Technology is pervasive in health clubs. As a result it’s become an integral aspect of the customer experience.
Here, Mike Neff, the vice president of member services for Crunch, shares insight into how the fitness brand uses technology to enhance — versus detract from — the member experience.
CS: As the vice president of member services at Crunch, how is your team using technology to nurture member relationships?
MN: We believe that technology must create exceptional experiences with our members every day. It must provide convenience and ease of use to be successful. Don’t over complicate it and communicate the launch of new technology to your members before it happens. Remember, your member base scans a wide range of ages and it’s important to build your technology so it services everyone.
We believe in SSO (single sign on) so members do not have to remember various passwords. We also help members share in the successes they achieve through social media, where other members are encouraged by those achievements. We call it Crunch TV.
Group fitness has always been what Crunch is known for. All members can book classes online and then check-in through self-service kiosks located throughout our clubs. Crunch Live, our online workout platform with over 100 videos to choose from, allows both members and non-members to experience some of the greatest classes we offer right from the convenience of your home or while they are traveling. Crunch is constantly developing new technology to enhance the member experience every day.
CS: With over 1,000,000 members across 225 gyms worldwide in 24 states, Puerto Rico and four countries, how do you manage the massive amount of member data that is generated every day at your clubs?
MN: Yes it is massive and if you’re a data hound, you would be on cloud nine. I believe companies look at data differently. It’s impossible for a MMS provider to create the exact reports that every company wants to run their business by. In Crunch’s ecosystem alone, we have five different MMS systems we operate on, mostly due to our international presence. We have been successful implementing an enterprise BI tool that allows us to aggregate massive amounts of data from various systems and roll it up into the KPI reporting we find most important to operate our clubs. We also have interactive dashboards our clubs use and in-depth analysis tools our back office leverages to react to market changes. We do have one rule though that we live by at Crunch: Data can solve a lot of issues and answer a lot of questions, but never lose focus on the member and the service we need to provide every day. You cannot be good these days, you have to be great.
CS: Today, cub operators are collecting more member data than ever before. Now that you can measure almost anything, how do you measure your member experience success and what key performance indicators (KPIs) do you closely monitor when you come to work every morning?
MN: You have to engage your members in something more than just a treadmill and some weights. The studios have become popular over the years and it’s because they create that personal experience that is memorable. At Crunch, we do that through our instructors and personal trainers. We look at group fitness and personal training KPIs very closely. It’s no secret that if you can engage a member in either a personal training or group fitness program, those member’s retention rates are much higher than someone who just comes in to run and lift a few weights. Your club needs to have energy. We also pay close attention to social media feedback. Every one of your members is on some sort of social media platform and if you’re not monitoring those sites, you will be missing a massive opportunity to understand what you are doing right and what you are not.
CS: Crunch recently announced that they selected Motionsoft as their cloud-based business management software partner. How are you using Motionsoft’s software platform to support Crunch’s’ member experience?
MN: We are very excited about our partnership with Motionsoft. Motionsoft offers one of the most extensive platforms for API integration that we have seen. It allows us to customize the member experience without ever leaving Crunch’s ecosystem. Motionsoft has built their technology with the large operators in mind. Years ago, we all made the mistake of building our own proprietary software that cost millions of dollars until we realized we should not be in the business of building software, but rather operate great clubs. Motionsoft has allowed many of the larger players in the industry to get out of the software business and reinvest those dollars back into their clubs where it belongs. They continue to challenge the industry to get better and I believe they will have a lot of success in years to come.
CS: What tips do you have for other member services professionals in the fitness industry?
MN: Don’t ever lose focus of the member. Like I said earlier, you cannot be good anymore, you have to be great. Focus on your teams. Your people will define how great of a company you are. Someone once told me, “There is no such thing as a silver medal in business.” I live by that saying every day. I wake up most days and go for an early morning run next to the Manhattan skyline where I ask myself, “What can I do today to make Crunch better than it was yesterday?”
For more information on Motionsoft visit https://www.motionsoft.net/.
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