Knox County YMCA Uses Daxko Facility Access To Offer 24 Hour Services

By | Customer Experience, Facilities, Industry | No Comments

As our world gets more complex, wellness facilities are working to offer services that fit everyone’s lifestyle. That explains the rise in 24-hour services by many health and wellness facilities, including YMCAs, JCCs, and other health clubs. In fact, a 2015 IHRSA article states that recent years have seen “continued growth of convenient, always open (e.g. 24 hour)” facilities. Knox County YMCA in Illinois saw 24-hour access as more than a growth opportunity; they saw it as a way to better serve their community.

“Offering a 24-hour facility was high on our list of what we wanted to offer our members and community,” explains Kelly Corbin, Associate Executive Director of the Knox County YMCA. “In our community, there are a number of businesses and organizations that work non-typical hours and we wanted to be able to serve everyone. The last two years we tested this by staying open until midnight during the week.  This was well utilized and we realized we needed to move forward.”

In order to provide that type of access for members, Knox County YMCA needed facility access controls when the branch was not staffed. When looking for providers, Corbin was attracted to Daxko Facility Access which allows integration with their existing Daxko membership software. “After a little research, we were pleased to find that Daxko had a solution for us that would work perfectly,” states Corbin.

The ease of implementing Daxko Facility Access has made the transition smooth for the team at Knox County YMCA. Corbin emphasized that integrating facility access with their membership software was a “huge advantage” for their organization. “It is very easy to turn access on and off. Members are able to use their existing membership key card (or barcode on the Daxko Mobile app) to scan and gain entrance. There isn’t a need for an additional key fob. You can easily see when members have scanned in or if they have had trouble gaining entrance. You are also given an app for the software and can open the locked door with your phone from wherever you are if needed!”

Corbin and her team wanted to offer additional facility access as an added benefit of membership. “One of the great benefits of a Knox County YMCA membership is that access to all of our branches is no extra cost, including the 24-hour facility,” she explains. Still, the increased services are benefitting both members and the Y. “It has been a great success. Year over year, we are up 1,000 members!”

From Our Customers: Daxko Engage

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry | No Comments

We sat down with Daxko customers to walk through their thoughts on Daxko Engage. Here are their words:

“By adopting Daxko Engage, and making the investment in that product it ensures that we have consistent on-boarding for new members with the new member initiative that runs for us. We are able to modify the content to meet the needs and the things that we want to promote at that time and during that season of what we are doing. It also lets us not have to invest staff time in creating things on the backside but rather being face to face with our members which is huge for us to be able to take some of the administrative work off our staff to free us to be hands on in our communities.”

Leeann Buttram
VP of Member Services
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

“We use it as part of our plans for new member engagement, for program engagement, and pretty soon we’ll be using it for our prospect engagement like for people that come in for tours and guests and things of that nature. We’ve laid out a path of where we want these people to go whether it’s with different kinds of communication or a fitness plan path. Daxko Engage is built into those plans.”

Nancy Byrum
Association Dir. of Member Engagement
Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA

“We can see through Engage who’s walking in our doors, we can greet them by their name, and we know what their likes and dislikes are, creating conversations. It’s a way to put people in small communities. We know that members do better when they have a sense of a small group so to be able to connect people to other people when you know their likes and dislikes is helpful.”

Angela Wallace
VP of Marketing & Communications
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

“We’ve been very intentional about in-person conversations with our wellness staff and that we have found has been a shift in culture and not something we have been as focused on in the past but something that has made a real difference in our membership. We have begun to do trainings such as “Listen First” that help our staff ask the right questions and to be more intentional about assisting our members in an open way. Engage has been a tool to help us do that better and we’ve been very excited about some of the results that we’ve seen so far.”

Jarrod Covington
VP, District Executive Director
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

“We are almost on the forefront of catching people before we almost lose them. That has always been the tail wagging the dog kind of thing where they come in to fill out their cancellation paperwork and we’re like man, we hate to see you go. Now we can when we catch them on low and critical we can take the steps to do what it is to try to keep them there.”

Angela Wallace
VP of Marketing & Communications
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

“The ability for our wellness staff to know who is on the floor and who is in the wellness center through the tablet and through the Engage software creates a different connection than have to go up and not know who is in the center. Going over to to a member that may be a CRITICAL in the Engagement Index allows us to identify those members and to provide some assistance to them while they are there at the Y.”

Jarrod Covington
VP, District Executive Director
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

#NIRSA2017 Recap

By | Events & Happenings, Fitness, Industry, Trends Reports & Surveys | No Comments

NIRSA is the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association. The NIRSA annual conference was held in Washington DC this year. I had the opportunity to participate in the conference and wanted to share some of what I learned.

After several days of sessions and talking to customers, my top 3 takeaways are below:

  1. Our gray polo shirts fit in! I’ve never seen so many collegiate polo shirts and khaki pants all in one place
  2. If you attend NIRSA be ready to have old college memories come to mind
  3. If the conference is in Washington DC, be prepared for the taxi driver to ask you your party affiliation as an ice breaker

These takeaways are all true of course, but here are some overall themes that will help me in my role as Product Manager for SpectrumNG.

Campus Recreation Staff
Like many organizations, there is a staff structure that we need to understand so we can serve and market our products accordingly. There are three main levels of staff we work with at Campus Recreation Centers:

  • Students – Students can hold all sorts of positions at a campus recreation center including welcome desk, fitness staff, fitness attendants, and more. Rec centers, as a general rule, employ the majority of students on campus
  • Graduate Assistants – If a person is dedicated to a future in the recreation industry, they must have a master’s degree and they must complete a graduate assistantship that is equivalent to an apprenticeship. The grad assistantship is one step to a future career in recreation
  • Pro staff – These are the professional staff at the rec center that have a dedicated career. Typical roles includes Marketing, Camp, Fitness, Director, and others

Student Staff
Think back to the different levels of staff for a minute. Since a large majority of the staff at a rec center are students guess what is very normal! Staff turnover – by default every staff person will turn over in 2 – 4 years. We can help our Campus Recreation customers by providing training materials that can be used over and over again by the rec center as they train new staff. We also put a focus on ease of use for our student staff that may be new to this type of software.

Inclusion
Inclusion is a hot topic in the health and wellness industry as a whole and it’s even more important to campus recreation centers. At NIRSA there was a focus on welcoming LGBTQ and creating gender neutral spaces such as restrooms and locker rooms. For members with disabilities, recreation center are adding multiple options such as wider benches for weight lifting to allow for easier transfer from chair to bench, dedicated dog hooks/areas for service dogs, and more. Finally, campus recreation centers are moving away from the term “freshman” to the term “first-year” since not all students/staff relate to the term “man.”

Engagement
They are all about engaging staff, students, alumni, etc. One welcome desk process was to welcome the member at 10 ft. and 5 ft. If they are 10 ft. away from you just walking in the door you wave or nod to acknowledge them. Then when they are close enough to see their face you actually speak to them and engage them in a conversation.

Retention
Recreation centers are looking towards improving retention numbers more and more. If campus recreation centers can keep their student members as engaged as possible during their time in the rec center, they may convert to an alumni membership or alumni donor later in their life.

Increased Competition
Just like many other clubs the onslaught of boutique gyms has changed their business. Over the past several years campus rec centers have altered their programming to compete with these gyms or altered their membership plans to generate new revenue streams. While many campus rec centers may compete with local YMCAs they have also created partnerships with them. For example, allowing the Y to operate an after school site or day camp within the rec center.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my experience from NIRSA! NIRSA was filled with many great conversations with customers, future customers, partners and potential partners. Were you there? Feel free to comment below.

Customer Story – Y in Central Maryland

By | Industry, Online | No Comments

We recently had a chance to speak with Sherrie Rovnan, CFO, and Jeff Mazerski, Director of Software Applications, at the Y in Central Maryland, where they’ve been instrumental in creating and piloting Daxko’s Online Move Camper functionality.

Online Move Camper allows members and program participants to make changes to existing camp registrations within Daxko Operations, freeing staff from manual camp moves, and empowering parents and other guardians to adjust camp selections at a time that’s convenient for them.

Mazerski and Rovnan both stressed that online moves are a must for their organization. “We serve a lot of two-income families, and the most convenient time for them to sign up and change camp registrations is in the evening, when our central office may not be open. Working parents need the ability to do this online,” Rovnan states.

When asked about the biggest internal impact on their organization, Rovnan explains that the amount of staff time saved cannot be underestimated. “We have thousands of online moves every summer, so to have this functionality is vital for us. Changing camps can be very time consuming over the phone, and that was something that fell onto the front desk staff. We wanted to take that transactional interaction away from front desk staff and instead have them focus on more meaningful engagements with members. We can’t stress enough the amount of time saved with online moves.”

In fact, if you consider that each move takes about 10 minutes per support call for staff to assist guardians with the request, and you multiply that by the 2,000+ moves the Y in Central Maryland records in an average summer, online functionality could save more than 300 hours of staff time.

As far as the setup, Mazerski and Rovnan both agree that it’s simple. “There is not a lot of work involved to get it set up. All you have to do is set up the dates and fees,” says Rovnan. Mazerski adds, “Really, it’s just one extra set of fields to enter when you’re setting up your camps, and there are automated controls built in so the association has the power to close online moves prior to the session and charge fees if necessary.”

“Daxko has made it so easy,” Rovnan adds. “It’s so easy for the members and participants to do themselves. It takes you through it step by step. We haven’t had one parent call and say they didn’t understand how to do it.”