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25 Oct 2019

Jose Teixeira: analysing data is 'key to understanding club members'
BY Tom Walker

SC Fitness tracks entries and exits of group exercise classes and use sensor cameras to get further usage data

SC Fitness tracks entries and exits of group exercise classes and use sensor cameras to get further usage data

Collecting and analysing data is paramount for any health club wanting to its improve service quality and retention, according to José Teixeira, head of customer experience at Portuguese fitness group SC Fitness.

Speaking to HCM, Teixeira explained how SC Fitness – which operates 35 health clubs across three separate brands – has used data to take the guess-work out of customer relationship management (CRM).

"We have a business intelligence department with two business analysts and a psychologist," Teixeira said.

"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."

Teixeira adds that analysing data has allowed the company to dispel some previously held assumptions about customer behaviours.

"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," he added.

"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."

He also revealed that, for SC Fitness, the most important factor for improving member retention was increasing individual usage.

"People who use the club more, stay as a member for longer," Teixeira said.

"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."

• To read the full interview with Teixeira, click here for the October issue of HCM magazine.



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