Know your customer

Wexer Blog

25 October 2018

Imagine you’re standing in a health club that’s performing at its absolute optimal level, hitting every KPI that’s been set. Look around you. What’s happening in that club?

The gym floor is full – but not so full that customers are having to queue for equipment and becoming disgruntled. Satisfaction levels are high – and word-of-mouth recommendations with it.

Staff are chatting to members, and members among themselves, with a real sense of community – and loyalty – in place.

The perfect group exercise timetable is delivering exactly what members want, when they want it.

Revenues are strong, not only through monthly fees, but also through high take-up of personal training and strong performance in other secondary spend channels.

… This may not be the full picture, but you get the idea. This is a club that’s firing on all cylinders.

So, what would you say if I told you all the above is entirely achievable, provided you really, really know your customers – not just pen portraits based on a simple needs analysis, but deep insights gleaned from actual behavioural data?

If you think that’s a bit of an over-promise, let’s revisit the above scenarios.


The gym floor is full – but not too full

This club knows exactly what its members do when they’re in the club, and it’s geared its offering accordingly – equipment mix, gym layout, peak times, pricing strategy.

In fact, it’s so confident in member usage patterns that it’s able to gear its marketing around them, carefully managing yield to ensure the club is performing to capacity at all times.


Staff are chatting to members, and members among themselves

Staff know what makes each and every member tick, so they know exactly how to talk to them, what to say to motivate them, what additional information might be valuable to them… And in turn, knowing the instructors add value in this way, members are more willing to take off their headphones and engage.

This club is well aware of the contribution staff-member interaction makes to member retention, so it ensures its staff know exactly what to talk to members about.

By understanding individual members’ interests, the club is also able to direct them to activities they know they’ll enjoy – activities where they meet like-minded people, make friends and further cement their bonds with the club.


The perfect group exercise timetable is in place

At this club, a timetable combining live and virtual classes ensures members get what they want, when they want it – even during off-peak times.

Even more importantly, by accurately tracking attendance of all classes and understanding usage patterns, the club is able to continually refine the studio schedule to keep members happy and classes full.

A particularly high proportion of members are engaged with group exercise too, because the club analyses data on broader member interests – including current non-GX-ers – to develop new ideas for the studio schedule, getting more members involved in this retention-boosting activity.


Revenues are strong

In this perfectly-performing club, yoga apparel sells brilliantly because it’s advertised to members who attend yoga classes; post-workout protein shakes fly off the café shelves when promoted at the end of a tough HIIT class; personal trainers fill all empty slots by promoting their services to those struggling to achieve their targets…


Put simply, the club knows that the more data it collects – the more it knows about its members – the more it’s able to personalise… and that this personalisation is of direct value to its business, as well as to members.


Over to you…

If you want to emulate this, there really is just one option: harness technology and embrace data.

Imagine a scenario where a member walks into your club and, thanks to all the data you’ve gathered through your white-labelled Wexer Mobile app, you know all about them: what they like doing, what associated needs they might have, what they’ve purchased in the past.

This can then be mapped against the products and services on offer in your club that might tick the box for them today. Throw in a few beacons and all this can translate into personalised recommendations popping up on members’ phones (to complement their conversations with your staff). These highly targeted ads boost member engagement by being helpful, not pushy –­ pointing someone towards a special offer on their favourite juice, a PT package to get them ready for their forthcoming holiday (which you know about), money off new boxing gloves for the combat class they’ve booked, or simply recommending other activities you think they’ll like.

They also generate valuable secondary revenue for the club.

People often say tech is impersonal, but when used properly that’s far from true: it’s the primary source of member data, and the primary facilitator of personalisation. Ignoring tech is the thing that will render your product impersonal.


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AuthorRobert Louw