Your Club’s Brand: An Asset or Liability for 2018

By | Customer Experience, Industry, Organizational Health | No Comments

In just two short months, individuals in your community will once again recommit to the pursuit of health. Your preparations are probably already underway to ensure that people choose your club vs. a nearby competitor.

State of the art equipment? Check.
Well-trained, friendly staff? Check.
Enticing programs? Check.
Powerful, relevant brand? Hmmm…

While not always top of the checklist, your brand can play a powerful role in enticing new members to join AND keeping them committed even as their new year’s wellness enthusiasm fizzles. On the flip side, your brand can work just as hard against your success.

In this 3-part series, I’ll share insights gained from Daxko’s own recent brand strategy initiative. My hope is that you’ll come away inspired and armed with a framework to evaluate—and if needed—evolve your club’s brand for a more prosperous future.

PART I: Evaluate

At Daxko, we intentionally took stock of our brand earlier this year. With our acquisition of CSI Software in late 2015, we had expanded to serve many more member-based health & wellness organizations. Daxko’s software now powers health clubs, medical wellness, and campus recreation facilities in addition to our long-time YMCA and JCC customers.

We set out to understand current perceptions of Daxko. What did customers think about us? The market? Our own team members? And how did the perception of our brand compare to other providers in the space?

Here’s how we approached understanding Daxko’s brand equity, guided by the experts at our brand strategy firm, R2i.

  1. Identify a cross-section stakeholders to interview. Prospective members. Current members. Terminated members. Boomers. Millenials. Engaged staff. Disgruntled staff. Pro-tip: Avoid the temptation to only talk to people who love your club. While the picture they paint will be rosy, it won’t be the whole picture.
  2. Draft a brand perception interview guide. Build an interview guide of questions that you’ll ask to each stakeholder. A few to get you started:
    • How do you initially hear about our club?
    • Has your experience with us compared to what you expected when you joined?
    • If you had to describe our club in one word, what would it be?

Pro tip: Keep questions as open-ended as possible to get as much information. Asking around 15 questions or less will keep the interview to a manageable length of 45 minutes.

  1. Invite them to share their perceptions. Listen, listen, and listen some more to what they have to say about you. Pro tip: Guarantee their anonymity when sharing results of the interviews to ensure there are no barriers to sharing. Having a neutral third-party conducting the interview makes this even easier.
  2. Compile and look for commonalities. After you’ve finished all of the interviews, what seems to be repeated over and over again? Is it that your staff are friendly and knowledgeable and make starting a routine less intimidating? Or perhaps that your group exercise programs are cutting edge? Pro tip: Compare how those common perceptions compare to what your competitors say to position themselves. Where do you stand out?

Extending Your Brand with Artificial Intelligence

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership | No Comments

Artificial intelligence is showing up everywhere—from Siri to Alexa to Google Home.  Let’s face it, AI makes our lives easier. Every morning Alexa wakes me up, gives me the weather, delivers my news brief and updates me on all the sports highlights. While my coffee is brewing, she lays out my daily work schedule. And I can speak to Alexa; I add meetings and my boxing workout, create shopping and errand lists. With a $39 investment, Alexa is my personal assistant that takes up no space and does not cost me a dime.

Now, don’t think this is an endorsement for Alexa. Instead, it’s a practical example at how artificial intelligence enhances my life and makes my day more efficient. I am not alone, 84% of respondents to a Pega study, “What Consumers Really Think About AI: A Global Study,” use AI daily for customized engagement. Google search, spam filters for email, Facebook news recommendations, and online shopping recommendations are ways we engage with AI daily. AI can scale to efficiencies in club management as well as help you personalize your member engagement.

So, imagine this…what if Daxko could add this efficiency in your clubs? Cue Olivia, the invisible sales agent. With up to 85% of your revenues coming from memberships, what if you used artificial intelligence to drive efficiency in the membership process? What if Olivia’s sole job was to nurture prospects into qualified leads ready to take action and then serve them up to your membership sales team? How precise would this be?  Olivia, who requires no W2, earns no wages, takes up no space, who is impervious to rejection and can work 24/7 with no breaks, can drive your prospects into leads in the pipeline. Ah, the value of artifical intelligence. The best part, Olivia will amplify your brand in how she engages your member.

Have we piqued your interest? Artificial Intelligence in the make-member process is the future—and while cliché, the future is now. The product strategy team at Daxko has teamed with artificial intelligence gurus for the past year to learn how Olivia can impact your prospect/lead management and membership engagement. We have been at work, gathering test examples of how AI can bring efficiencies to your membership process.

The future value of AI is in delivering exceptional experiences. Retention and member engagement are areas that Olivia can enhance your club. Today’s CMOs are looking at automating customer interactions to deliver personalized rapport. Olivia can be your brand ambassador for delivering success messages to members. “Sarita, congratulations on working out 6 consecutive weeks.”  Or, “Sarita, we miss you!  Time to come back!” Boutiques have created intimacy with their members by sending these 1:1 messages and celebrating member milestones. Well, clubs can get into the action as well. AI done right in member engagement can amplify your member experience.

Putting Olivia to work at personalizing your member experience will not happen overnight. Olivia may not work for money—but Olivia thrives on data. The more member data—the better the predictability of AI. This predictability is what enhances Olivia’s conversations with your members. So, yes, the benefits of Olivia will be driven by strategic vision. Simply put, you’ve got to do the work of building the experience so that Olivia can deliver the experience to your members.

Why AI? Why Daxko?  Daxko is known for exceptional experiences and we have won services awards.  One of Daxko’s many R&D investments is bringing artificial intelligence to the market to enhance the member experience. Daxko acquired CSI Software about 20 months ago. Our product strategy team has been at work on not just enhancements and overhauling the Daxko Spectrum club management platform user interface and our API partner integrations, but also understanding how we can enable you to be more efficient and engaging at making members. Using AI has many benefits to the membership process—but most understated is how we can use AI, or Olivia, to extend your brand. We are actively looking at how to deploy AI across all experiences and how to use the 20+ years of membership data we have collected to give Olivia “the brain” to empower real time contextual engagement with members.

How you do what you do matters to us, and artificial intelligence in the right setting will get us there.  Yes, we are your invisible partner and with Olivia, we are going to make some major things happen.  Artificial intelligence done right, is the next best thing to being there.

Sarita Myers is a Business Strategist and a Transformation Leader that likes to fix things with her head.  Finding strategic solutions to solve “big” market problems is her work nirvana.   Customer Obsessed, Sarita believes customer discovery and customer experience mapping are the keys to identifying market problems and developing solutions to fix market needs.

 A lover of challenge and change, Sarita is excited to be leading the product strategy team at Daxko (Spectrum CSI). Sarita’s long game is to deliver strategy, positioning and products to the market that will deliver exceptional experiences.

Why we focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Health Clubs

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After twelve years in the software and wellness industry I still struggle to describe to my friends and family what I do every day. “Wait so you build software for a gym? Didn’t realize that was a thing.” Followed by a puzzled look, a shrug and a change of subject. 

Those of you in this industry I’m sure experience similar interactions. However we all know how critical the right infrastructure for your club is to a successful business.

In the June edition of Club Business International Delphine Carter and I were referenced on the state of CRM systems today. What is a CRM? Exactly! Customer relationship management, constituent relationship management, payments, collections, apps, schedules, and on and on and on. The term CRM is used so much more broadly today than ever before. After many months of contemplation about “what is a CRM?” I’ve decided that at the end of the day your CRM is what you and your staff make it.  

Let me give you some examples:

My local gym has a women’s only center where I prefer to get a run in. The most precious lady in the world works at the front desk. Whether it has been 6 months or 2 days since I last came in she always greets me by name, asks me how the kids are, compliments my weight loss (or doesn’t say anything if I’m in the opposite direction), and truly makes me feel welcomed.

I saw this same experience play out last week in Chicago at the East Bank Club. Ben Ford, Accounts Manager in Member Services was giving us a tour of the club (breathtaking if you’ve never been). While on the roof pool deck Ben stopped to shake hands with a member…ten minutes later Ben emerged from the deck knowing he’d made a member happy by agreeing to address a few minor issues for the member. 

Now I know that behind both of these situations there is a CRM system that is driving this type of behavior. Not only in these examples, but all over the club. And I couldn’t be more proud that Daxko is a involved in changing lives every day. 

After contemplating the use of a CRM, my tour at East Bank and my own personal club experience I have found a new way to describe what I do…

Friend: “Saranda, what do you do?”
Saranda: “I work at Daxko, a software provider for health and wellness organizations.”
Friend: “Software?”
Saranda: “You know the sweet lady at the front desk that greets you when you come in…I make sure she knows your name.”
Friend: “Shrug and a change of subject.”

It may not have changed the outcome of the conversation, but it is still what I am most proud of. I challenge you to make the most of your CRM tool and implement some new ways to get staff interacting with members.

Success Story: YMCA of South Hampton Roads Grows with Daxko

By | Customer Experience, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

Growing your membership, program participants and donations isn’t easy for a member-based nonprofit, but South Hampton Roads has partnered with Daxko for over 15 years and achieved long-term growth and operational efficiency. Read their customer story with the Director of Operations Software for YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Clarissa Hoagland.

http://daxko.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/YMCA_Software_Testimonial-South_Hampton_Roads-WEB2.pdf