforts with your members.