You’re Likely Leaving Your Most Powerful Tool in Your Toolbox

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Probability and the Power of Narrowing Uncertainty

When it comes to data and making decisions, most of us leave an incredibly valuable tool sitting unused in our proverbial decision-making toolboxes. PROBABILITY is the likelihood something will or will not happen. You may know it as “the odds”.

We don’t use this tool because we may not have wrapped our heads around what it means or can do for us – acceptable, we can learn. Some don’t use it because we think it’s no better than what we’re already doing – a lost opportunity, let me convince you why. 

So, what is this and why is it important?

In order to understand probability, do not search on the internet for the term until you finish this article. One of the first things listed in search results is how a coin toss has a 50/50 chance of landing on heads or tails. Herein lies a common misunderstanding of probability’s value. Yes, that’s true for a coin. It is not true in many other comparisons, and it’s temptingly easy to interpret equal chances as meaning the odds don’t matter or that answers are unknowable. This is far from the case.

There is a true story of a world leader deciding if he should authorize a now infamous military action and he says on record, “this is a 50-50 shot” while deciding. Only it wasn’t. The official probability calculations he held in his hand were a more than 63% likelihood of the operation being successful (less than 37% change of it being unsuccessful). He authorized the action and it was successful. According to those statistics, the best answer was “yes”. The odds were in his favor.

Question: So why did an experienced leader say it was a toss-up decision? He would have talked about those same odds much differently if he was using them to pick the winner of a sports tournament, with a clear favorite and an underdog.

Answer: There is a pervasive gut tendency to think things are either a sure thing or unknowable. The reality is much closer to likely or unlikely. Throw in a healthy dose of not wanting to be wrong, and we have a recipe for saying something can’t be known, when degrees of certainty are actually quite knowable.

I’d like to make the case that this affects everyone reading. We come to conclusions and make decisions every day based on what we expect to happen. We often do so with minimal information backing up those expectations. The value of harnessing probability is that it examines how certain you should be and how right you’ve been in the past. Probability tells you that if there are 4:1 odds something is likely to happen, the right answer is “yes!”, and not “maybe” or “I don’t know”.

Tune in next time to understand how you already have member retention and donor probability at your fingertips. Want more information on Daxko Decision Analytics? Click here to get an overview of all the exciting things we offer, including Daxko Vault and the Daxko Membership Index.

5 Ways Health Clubs Can Prepare for Payment Technology Trends

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The year is ending, but the Daxko Payment Services team is already looking ahead to next year. I recently read through Accenture’s The Future of Payments: 10 Mega Trends. It has some great information but it isn’t targeted to the needs of the health and wellness industry. So, to distill this list into what it means for our customers, here is a countdown of the top 5 ways next year’s “mega trends” will affect you and your health club, Y, or J.

NUMBER 5: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE USER

Just as the health club landscape is innovating to provide high-end services and exceptional experiences while taking fitness classes or ordering a smoothie, payments is innovating to make user experiences quick, seamless, and visually appealing. This is true both for the end user, the member, as well as your staff. From providing a paperless membership process to accepting payments with mobile devices, these innovations not only save time and frustration for members, they reduce back-office clutter and waste. You’ll see these trends emerge in the membership process and for online and in-person payments from your members. In addition to offering more seamless payments capabilities, the user experience for staff accepting those payments will become more and more important.

NUMBER 4: STAYING AHEAD OF THE CRIMINALS

The unfortunate reality is that just as payment technology companies are innovating, fraudsters are getting more innovative, too. It’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve in security updates. At Daxko, we have an entire team dedicated to security to ensure our customers can rely on us to maintain the highest levels of security preparedness.

With the fraud liability shifting from card issuers to merchants, EMV compliance and secure credit card terminals are more important than ever for all kinds of clubs, gyms and wellness centers.

NUMBER 3: GENERATION Z

If you’ve been struggling to accommodate and appeal to millennial members and staff, you better prepare yourself. Generation Z (those born around 1995) is coming and according to Accenture, they’re projected to make up around 40% of consumers by the year 2020. Probably the most notable attribute of Gen Z is that they are the first generation made up of completely digital natives. This generation has never known a world without Google, Facebook, Apple and they rely heavily on mobile technologies, including for payments.

Gen Z relies on digital tools to make their live simpler, like apps that look up discount codes automatically or those that offer instant person to person payments. So, as this generation comes of age, we can expect the trend towards mobile banking and payments to accelerate and the move towards purely digital wallets to take a firm hold.

NUMBER 2: TREAT YO-SELF

Just as Gen Z isn’t afraid to use digital tools to save money at online checkout, they’re not afraid to switch around their cards to get better rewards. It’s important for health clubs, Ys, and other fitness centers to take steps to mitigate the effect different rewards cards can have on their overall rates. Daxko helps mitigate this for customers by creating a detailed analysis for each Daxko Payment Services customer that includes their personalized mix of card types. This allows our payments customers to proactively account for and offset these increased costs stemming from different card mixes.

NUMBER 1: HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT

Payments used to be a relatively stagnant world, but like many other industries it’s being disrupted by younger generations and the pace of new technology. Ten years ago, next-day funding was practically unheard of and now the trend is moving towards same-day funding.

Innovation in the payments industry is constantly evolving and that won’t slow down in 2018. You need a partner that knows your business and is committed to tackling these trends as they happen. Daxko is constantly investigating and investing in future technologies and incorporating what makes sense to the health and wellness industry.

To learn more about how Daxko can prepare your organization for the future, contact us with the form on this page.

5 Questions to Consider when Evaluating your Club Management Software

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Choosing a club management software can be an overwhelming process. There are so many options in the marketplace and it can be hard to compare different systems. To find the best solution for your club, here are five questions to consider in your evaluation:

  1. What do I need this software to do?

Make a list of your business wants and needs for your club management software such as, membership management, custom reporting, marketing automation, equipment checkout and inventory management, payment processing, or spa schedule management. Be sure to consider how this change may affect different areas of your organization. It is also important to consider where you see your business growing in the next five years. Will the software you choose grow with you, or will you experience growing pains?

  1. Am I looking for an all-in-one solution, or do I want several vendors to serve various business functions?

With all the different options in the marketplace, it is important to evaluate if you want to partner with one vendor for a single source of support, or if you want to manage a few systems to handle different functions such as membership management, CRM, mobile applications, and billing/receiving, to name a few. Be sure to ask about integration options when conducting your interviews if you go with several vendors

  1. Is the software user-friendly?

Your staff will ultimately be the end users of your club management system, so it is important to bring them into the purchase process, ensuring staff efficiency is not hindered by the selection. This is a great time to review current processes and determine if they are scalable for future growth or if they need to be refined during implementation.

  1. What does support look like?

So often customer support is overlooked until a critical issue arises. It is important to understand how your new vendor provides customer support. Will you be billed based on a pre-determined number of support hours or is support included in your partnership?

  1. How hard is it to implement this solution?

It is key to understand what the implementation process looks like. You want to be sure to ask about onboarding, projected timelines, data conversion processes and training. As mentioned above, reviewing processes for efficiency and scalability is important during the evaluation phase. Something to consider when evaluating your next software provider is whether they offer knowledge share or best practices throughout implementation to set you up for success from the start.

We know choosing the right club management software for your club is an important decision. We hope this short list of questions will help take the stress out of the evaluation process and help you find the best solution for your organization.

Download this Club Management Solution Blueprint as a  spreadsheet or as a PDF as a quick guide to help keep track of vendor responses during the evaluation process.