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the IT Partner of Choice


Will tech developers be as important as gym instructors in the clubs of the future? BJORN JOHANSSON


CEO Top Quality Clubs, Sweden


T


he first ever website was launched in 1991, so the first 100 per cent internet generation – the


digital natives – was also born in the 90s. This generation embraces advertising and information in a whole new way, which of course affects the operation of a successful gym. In 10 years’ time, this generation will begin to pass 30 years of age and technology will have a natural dominance in everyday life. As a club operator, you always target


new ways of making money in the areas of marketing, sales and customer loyalty. Technologies must be employed in the context in which they will have the most impact. As an example, most managers have too much faith in Facebook. This is a tool where you mainly interact with ‘super fans’ – those who already love you. It’s important to communicate with this audience, as they can be your best salespeople. But in the future, the web will provide far more efficient channels to energise your brand advocates than Facebook. We know that, on average, the gym


industry attracts about 15–20 per cent of the population, Where can we find all the others? They sit on the couch surfing the net. Will this situation decrease over the coming 10 years? No: it will of course increase so, with the help of technology, we need to use targeted marketing to reach the inactive individual and introduce our services. Does your gym dominate on the


internet? Probably not: the majority of health club operators do not have a


February 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


strategy, knowledge or the right resources for optimal presence. What operator could have predicted that the most important people in his company would be web designers, usability experts, app developers, webinar teachers and social media content managers? Many PTs and group exercise


instructors have only a secondary role to play in the success of the gym of the future – even in the service area, technology is taking over. A high-service club is not only judged by staff-to-member interaction, but also on the possibilities that technology gives you. A definition of high customer service now also involves: 1) Accessibility: More or less everything


should be available 24 hours a day. 2) DIY: A member needs to be able to


do tasks via smartphone, computer and tablets, whether that’s related to bookings, programming, buying, cancellations, education or motivation. 3) Simplicity: Access should not only


be available all the time, but just as important is the simplicity of the process. It needs to be extremely easy to become a customer, buy more services, cancel membership and so on. As an operator, don’t follow the


masses and do the same as everyone else. Evaluate every new technology and use the right element in the appropriate area. Make sure you’re using activities and tools that truly create revenue – then the possibilities will be endless.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jon Nasta is director of Retention Management EU, the specialist retention provider. Email


jon.nasta@retentionmanagement.com Twitter @jonnasta


A leading provider of Leisure Management Solutions with over three decades of experience as the technology partner of choice across the public, private, trust, facilities management and education sectors.


 A portfolio of solutions to include ‘Award Winning’ self service modules to leverage of your existing resources, increasing profi tability and effi ciency.


 A local or hosted enterprise solution. Wizard based membership with market leading reporting and control of estate wide data.


 Bookings EPOS, course and session management, prospecting - a powerful yet intuitive solution.


 Online Bookings - Sessions, courses and activities can be booked online.


 Mobile Bookings App - book and manage account direct from a smart phone. Includes Social media integration.


 Online Memberships – extend your membership sales team by allowing visitors to your website to join online.


 Additional functionality allows existing members to renew their memberships, aiding your cash fl ow.


 Self-Service – award winning solutions allowing customers to self serve, from checking in for a course through to rebooking a session kiosks.


 On Course – State of the art course management solution with iPOD based registers, web e portal for progress tracking and payments.


Xn Leisure Systems Ltd 115M Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RZ


Tel: +44 (0) 870 80 30 700 Fax: +44 (0) 870 80 30 701 Email: info@xnleisure.com LinkedIn: xn-leisure-systems-limited Twitter: @xnleisure


www.xnleisure.com


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