Improving Club Management with Technology Part 1: Online Joins

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The January join frenzy is upon us and we know health club operators are trying to find that magic formula to manage the chaos while still maintaining a consistent member experience. This series will show you simple and effective strategies to utilize technology to unburden your staff, and improve your club’s ability to provide exceptional member experiences.

The first installment of this series will help potential members self-serve as they make New Year’s resolutions and allow your staff to have more time to focus on creating an exceptional member experience.

Convenience
In today’s digital world, club management online options such as new member enrollment, purchasing personal training packages, scheduling appointments and updating personal and financial information are essential. Members and potential members enjoy the convenience of managing their own member experience. Having an online portal that integrates with your website allows you to engage your members at their convenience.

Your new January joins may feel uncomfortable having in-person interactions about their fitness program as they get used to being a member at your health club. Giving them online options will allow them to interact where they feel most comfortable and give them the space they need to start their health journey.

Staff Time
Today’s business environment requires a fast, flexible approach to customer services. By opening up online services, you will open a whole host of benefits for your staff and your members.

  • Give members freedom to join on their own schedule
  • Reduce data entry errors
  • Reduce the line and wait for members at the front desk
  • Overcome errors or frustration related to language barriers and handwritten forms with illegible handwriting
  • Give your members easy access to all kinds of information that will increase

Exceptional Experiences
It may seem counterintuitive but by allowing technology to take some of the load of club management, you’re really allowing for better member experiences all around. Think about it; all these benefits boil down to reduced member and staff time and frustration.

If you are able to save 5 minutes per transaction when signing up a new member, you’re improving the experience by 5 minutes – and when you’re processing multiple new members each day, that can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Another way to think about online services is having a virtual sales team at your fingertips. Online sales leverage the power of technology, creating new revenue streams while maximizing existing ones without adding overhead or sacrificing your member experience.

While the convenience of technology is great, you don’t want to lose the relationship aspect of joining a community. Offering online services does not have to take away from the member experience. One way to make that connection is requiring new members to tour the facility or have a new member orientation.

I’ll Give You 180 Days

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent, Team Member Spotlight | No Comments

New Daxko team members normally have these 60-day perspectives ready to share on the Daxko Culture Blog shortly after 60 days have passed from our Daxko start dates. Let’s just say that getting this after being 180 days in will give you, the reader, added perspective. Just go with it. Don’t @ me.

I was hired onto the team at the beginning of June 2017 to support a group of customers using our Daxko Spectrum product and based in our Houston office. It’s been a thrilling experience, and what have the first six months of Daxko looked like for me? Here’s a list of some unique highlights and cultural pieces that stuck out to me:

  • Day 4: user group in Atlanta
  • Friday Open Q&As
  • A week at Birmingham HQ
  • Impact Day @ Houston Food Bank
  • User group in Chicago
  • Hurricane Harvey and Reach Conference
  • Houston office move
  • Club Industry Show
  • Halloween
  • Star Wars!

Quite the variety of events, some of which you can infer their meaning and others are just Daxko lingo that likely means nothing to you or any other reader on this page, but the effect of what those lingo words represent means everything to some.

Things can move quickly around Daxko, so you have to stay on your toes and be ready to jump in or pivot at any moment. Take a look at that first bullet above: yes, on Day 4, they had me on a plane to Atlanta to attend a user group for some of our customers in that area. I thought it was fantastic that this new company I just accepted a position with would spend the time and resources to go to where their customers are to simply welcome them in and work with them on better using one of the products. Not only that, but my team lead called me before I even started my first day to extend this invitation to me and made all of the arrangements!

Skip down a couple of bullets to the next user group in Chicago. That kicked off a whirlwind of personal and professional overdrive that lasted several weeks. Our offices had Daxko solar eclipse viewing parties on that Monday, then a large group of us were off to Chicago the next day for another user group we had planned for our customers in and around that city.

While conducting a successful user group and connecting with our customers, our attention was being called to trouble rapidly brewing back home: Hurricane Harvey. I remember sitting in my hotel room between two of our events and getting the group text from my team lead: “All of you here from Houston, change your flights right now to go home tomorrow (Thursday) evening. We will pay whatever the cost.” How awesome for a company to make an early call on some last-minute plan changes for meetings and events to ensure a group of us got home before flights sold out and airports closed for a major hurricane?

Harvey was a nightmare that no Houstonian ever wanted to see again after Allison in 2001. Things began turning very serious the first night, and anxieties were validated when a local chief meteorologist tweeted, “Allison is officially no longer the benchmark flood event in Houston,” and the forecast continued to show that the Harvey event was just beginning. But it did happen again, and it will again at some point. We’ve just accepted it as part of living in a major metro prone to floods. Our Houston office was closed for more than a week after the storm, and we spent that time helping our neighbours and communities and working from home as power and internet service allowed.

Harvey did not just affect team members and customers in the Houston area and down the Texas coast. It affected a large percentage of our company and customers. Why? Our annual REACH customer conference was scheduled to take place in Houston two weeks after Harvey struck. Remember what I said earlier about always being ready to pivot when working for Daxko? The company and hundreds of our customers had spent months making plans, incurring expenses, and at that point were finally ready to come together for a week of learning opportunities and to hear about the future of our products that they rely on. Suddenly, the host city was crippled by the worst natural disaster in its modern history. Our solution? In a matter of days, we pivoted and were ready to conduct as much of the conference as we could virtually. We knew it would not be the same experience as an in-person conference, but it was important to us to still use the time we had planned to connect with all of these customers in any way that we could. We learned a lot from this experience, and I am excited for our next customer conference.

Nearly a month after Harvey, the Houston team moved offices! The last office was a dark and dreadful place. We try not to remember it. It did not sustain any damage during Harvey, and the move was originally planned for the week that Harvey happened. Needless to say, Harvey brought the move to a grinding halt for some time, but once again, we pivoted and made adjustments. Now our Birmingham and Houston offices both reside in Class A buildings constructed at the turn of the millennium! (I told you the last Houston office was a dreadful place).

If you ever visit our spaces, you’ll find it interesting that the interior design of these spaces is the signature of our CEO, Dave Gray. He does most of the design planning and selections himself for our workspaces. He even worked to have a portion of the ceiling removed between the two floors our Birmingham space occupies and had a large staircase built between the floors, because he wanted the spaces open and the Birmingham-based teams easily connected rather than separated. Crazy cool, right? Our new Houston space is still a work in progress, but after a few trips to Birmingham HQ this year, I am excited to see what Dave is putting together for our space.

Moving through the year, the season began to change, but first impressions of this new company culture I’d found myself immersed in did not. I’ve heard of other companies permitting costumes on Halloween or having a fun social during lunch, but never have I seen a company as enthusiastic about Halloween as Daxko. Of course, the ringleader of all the fun is once again our CEO. He is very passionate about Halloween, and strongly encourages team members to participate in the company-wide costume contest – a costume contest across three offices in three states and dozens of remote team members around the country. I’ve seen company leaders encourage participation in company events plenty of times before, but I never thought I would hear a CEO say in a company-wide meeting (with a laugh of course), “If you’re seriously not dressing up, don’t bother coming into the offices that day. Just work from home instead. I’m serious!” What a character, and it was only fitting that he showed up for work on Oct. 31 in a very elaborate Willy Wonka costume – complete with the top hat and cane!

Most recently, I learned that Daxko has adopted a different approach to a company holiday party. Rather than host a traditional, stuffy gathering (which I presume would not be stuffy at all based on how I’ve seen other things conducted around here), they have capitalized on Disney’s recent release schedule for the current awakening of The Force and purchased Star Wars movie tickets for each team member on the films’ opening nights. This has allowed team members to still get together for a fun event during the holiday time and take a different approach to an end-of-year celebration. And plus, it’s Star Wars!

Overall, the first 180 days here has been an experience that I would not trade away. I came here from a large corporation that was also breaking the mold with team member focus and culture, and seeing that same focus here at Daxko was a large influence in my decision to join the team. I am very excited for what the next 365 days will bring, and the 365 days after that.


Matt Glenn is a Strategic Relationship Manager who always visits the People Team pod when he comes to Birmingham.

Member Engagement Solutions for the New Year

By | Engagement, Industry | No Comments

The New Year is here! We’re getting our bottles of champagne and 2018 hats ready, but do you feel set up for success in 2018? If you don’t feel ready to ring in the New Year, our Engagement Automation solution makes your job of engaging and retaining members, including new January Joins, so much easier. Daxko Engage lets you visualize your data, tell your story, and take action, setting you up for more success in January and throughout 2018.

Here’s how we do that:

Visualize Your Data
Daxko Engage provide visibility into important metrics like email analytics, but Engage also offers predictive analytics to develop your fundraising and marketing strategy. The Retention and Donor Indicators give your staff metrics to build campaign strategy based on your own data. Build smarter campaigns, tailored to the right audience using our Indicators as your guide.

Want to know exactly who’s at risk to terminate before you get that breakup call? The Retention Indicator tells you who to target so you can re-engage them rather than have to try to win back a terminated membership. The Donor Indicator shows your development staff the members that are most likely to donate if asked, giving them a huge advantage as they build campaign communication.

Tell Your Story
Not only do you gain Daxko’s marketing, communication, and data expertise, our Daxko Engage experts manage a multi-channel communication system on your behalf. We’ll focus on building and delivering the right messages to engage new members, win back terminated members, and recognize members on their special days. You’ll have more time to focus on telling your story through seasonal and highly targeted initiatives. Once you can visualize the areas you need to focus, your time is freed up can be a more effective storyteller, able to develop and deliver content to drive the metrics you need to meet your marketing and fundraising goals.

Take Action
Daxko Engage is the tool that lets you execute your entire marketing and fundraising strategy from start to finish. Use our robust email platform to shape your content and deliver it to your members. You don’t need any coding skills with our easy-to-use email builder and you can easily segment your audience into targeted groups to make sure the right audience gets the right message. Your members will love getting highly personalized communication and your staff will love how easy Daxko Engage makes shaping and delivering their marketing and fundraising campaigns.

4 Club Operating Procedures that Ensure Efficiency During Peak January Join Time

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With the new year just around the corner, now is a great time for health club operators to ensure that good operating procedures are in place to handle the January Join frenzy.

  1. Online Joins

We live in a digital age – make joining your gym easy on potential new members. By allowing online joins, your prospects can join when it’s most convenient for their schedule. Industry statistics show that online joins boosts membership sales 10-15% per month, without adding additional staff.

  1. Proactive Account Updater

Does your billing software provide a service that automatically updates account information such as expiration dates or reissued card numbers? Help reduce card declines, additional fees and staff frustration by partnering with a software provider that allows for a better payment experience for your members and your staff.

  1. Optimizing Revenues (link to additional content piece)

In what ways could you optimize revenues and staff time next year? Check out our piece on the Top 3 Ways to Boost Your Club’s Bottom Line in 2018.

  1. Member Engagement

One last essential item to consider is how you will communicate with your members, new and old. According to the IHRSA Retention Report, “almost 90% of club members say they value communication from staff members.” Do you have the right tools in place to help automate some of this communication, such as a CRM or a Mobile App to stay in touch with members on the go?

Interested in learning how Daxko Spectrum can help streamline your processes and help grow your business? Contact us at sales@daxko.com.