Monday, 19 November 2012

No ties. No contract. Sound familiar?

Sky has introduced a new internet TV service to compete with LOVEFiLM and Netflix. NOW TV allows subscribers to watch films instantly, online. 

The “No Contract” headlines sound like they’ve come straight from the “how to build a budget gym” handbook, there’s even no joining fee! We’re not suggesting that Sky are learning from the fitness industry, but there are certainly lessons for gyms and health clubs in the way Sky is adapting to maintain its share of this highly competitive market.

Can I START MY 30 DAY FREE TRIAL at YOUR club tomorrow?

One more thing… this is another service that will be competing for £8.99 - £15 per month of your member’s hard earned cash.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The leaving bonus, or how to get more loyal members

Greg joins a gym, pays the joining fee, and sets up a Direct Debit for the monthly payment. This time he’s going to get fit, make lifestyle changes, and as a result, he’s going to get the girl! He visits twice in the first week, once in the second week, but only manages to squeeze in one quick visit in week four. What happens next?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Staff retention - one of the keys to member retention

With 50% of instructors thinking about leaving the industry, a lot of clubs would do well to take a look in the mirror in order to improve their member retention – it starts with staff retention.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Make your move - Profile App for member dating

With so much discussion about Technogym’s new mywellness cloud apps at Leisure Industry Week (LIW) it’s no surprise that even more innovative ways of using the Profile app (Club 2.0 Aspiration Finder) surfaced. This one was borne out of a late night discussion over drinks at Bar Mechu (thanks, Big Wave Media!)

People have used horoscopes for years to judge compatibility in relationships. Basing decisions or introductions on what star sign you were born under often meets with scepticism, but Technogym’s ‘aspiration maps’ are quite different. Developed alongside extensive research by the University of Milan, the Profile tool really shows what moves a member to exercise. Members and clubs are finding it really useful for  goal setting, programming, marketing and prospecting.

But knowing what moves a person to exercise tells you a lot about them, and this new study* reveals how you can match people for potential relationships based on their aspirations.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Club 2.0 - How it's used (bonus)... Part 5&6 - Instructors and Design

A bonus article on how the Profile App is being used by instructors and clubs. We’re pleased to say that this has been a popular series, with great feedback and additional input. Thanks to Barry for his comments on instructors and from Technogym on club planning.

While Club 2.0 is primarily a member focused tool, it’s also important that instructors buy into the app, and complete their own aspiration maps. Several clubs we know display the instructors’ maps with their photos in reception, or in the gym. This can help to:
  • Link instructors’ profiles with the classes they give 
  • Introduce a new instructor to members 
  • Choose a personal trainer 
Note that instructor’s profiles are often more even spread than members

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Club 2.0 - How it's used... part 4 - Prospecting

This series of posts looks at how clubs are using Technogym's Club 2.0 Aspiration Finder to improve their members' experiences.  Last week we looked at the the marketing benefits that Club 2.0 brings, here's a diversion from retention into member prospecting...

Prospective members are regularly visiting your website; just browsing.  They might sign up for a newsletter, or download a free pass.  Likewise, people visit your club every day, have a look around, and might fill in an enquiry form.

The Profile App (Club 2.0) helps you engage with these prospects online and in the club.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Club 2.0 - How it's used... part 3 - Marketing

We’re looking at the different ways Technogym's Club 2.0 Aspiration Finder is used by clubs to develop their business. The last article was about improving member interaction and therefore retention. This week we're looking at how Club 2.0 can help improve your marketing…

Club 2.0 (the Profile App) is a marketers dream.  It provides a database of members and prospects, with Birth Date, Gender, Mobile and E-mail, along with their primary aspiration, and full aspiration map.  Various other fields, such as Company, Address, PostCode, can be made optional or mandatory.
SHAPE - I exercise to burn calories, manage my weight and tone my body

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Club 2.0 - How it's used... part 2 - Interaction

Club 2.0 Aspiration Finder is a brilliant tool from Technogym that enables you to know more about your members.  It is also known as the ‘Profile’ MyWellness App, part of the MyWellness Cloud.

We’re running through some of the ways clubs use the tool to further their business.  Last week's post was about improving member retention through programming. This time round, we're looking at how Club 2.0 can increase member interaction…

Interacting with club members is a key element of being a fitness instructor.  Regular contact is part of providing good customer service, and linked to member retention.  

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Club 2.0 - How it's used... part 1 - Programming

Club 2.0 Aspiration Finder is a brilliant tool from Technogym that enables you to know more about your members.  It is also known as the ‘Profile’ MyWellness App, part of the MyWellness Cloud.

Club 2.0 has predominantly been marketed as a tool to aid exercise programming.  However, it has many more uses within clubs, and these will come into play more in the Profile App.  We’re going to run through some of the ways clubs use the tool to further their business.  Over the next few posts we’ll look at improving member retention through programming and interaction, increasing conversion of prospects, and sales and marketing to your new and existing members…

Exercise Programming

Since exercise programming was one of the initial drivers for the Profile app, let’s start there.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Social Media Survey Results

This just in…
In our newsletter last month, we asked:

What do you believe is the number one social media platform for member retention?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Get more members to Opt-in – Actions:

Your Systems / Sign-up process

Following our series of posts on how to get more members to opt-in, here's a few pointers that you can use to check in your club and communicate with more members.

Tell the member/prospect how you are going to use their e-mail/mobile, e.g.
  • to send them occasional messages (newsletters) 
  • to help motivate (remind) them if their visits slow down
Tell them this is part of the service they get at your club, and in the extremely unlikely event that they don’t find the messages useful*, then they are able to unsubscribe at any time.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Why Opt-Out Is Sometimes Good - Member Messaging

From a pure business point of view, you want as many members/clients/prospects to opt-in as possible, so that you can reach the most people with your marketing/motivational messages and maintain or improve members’ retention.

However, the analyst will welcome a few opt-outs as this provides a control group to compare the effect of messages being sent.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Don’t Offer Opt-In - Member Messaging

A few clubs we know don’t give their members the choice to opt-in or out of communications as they join.

Whether online or in club, member’s details are recorded, with address, e-mail and mobile as mandatory fields. They are told briefly about the communication journey that they will receive as new members, which sounds very attractive and valued.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Get More Members to Opt-in - Member Messaging

We’ve explored the value of data and collecting mobile numbers and e-mail addresses previously. Budget clubs are much better at acquiring good data with fulfilment rates close to 100% due to their online joining and confirmation process.

But even fulfilment rates of 100% are no good if half of those members opt-out of receiving communications. It is important to ask members’ permission, and there are good and bad ways of doing it.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

How will you Fight the Summer Slump?

Are you prepared to fight the summer slump?

The recent hot weather in the UK is causing club attendance to drop, and the massive sporting summer which is around the corner is more likely to compound rather than reverse this effect. It would be great if the Olympics generated a load of newly motivated members, but in reality, we need to go the extra yard to keep them.

Friday, 25 May 2012

BHF Canary Wharf Jog 2012

The British Heart Foundation Canary Wharf Jog this week was a complete contrast to the Tower jog back at the start of May. The sun had been beating down on London for a couple of days, and by 6:30pm on Wednesday evening, the Tower lined streets of Canary Wharf were at least a little shady, but still very hot indeed.

The weather brought a good turnout of runners, with well over 1,000 people taking part.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

BHF Tower of London Jog 2012

For the first time in recent memory (we’ve run the Tower Jog every year since 2004) a grey, stormy day faced us last Wednesday. The downpour that drenched us as we made our way to the Tower did not make running in a moat an appealing prospect! Umbrellas for sale outside the tube station were proving as popular as Boris Johnson had been a week before.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Incentivising Instructors

So you want to incentivise your instructors to provide better customer service and improve retention. What metrics do you want to use, and what is going to incentivise your instructors?

If you want to improve your 12-month member retention from 50% to 60%, it can be difficult for the individual instructor to see how they can have an effect. Asking instructors to reduce attrition or increase average length of membership can be a bridge too far. Instead, you can achieve better results by looking at daily or weekly actions that will provide a short term effect that builds up over the month or year.

Incentivising Instructors - FitPro Business Article

Friday, 16 March 2012

Communicating with Absent Members - Part 3, Who?

Calling absent members is one of the least popular jobs in the gym. Most instructors prefer cleaning to calling absentees. Sure, the gym needs to be clean, otherwise people will leave, but you could stop 6 people from dropping out by spending 30 minutes on a few phone calls.

The gym team are usually the ideal staff to call absent members and encourage them back into the club. They should have the best relationship with the members, having talked about their needs, goals, habits and exercise programme. Alternatively, you might have the person who signed up the member in the first place (useful for new absentees), or a retention officer or membership manager who makes all the calls.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Communicating with absent, paying members : Part 2, How?

Hopefully you now understand that contacting your absent members is a good move.  The next question is how to contact them…

There are lots of ways of communicating with individual members; a phone call, text, e-mail or good old-fashioned letter, as well as direct social media messages (if configured correctly*).

The phone call is proven to be the best way of persuading members to come back into your club.  However, it can be hard work and is time consuming.  We’ll discuss who makes the calls in the next article, but here’s how to make it easier.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Communicating with absent, paying members : Part 1, Why?

Opinion is still divided on whether you should contact paying members who are not visiting your club. The naysayers argue that you risk prompting the member to cancel, and that you should let sleeping dogs lie. We say contact absent members. Do your best to encourage them back into your club. Give your members more motivation by showing that you care about their health and fitness, that you want to help them achieve their goals. It is their responsibility to get down to the gym, so send them a reminder and then they are less likely blame your club. Business-wise, if half of your members have not visited for more than 3 or 4 weeks, you risk losing half your members tomorrow (contracts aside). If you do nothing about this, you could soon be looking at an empty gym. Contact your absent members, and you will get some back, and hopefully extend the membership of many more.
An empty gym, yesterday
Ethically, it is right to contact someone who is paying you for a service but not using it.  Regardless of contract (more of which later), it is simply a good thing to do.  Businesses that think ethically are on the up, whether offering discounts for reducing emissions or best plan reviews on mobile usage.