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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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HCM People: José TeixeiraSC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience

People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 10
José Teixeira says analysing data is key to understanding your members
José Teixeira says analysing data is key to understanding your members

What’s your back story?
I was a professional athlete in beach volleyball and studied a degree in Sports and Physical Education, before joining Sonae Capital in 2004. Starting as a sales consultant, I went on to be club manager, area manager, operations director and now head of customer experience for the group, overseeing projects, innovation and data.

What does your role as head of customer experience involve?
My role is to improve service quality and length of stay of our clients. Data is the key to this: we have a business intelligence department with two business analysts and a psychologist. Our company no longer has to make assumptions, we can work out the reason and support it with numbers.

We have a lot of data about members: not only information like age, gender, height, weight and health, but their length of stay, and their usage. We track entries and exits of group exercise classes and use sensor cameras to get further usage data, we profile clients, as well as monitor who is coming and who is leaving.

Has this data dispelled some previously held assumptions?
A lot of them. For example, we have found that overcrowding is much more important than both cleaning and maintenance in terms of its role in causing a member to leave. If there isn’t space to work out, because there aren’t enough treadmills or room in the class, they leave.

An instructor missing a class hurts the club a lot more than some hair in the showers. Cleaning and maintenance in the gym is important, but it is not as important as many would assume.

We also found that older people stay as members for longer: they have more stable lives, are more stable financially and move less. And people with a contract also stay longer.

People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more.

What is the most important factor for improving member retention?
Increasing usage. People who use the club more, stay longer. For each incremental visit per month, people stay 1.26 months longer as members. As soon as we sell a membership, we think about retention: our sales consultants book the assessment when closing the membership and then our fitness instructors help people to build a routine. New members are more likely to drop out, so it is important to get the first 30 days going well: we aim to get new members to come 12 times in the first 30 days.

We used to sell memberships and 20 per cent of the people never even came to the facility, because we didn’t make an appointment for an induction. Now 85 per cent or our new members attend assessments.

Are you using any other tools to build retention?
Group fitness classes are really good at building commitment, because the instructor can say at the end of the class to come back again next week. We are trying to create this similar interaction on the fitness floor, maybe by giving them a challenge, but also to keep developing our group exercise programme.

Our average length of stay is 20 to 24 months, but this can rise to three or four years for those who do fitness classes: people like it because the workout is measured in time, you know what you do, it’s social and you get results.

How can other operators improve their business intelligence?
Just an Excel spreadsheet does miracles. Many clubs don’t know simple information, such as how many males and females they have, how many of their members are boomers, or millennials, or their average usage in the first 30 days. This is all very easy information to find out.

Clubs need to track their own reality, finding out their member profile and who is joining and leaving. Every club is different – even within our clubs we see differences.

What’s the benefit of having a psychologist on the team?
Ninety nine per cent of the communication our fitness instructors have with members is about creating a routine and changing behaviour, which are all psychological questions. So, our psychologist is working on ways to improve the quality of communication with members, as well as informing our zero to 500 customer lifecycle, which is focused on keeping members engaged throughout the lifecycle.

Any future plans for the brand?
One of the things we’re looking at is how to integrate fitness and activity into everyday lives. All operators need to be looking to be multi-channel operators, so we can engage with our members 24/7, so that when they are not in the club they can still stream our classes, or do exercises set by instructors at the gym.

SC Fitness owns 35 clubs across three brands in Portugal

Solinca is a mid-market offering with pool and fitness, catering for every age from babies to seniors, with the most popular demographic being 40 year olds. Priced at €40-€50 per month, there are currently 20 clubs, with two more opening this year.

Purchased two years ago, Pump is a low cost chain of 14 clubs, which offer gym and group exercise classes, but no pool. Popular among younger people in their 20s and 30s, membership is €20-€35 a month. Three more will open this year.

SC Fitness owns one premium club, which was acquired last year and rebranded to One. It is similar to Solinca, but with higher quality equipment and materials, less members and higher retention. It costs €60-€65 a month and appeals mainly to an older demographic.

Pump is a low cost chain of 14 clubs, owned by SC Fitness
Solinca is SC Fitness’s mid-market offering, catering for everyone – from babies to seniors
Solinca is SC Fitness’s mid-market offering, catering for everyone – from babies to seniors
Pump clubs are popular among people in their 20s and 30s
Pump clubs are popular among people in their 20s and 30s
Teixeira says group exercise classes are great for building commitment in members
Teixeira says group exercise classes are great for building commitment in members
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/953236_865777.jpg
Jose Teixeira, head of customer experience at SC Fitness in Portugal, explains how analysing data is the key to understanding members and increasing retention
SC Fitness, Jose Teixeira,retention, data, customer experience, SC Fitness, Jose Teixeira
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features

HCM People: José TeixeiraSC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience

People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 10
José Teixeira says analysing data is key to understanding your members
José Teixeira says analysing data is key to understanding your members

What’s your back story?
I was a professional athlete in beach volleyball and studied a degree in Sports and Physical Education, before joining Sonae Capital in 2004. Starting as a sales consultant, I went on to be club manager, area manager, operations director and now head of customer experience for the group, overseeing projects, innovation and data.

What does your role as head of customer experience involve?
My role is to improve service quality and length of stay of our clients. Data is the key to this: we have a business intelligence department with two business analysts and a psychologist. Our company no longer has to make assumptions, we can work out the reason and support it with numbers.

We have a lot of data about members: not only information like age, gender, height, weight and health, but their length of stay, and their usage. We track entries and exits of group exercise classes and use sensor cameras to get further usage data, we profile clients, as well as monitor who is coming and who is leaving.

Has this data dispelled some previously held assumptions?
A lot of them. For example, we have found that overcrowding is much more important than both cleaning and maintenance in terms of its role in causing a member to leave. If there isn’t space to work out, because there aren’t enough treadmills or room in the class, they leave.

An instructor missing a class hurts the club a lot more than some hair in the showers. Cleaning and maintenance in the gym is important, but it is not as important as many would assume.

We also found that older people stay as members for longer: they have more stable lives, are more stable financially and move less. And people with a contract also stay longer.

People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more.

What is the most important factor for improving member retention?
Increasing usage. People who use the club more, stay longer. For each incremental visit per month, people stay 1.26 months longer as members. As soon as we sell a membership, we think about retention: our sales consultants book the assessment when closing the membership and then our fitness instructors help people to build a routine. New members are more likely to drop out, so it is important to get the first 30 days going well: we aim to get new members to come 12 times in the first 30 days.

We used to sell memberships and 20 per cent of the people never even came to the facility, because we didn’t make an appointment for an induction. Now 85 per cent or our new members attend assessments.

Are you using any other tools to build retention?
Group fitness classes are really good at building commitment, because the instructor can say at the end of the class to come back again next week. We are trying to create this similar interaction on the fitness floor, maybe by giving them a challenge, but also to keep developing our group exercise programme.

Our average length of stay is 20 to 24 months, but this can rise to three or four years for those who do fitness classes: people like it because the workout is measured in time, you know what you do, it’s social and you get results.

How can other operators improve their business intelligence?
Just an Excel spreadsheet does miracles. Many clubs don’t know simple information, such as how many males and females they have, how many of their members are boomers, or millennials, or their average usage in the first 30 days. This is all very easy information to find out.

Clubs need to track their own reality, finding out their member profile and who is joining and leaving. Every club is different – even within our clubs we see differences.

What’s the benefit of having a psychologist on the team?
Ninety nine per cent of the communication our fitness instructors have with members is about creating a routine and changing behaviour, which are all psychological questions. So, our psychologist is working on ways to improve the quality of communication with members, as well as informing our zero to 500 customer lifecycle, which is focused on keeping members engaged throughout the lifecycle.

Any future plans for the brand?
One of the things we’re looking at is how to integrate fitness and activity into everyday lives. All operators need to be looking to be multi-channel operators, so we can engage with our members 24/7, so that when they are not in the club they can still stream our classes, or do exercises set by instructors at the gym.

SC Fitness owns 35 clubs across three brands in Portugal

Solinca is a mid-market offering with pool and fitness, catering for every age from babies to seniors, with the most popular demographic being 40 year olds. Priced at €40-€50 per month, there are currently 20 clubs, with two more opening this year.

Purchased two years ago, Pump is a low cost chain of 14 clubs, which offer gym and group exercise classes, but no pool. Popular among younger people in their 20s and 30s, membership is €20-€35 a month. Three more will open this year.

SC Fitness owns one premium club, which was acquired last year and rebranded to One. It is similar to Solinca, but with higher quality equipment and materials, less members and higher retention. It costs €60-€65 a month and appeals mainly to an older demographic.

Pump is a low cost chain of 14 clubs, owned by SC Fitness
Solinca is SC Fitness’s mid-market offering, catering for everyone – from babies to seniors
Solinca is SC Fitness’s mid-market offering, catering for everyone – from babies to seniors
Pump clubs are popular among people in their 20s and 30s
Pump clubs are popular among people in their 20s and 30s
Teixeira says group exercise classes are great for building commitment in members
Teixeira says group exercise classes are great for building commitment in members
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/953236_865777.jpg
Jose Teixeira, head of customer experience at SC Fitness in Portugal, explains how analysing data is the key to understanding members and increasing retention
SC Fitness, Jose Teixeira,retention, data, customer experience, SC Fitness, Jose Teixeira
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Featured supplier: Incorpore: Creating a fitter, happier and more productive workforce
Inactivity is described by The Department of Health as the ‘silent killer’ of our generation.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: active-net unveils Gen Z-themed agenda
Active-net 2020 has revealed the agenda for the two-day educational, networking and business meetings event, which takes place next month.
Opinion
promotion
Gyms need to look at ways to deploy technology that helps them engage with customers on a human level. This can be done by encouraging customers to leave as much real-time feedback as possible
Opinion: Customer Feedback: the Good, the Bad and the ‘Could be Improved’ Why health clubs need to take action in 2020 to retain their New Year customers
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Wattbike AtomX
Wattbike
Join our tribe. Become powered by Wattbike. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EZ-Runner Systems Ltd
With over 600 clients worldwide in Spa, Golf, Health Club, Hotel and Kids Play Leisure, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Pavigym
PAVIGYM is the premier innovator of flooring and interactive solutions for the global fitness industry....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
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FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
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Derby City Council
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Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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