#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.

Our Customer Survey Philosophy

By | Customer Experience, Engagement, Industry, Organizational Health, Trends Reports & Surveys | No Comments

“Where DOES my feedback really go?”

At Daxko, each and every team member takes your feedback very seriously! It helps us continue doing the right things right and the other things better.  We wouldn’t be in business without you, our wonderful customers, so thank you.

As you may have noticed, we have recently changed the way we solicit your feedback. For some of you reading this (our legacy Daxko customers), you’ll remember we used to ask a lot of questions twice a year. For others like our CSI customers, you may have never received a survey at all. Now we are surveying all customers quarterly, with just one question plus an opportunity to provide additional comments. This simple, yet well tested approach, gives us insight in a quick, easy way and increases the likelihood of more people responding.

We care about what’s important to you.  In fact, we read Every. Single. Comment.

Daxko’s goal is to have each of our customers be a RAVING FAN. We know we have to earn this status and are working hard to achieve it. It’s no joke to us.

Finally, once you give us your candid feedback, we get to the best part. Starting with our October 2016 survey, a Daxko team lead will be calling to “close the loop” with many of you who gave us the opportunity to hear your feedback, positive and not-so-positive.

Why do we do this?

We care about what you think, and we want to provide you with EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES.

These surveys help us do that in 3 key ways:

  • Understand your feedback on a deeper level
  • A chance to resolve any outstanding items
  • Share any relevant updates

We think this type of two-way communication is SUPER important for a strong partnership!

So, thanks in advance for your feedback.

 

Molly Harrison is Daxko’s SVP of Services. She and her team work to create exceptional experiences for Daxko customers each and every day.

Data is Meaningless (Not Really – Hear Me Out)

By | Board, Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health, Trends Reports & Surveys | 3 Comments

As the new Daxko Product Manager focused on all things reporting and analytics across Daxko products, I spend 100% of my time listening to users, documenting needs, and forming and managing plans to ensure that what we do now will improve what is delivered to customers in the short and long terms. This is sincerely fun stuff.

In my 13 years of working with data in different jobs — from U.S. Space Command (yep, you can ask me about satellites) to federal child welfare benchmarking (happy to chat about child well-being trends) to Y-USA and Y data (program, membership and impact – you name it!), my hands-down favorite thing is this…

Data doesn’t answer questions well.

Nope, I’m not kidding.

Intuitively, we all know this. If your blood pressure is 160 over 110, you think, “that’s not good” … BUT if it was 170 over 120 when you measured it two weeks ago, then all of a sudden those very same numbers make you think, “I’m improving! This is good (or at least better)”. Those “bad looking” numbers are telling you you’re moving in the right direction.

As you might infer, “how was that collected?”, “so what?”, “compared to what?” and “well, that depends … “ are my go-to responses. That’s because if we don’t answer these questions we are in danger of not understanding what is actually going on and making bad decisions as a result.

Data need to be many things to be meaningful. At a minimum, it needs the following:

#1: It needs to be correct. A nurse measuring your blood pressure needs to not only know how to use the exact model of the cuff they put on your arm, they also need to read, remember, and write-down the right two numbers while using it. To go one further, the doctor who reads what the nurse wrote has to be able to decipher his or her handwriting or the whole process is nullified. The industry word for this is data integrity. It’s self-explanatory why it’s vital, but it’s also very easily not achieved — or even realized if you don’t have it.

#2: It needs to be presented in context. This is how we know what’s good, bad, or trending in a certain direction. In this example, we have blood pressure guidelines for healthy ranges. Not only do those exist, but there are different ranges for how old you are, if you’re male or female, or if you’re on a plan with your doctor to reach a certain goal. Heck, they can even change over time as new research emerges. Good health care providers will also tell you to consider this information in combination with other factors, such as family history, diet, weight, etc.

#3: It needs to be digestible. You could have access to the best information in the world, but if you can’t explain what you have, you can’t use it. If we all needed to explain systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) of blood pressure, many would feel overwhelmed or get stuck on information that doesn’t answer their questions. In this example, if #1 and #2 above are done well, it’s much easier to take-in your blood pressure ratio than also having to take-in all the research behind it.

I’m drawn to analysis and reporting because good data is different than available data. I would argue that meaningful data is more important than Big Data, we’ve-always-collected-that data, and that’s-interesting data.

So let’s revise what’s above…

Data collected via sound methodologies and presented in appropriate context in a way that can be understood answers questions VERY well.

Daxko is working to give customers accurate, relevant, digestible data to our users. Some of the ways we are making this happen:
  • Improving our data warehouse so all customers will have just the right (depending on the needs of their organization) access to the  data they need
  • Elevating the custom reports user experience to provide easy, quick data points in context that will make a difference to the organization
  • A quick and accurate measurement of the positive difference you are making with your members (think of it like a cause-driven nonprofit NPS Score)
  • Refining the Donor Index to allow fundraisers the ability to create targeted outreach  campaigns just for donors

You can reach me at cmiller@daxko.com if you have thoughts about Daxko data and reporting – I’d love to talk to you.

Trends & Opportunities: Member Communication

By | Industry, Marketing, Membership, Trends Reports & Surveys, Uncategorized | No Comments

A hefty 28% of respondents said mass e-mail (to the entire membership database) is the most frequently used way to communicate with existing members. 19% are starting to use tools for more targeted communication. 26% of respondents reported using social media as the primary way to communicate with their membership.

Vertical-Bar-ChartIn terms of the most underutilized communication channels, participants agree that text messaging is often overlooked. 37% admit they use that channel the least when communicating with members. However, power of text should not be ignored. Fundraising via text (i.e. text-to-give campaigns) has proven particularly valuable for impulse giving towards disaster recovery efforts. For example, according to Pew Research, text donations accounted for $43 million in Haiti earthquake releif in 2010. “This new mode of engagement offers opportunities to philanthropies and charitable groups for reaching new donors under new circumstances as messages spread virally through friend networks.” (Pew Research, “Real Time Charitable Giving,” January 2012).

Another study linked text reminders for parents with improved flu vaccination rates for children. When a group of parents was given text reminders for their children’s flu vaccine, more than 60% of parents described the reminders as either “the main reason or part of the reason why they brought their children…The parents said that , as well as the text messages providing useful reminders, they also liked how the messages provided information in a quick way that did not require talking to anyone.” (“Flu vaccination rates improved by text reminders,”” Medical News Today, December 2014).

Read the full Trends & Opportunities Report here.