Thursday, 14 June 2018

Drowning in data? How to make sense of the customer feedback deluge with MyCustomerLens

The fitness industry is collecting more customer feedback every day, but [how] is the data being used?


Let’s look at where some of this data comes from, how you can collect better feedback, and use the data to improve your bottom line.

  • Net Promoter Score is now established in the fitness industry, and is a great benchmark. But you must ask the follow-up open question “Why did you give that score?” It's this follow-up question that turns NPS from another metric into the secret of continuous improvement. 
  • Likewise, “Score your induction”, “How was the joining process”, etc. on a scale of e.g. 1-5 are interesting, but the free format comments that follow is where the real value lies if you want to improve your customer experience.
  • Finally, there’s a wealth of information in leavers questionnaires, particularly when free format questions are asked (rather than a multiple choice “why are you leaving?”, which inevitable shows most ex-members “moving away”).

So, if you’re asking lots of free format questions, you have lots of comments. A few comments can be handled by the general manager, for example. But collating comments from multiple sources and analysing the results over a month or quarter is tricky.

Enter MyCustomerLens, which takes all the comments from your questionnaires, and presents them in a simple dashboard. Take a helicopter view of all comments from all sources, or drill down or segment by specific sources, gender, age, membership, or anything else you want. One MCL client used to set aside 3 hours a month to review and report on their latest survey results, but they now spend just 5 minutes a week, since it is quicker and more dynamic.


MyCustomerLens analyses all comments using machine learning and natural language processing. In other words, it will find references to class bookings or changing rooms regardless of spelling, and group comments as positive[, neutral,] or negative. So, you can see at a glance what your promoters are saying, or how your leavers were feeling about your brand before they left. Another client said “linking comments to themes allows us to quickly identify what is popular with our customers”.

Presenting this information in real time is incredibly valuable to any organisation. As you collect more comments, you become more informed as to how your customers are feeling and can adapt accordingly. Keep doing the good stuff and correct any issues before they cause more members to leave.

Three other things about MyCustomerLens… They’re good at asking best practice questions, meaning you’ll get more comments and better, standardised responses. Secondly, as well as asking, they’re also good at listening, for example, to social media feeds, so you can get more data about your organisation without actually having to ask more. And finally, their bench-marking options allow you to compare your customer experiences with other similar programs.

GGFit is not affiliated with MyCustomerLens, we just think they present a great solution and plug a gap in the marketplace in terms of understanding and acting upon customer feedback. Find out more here, or meet them at Active Uprising in Manchester on 21 June.


So ask me, ask me, ask me, 
Ask me, ask me, ask me
Because if it's not love, 
Then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb 
That will bring us together

Making more people more active with data – imin, are you?

“imin will fundamentally disrupt the way we use data in the sector, and cause a huge impact in the world. We are proud to be working alongside them” said Peter Fitzboydon, former CEO of London Sport. Peter is now MD of Parkwood Leisure.


From a member retention perspective, we see imin as a tool to increase engagement, firstly by bringing more members into a club, but also by enabling existing members to exercise outside the club. Filling exercise classes in general is a good thing for getting members to stick around, and imin is also interesting from a reporting and integration perspective.



imin and the openactive community are using data to help get people active. Anyone using an app connected through imin can search for all activities and facilities, and instantly book available sessions.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Elevate goes from strength to strength

The Elevate “Arena of physical activity, health and performance” goes from strength to strength. In just 3 years, it has established itself as one of the key fitness industry events in the UK. 


There was a good buzz in the lead-up to the show, both on social media and in the press. Booking advanced meetings with clients and partners was positive, rather than being met with the usual reply of “not sure, perhaps I’ll see you there”. In other words, delegates were there to network and ready to do business.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Why SMS… Do You Want the Bad News or the Good News?

SMART phones are becoming so popular that even your Gran’s probably got one. This means more people are able to download apps, but for SMS, it means that messages are collected in conversations, in other words, grouped together when sent from the same number.


It’s important to balance the absentee messages with positive news, or what we call ‘High5’ messages. If you send regular newsletters by email, but only absentee messages by SMS, your “yo-yo” members (those who often become absent) will find their SMS conversation from you full of absent reminders (see below). This bad news thread can cause negative vibes, making them check the value of their membership.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Creative ways to use SMS to gain consent (TextAnywhere)

This is a guest post from our partners at TextAnywhere

Before taking any step to obtain consent you must ensure that the individuals you are contacting haven’t unsubscribed, as you can’t contact people who have already done this.In addition, your previous method of collecting the data was in line with PECR’s guidelines. If you’re unsure about this, it’s probably better to refresh consent.

  1. SMS Surveys
Text message surveys can be a great way to refine consent. With a reported, you are bound to get a positive response rate. With TextSurvey, you can clearly refine the different areas of SMS consent the individual would like to receive such as updates on new products/features, customer feedback surveys, customer support updates. You can download the report from TextSurvey which will show the timestamp of the message and the responses to each question, which is an excellent way to show proof of consent.

Why SMS Feedback, Surveys, and Quizzes Work Best

Combining the excellent open rates (98% within 10 minutes), and concise content, SMS is the best channel to elicit customer feedback.
Asking members what they think is a great retention tool. A survey turns a one-way message into an interaction. If you can use the feedback to improve your service, right a wrong, or give a staff member a bonus, then even better!


Short sharp surveys or questionnaires work best, with 2 or 3 questions, and an optional free format comments field. Tell the member in the invitation that it will only take 30-60 seconds, and that you value their opinion. In addition to good uptake, you’ll also engage more members because you need to keep the message brief.


Monday, 30 April 2018

Why SMS Content is King

One of the big advantages of SMS is that you are limited to 160 characters (in reality less, once you’ve added the opt-out ‘footer’). This means you must focus on the content of the message, not get distracted by images or links. Sure, you can write more than 160 characters, which sends multiple messages, and most networks/phones will put the messages back together, but when you hit high volumes, your costs will soar, and your members’ attentions will wane. Let’s stick to one SMS per message.


So, by its nature, SMS is simpler than email or post, which is good. Personalising the content is important, but given the limits already mentioned, first name or salutation is usually enough. You might use segmentation; have a different message for male or female, or different age groups, but the only other form fields you might use are for an appointment reminder, e.g. your induction/review/appt tomorrow at 10:30.

The key point in any member comms is the ‘Call to Action’.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Why SMS Member Comms Has the Best Hit Rate

At GGFit, we trigger hundreds of text messages (SMS) every day on behalf of our client clubs to their members. The primary objective is to get absent members to return, but we also send a lot of good news messages via SMS too.


We send a plenty of emails, letters, postcards, etc. everyday too, but for certain triggers, particularly absentees, we recommend SMS. This is because SMS is more effective at getting absent members to return. (Actually, postcards are most effective, but they are also most costly).

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

ukactive ActiveLab Launch event

It was a privilege to attend the ActiveLab launch event yesterday evening at the Plexal in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The room was full of fit tech innovators, disruptors, investors and mentors, and there was some fantastic networking and discussion. 


Steve Ward opened the evening, talking about how we need to switch from seeing technology as an issue. A lot of the time, the movement industry is battling against tech; nowadays we click to shop, rather than walking, and we swipe to date, rather than dancing. But tech can also help us to move more, get motivated, and get people to be healthier and happier.

CMO of Plexal, Tom Messett gave a good account of how the Plexal and the London SportTechHub is supporting fitness technology startup companies. An impressive $2.4bn has been invested in FitTech over the last 5 years. But this pales in comparison with the $31bn invested in FinTech in the last 1 year. Events like ActiveLab are crucial to raise the profile of FitTech, and help launch and grow more businesses to help get more people active.

Tech's bad reputation in Fitness

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

New Member Graduation: The Fourth Member Retention Mini-Masterclass

If you missed the mini-masterclass on measuring and selling more new member inductions on Monday this week, you can review the 10 minute video here.

The idea of these fast, focused, free sessions is to make you think about how you interact with your new members, give you some measures to check new member engagement, and show you how you can improve member retention. If we can help you to get your members to stick around longer, they'll get fitter and healthier, which is the end goal!