A Customer-Centric Approach to Club Management with Daxko CTO, Bjørn Bjerkøe

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When I joined Daxko earlier this year, I knew it was the right decision for many reasons. The most important? Daxko closely aligns with my overarching philosophy of a customer-centric approach to design, develop, deploy and support a club management platform. Now that I am fully onboard and working with my teams on Daxko Operations and Daxko Spectrum software, I am putting even more of a focus on our customers and I know this is the path to take to achieve long term and sustainable growth both for our customers, but also for our company.

Our vision is to become the most loved and largest software provider focused on member-based organizations. How do we do that? By being the best-in-class member-management solutions, pushing the envelope and understanding where the market is heading. I believe that successful software technology companies either succeed or fail based on how consistently they deliver quality software. There are two key words in that statement, consistency and quality.

Daxko CEO Dave Gray interviews Daxko CTO Bjørn Bjerkøe at 2017 Virtual Reach Event

I believe a critical element of software development, and a necessary step in delivering on both the consistency and the quality promises mentioned above is involving our customers in the process. When we bring our customers into the conversation, we have a built-in engine for continuous feedback. This customer-focused approach leads to more regular iterations and incremental development to lower our overall risk and results in higher quality and more rapid software releases.

Becoming the Best-in-Class Software Provider
At Daxko, language is very important. We regard our customers as partner organizations. We partner with them to deliver not only an industry-leading club management platform and the exceptional customer experiences that have won our services team numerous awards. Part of providing exceptional experiences is knowing when to build and when to partner with other software and integrate our systems to best serve a customer need. And, by involving our customers first, we have the opportunity to understand their needs and where they see themselves in five to ten years. Our products serve over 9,000 facilities and 20 million plus members. This gives us a wealth of industry knowledge and data to tap into to enhance the products and services we offer.

Having an Innovative Mindset
We are in the software technology space. We must innovate. I need my team attending industry conferences, meeting with customers to dig deeper in discovering the next big thing, and keeping their finger on the pulse on where technology trends are heading, whether that’s mobility, artificial intelligence or API integrations. My teams (along with our product strategy teams) are also tasked with keeping an eye on market needs and trends. Right now, one of the biggest market needs is data – exchanging data, analytics, dashboards – everyone wants to be able to consume data in a digestible manner. We have 20+ years of data in the member-based health and wellness market. Customers have data from other technologies they want to see integrate with our products and that’s where our vision for a partnership ecosystem and our Daxko Spectrum REST API comes in, so that all parties involved can leverage what each of us do well and enhance our services and offerings. Having my team focused on these things opens us up to become the best-in-class health and wellness facility solution our customers are looking for.

Delivering Exceptional Experiences
We are dedicated to providing exceptional experiences to our customers and that starts with our products. I love that we have great relationships with our customers, and I love hearing that someone chose Daxko because of what our product does, how it functions, how it makes their life easier or how it solved a problem. Our products need to be solving customer problems and making their lives easier while driving growth.

I believe that we have to listen to our customers, identify the key differentiators to meet market needs and follow through in terms of delivering those items to our customers. Mobility, data and having a great user experience are those key differentiators that will allow us to deliver those exceptional experiences that are vital to sustainability and growth.

Assess & Align Your Brand Part II: Define and Evolve

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In the first segment of our 3-part program on aligning your brand for growth, we outlined the process we used to understand market perceptions about the Daxko brand.

You now have clear understanding of your current brand perception post-evaluation. And you’re pleased with what you found (yay!). What’s next?

(Disappointed by what you learned? We’ll cover some ideas for shifting perceptions in another post.)

Build a brand toolkit. Let’s look inside at the different tools that will enable you and your team to articulate, reinforce, and amplify your brand.

  1. Your differentiator. You’re competing in a crowded market. Why do customers choose—and stay with you—instead of the club down the street? Is it your friendly and knowledgeable staff? The innovative programming you offer? State of the art equipment? A combination?
  2. Your key message(s). Using your differentiator above, what are the key messages that articulate who you uniquely are? At Daxko, we call these our core truths. For example, one of our four core truths is that we are the member-based health & wellness leader. No other company is able to provide a wider variety of technology solutions to more types of organizations than Daxko. What simple messages reinforce your clubs brand? Typically these relate to what you provide, how you provide it, and to whom.
  3. Personality. Your brand has its own personality which is expressed linguistically, visually, and experientially.
    • Language & tone: What words, phrases, and tone express your brand? Are you friendly or authoritative? What do you call your customers? Are they clients, customers, or partners? What about your team? Are they staff, associates, team members?
    • Visual: Your brand expression transcends more than simply your logo or mark. What colors and fonts are part of your branding toolkit. When choosing photos and images, do you rely on stock photography or images of actual members in your facility?
    • Experiences: Your club likely has an online and a physical presence. Does the experience you provide across the board reflect who you are or work against you? For instance, is your brand welcoming yet front-desk staff don’t greet members with a smile as they check in? Or are online interactions with your club frustrating and confusing? Those are experiences you’ll want to realign with your brand.

After you’ve stocked your toolkit, document it all for your team. This toolkit will help each person to understand what types of words and interactions reinforce your brand, and also what detracts from it.

Join me next week for Part III in this program where I’ll share how to evangelize your brand, starting with the most important stakeholders—your team.

What we’re working on: Daxko Spectrum

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Last week we announced that we are renaming CSI SpectrumNG as Daxko Spectrum. We’re excited about this change and what it means for the future of our health club management software.

As we discuss Daxko’s future, we talk about our vision, and that is to become the most loved and the largest software company focused on member-based health and wellness organizations. Our emphasis is on the most loved portion of that statement.

We want every Daxko team member to walk through the doors every day focusing on how they can deliver an exceptional experience to our customers. If we do that, we know success will follow both for us and for our customers.

In fact, more of Club Industry’s Top 100 list of health clubs partner with Daxko than any other provider. Organizations that partner with Daxko grow faster and our people-first culture creates powerful relationships built on service, deep business insight, and relevant industry experience.

The Blueprint Podcast with David Lamb: Dave Gray Episode

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Recently, Daxko CEO, Dave Gray, spoke with David Lamb on his Blueprint Podcast. In each episode of the podcast, Lamb speaks with business leaders in and around Birmingham to bring listeners local success stories.

When asked about how he got into start-ups, Dave talks about his early career in Chicago and then in Atlanta, working for a Silicon Valley-based company. He talks about tough times weathering the Dotcom crash and then soon after, being acquired. Gray says that even though all those times were rough, he decided that he always wanted to stay involved with growth-oriented companies.

“I decided that I never want to work for a ‘normal’ company again,” says Gray.

He goes on to explain what appealed and still appeals to him about that atmosphere, “I like the pace and the amount of change that happened. I found that to be intellectually challenging and I found it to be just invigorating and so I thought, ‘I’m going to keep doing early-stage stuff.’ Now I’ve been working in the same place for almost 15 years and I wouldn’t categorize what we’re doing as early stage but it certainly is growth-oriented and change-oriented and I just tend to like that. ”

When asked about his early work experience and what that instilled in him, Gray is quick to go back even further than his professional career. “I worked a full time job in college for the last couple of years I was there and I was working 40-hours a week or more and I was taking a full course load and we were doing a lot of project work and I was playing intramural sports and hanging out with my friends and I think I learned how to manage time…or not sleep much, maybe a combination of the two and so I think some of those early experiences were really more about work ethic.”

“The experience I had with that Silicon Valley startup was really more about product and market positioning.  I am an observer and watching…the CEO and the decisions he was making and when the times got rough and listening to his explanations and really taking the blame for why things turned out the way they did. It was an interesting thing to observe a leader going through that….How would I handle that if I was in the same position? Or, How would I try to avoid being in that position in the future? I think those things primed me to be ready to prepare to experience those kinds of things.”

If you’re curious about inception of Daxko or leaders that inspire Gray, those topics and more are covered in the full podcast: