Can fitness providers live up to the dizzy heights of today’s customer expectations?


Today, we live in a world dominated by social media, giving consumers a voice louder than ever before. A world in which the customer is always right – even when they’re not.

Consumer power and choice is abundant, with much less time and attention to give. Yet they demand more. Fitness brands and providers ignoring this, do so at their own peril. Adapt or die.

We’ve gone from a just a few marketing channels through which brands spoke AT their customers, to a multi-channel landscape in which the customer and conversation is King.

People seek and expect a more individual and personalised experience, reminiscent of the village convenience store days at the turn of the century. But delivered with the convenience and speed they’ve come to expect across all of their consumer interactions.

While customer service values may be rooted in century old principles, the environment through which fitness providers can deliver on today’s customer service expectations, has changed beyond recognition.   

For those willing to listen and adapt, we believe the opportunity is immense. If there ever was an industry in which the customer is king, it’s fitness. The very nature of its intent to serve is based wholly on the individual and meeting his or her goals.

So what do fitness customers expect from you today? We’ve outlined the most important approaches you can adopt to anticipate, respond to and meet growing client expectations, to deliver a positive customer experience that helps your business thrive;

  • Trust – Customers want to trust their health and hard earned cash are in the right place. So they look to their peers for validation, largely in the form of reviews and social proof. There’s nothing more powerful than endorsement from those who have already experienced your services. In fact, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, with over two-thirds of consumers (68%) willing to pay 15% more for the same product or service if they’re assured they will get a better experience (Source: Podium 2017 State of Online Reviews). Keep service levels up and the reviews and ratings will roll in.
  • Convenience – The way people want to exercise has changed. So too has the way they want to manage their fitness experience. There are more fitness options than ever before and people want the freedom to try new things, signing up to a range of different activities whenever they want – whether they’re in town for just a few days or want to spice up their normal regime. As a fitness host, cater to the varying needs of customers, so any customer can book you when and how they want 24/7, saving them (and you) time.
  • Confidence – Consumer protection is key, especially today with the new consumer data GDPR regulations coming into force this month. Purchase confidence is perhaps even more essential. Customers want to know that they will get the promised value and if they don’t, they want to know they are protected. Establishing a framework that manages and delivers on this will greatly enhance your customer experience, ensure satisfaction and drive loyalty.  

While the paradigm has shifted and the power lies significantly more with the consumer, if you embrace and leverage the technologies available, you can create a customer experience that delivers on the personal expectations and demands of today’s fitness consumer.  

In fact, that’s exactly why we created fibodo. We’re passionate about delivering a fitness experience that works for the provider and the customer, in a way that builds sustainable relationships. Our platform is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s fitness consumer, to achieve true customer satisfaction.

If you’d like to know how we meet the promises covered in this article and help you meet your customer’s expectations, you can sign up to our free plan for a taster or give one of the team a call and we’d be happy to chat.

Under the spotlight: The GDPR


Four little letters you need to know about..

Data protection. Maybe not something you’ve given much thought to. Until now – there’s no escaping the GDPR noise. So whether you store your clients’ personal details in folders, spreadsheets or don’t really have a system, data protection is something every PT/coach needs to understand.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new European legislation that comes into force on 25 May affecting personal data. If you haven’t already, this means you need to review the way you collect and store personal client data, to make sure it’s protected. So it’s time to gen up.

Firstly, why bother?
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Overlook the GDPR and you could face eye-watering fines of up to four per cent of your annual turnover if, for instance, you got hacked or lost a clients’ data and they report you to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Thanks to smartphones, computers, the net and social media we accumulate data at an alarming rate. Our lives will be increasingly determined by data held about us, yet it’s more open to compromise than ever – just ask MyFitnessPal, Yahoo! or Uber.  “The GDPR brings data protection bang up to date, giving us greater control of our personal data – how it’s collected and held, by whom and for how long,” explains Raoul Lumb, data protection associate at law firm SM&B.

Where do I start?
Begin by getting organised. Think about what clients’ data you store, why you’re keeping it, whether you have permission to do so, how you manage it, where it’s kept, who has access to it and for how long. “Map it out so there’s no confusion then work out what’s compliant and what you don’t have consent for,” advises Lumb.

Taking ‘before and after’ pictures, storing client measurements and personal health information – all day-to-day occurrences for PTs /coach and all fine under the news rules, as long as you’ve validly obtained consent. Even if a client specifically asks for, say, performance monitoring, it’s best to ensure you have written consent.

Here’s the legal blurb: Consent must be explicit, rather than implied, and freely given after a request in clear, plain language. You must be able to explain why you’re collecting personal data, how you’ll use it and have records proving consent was given. Under the GDPR, a client can also ask to be ‘forgotten’ and all their data must be immediately removed from your system and records – both paper and digital.

A helping hand
If you’re reading this with a sinking heart, software can make the process a whole lot easier. fibodo’s booking management platform offers a live planner, real-time booking with secure payment processing, allows for storage of client data, whilst creating and sending booking emails. “It’s completely GDPR compliant and sets the PT/ coach up for the future, so no more haphazard bundles of client paperwork that could easily fall foul of the law,” explains Anthony Franklin, CEO and Founder of fibodo. “PTs and coaches using fibodo can also be confident all GDPR bases are covered.”

Keep it safe
We all know making every password our cat’s name isn’t clever. But once the GDPR goes live, adopting strong passwords and encryption is an absolute must. “If you were hacked, but have proper data encryption, that data is useless to an attacker,” says Lumb. “We all expect businesses to keep our details safe. Get this right and your clients will know you respect them and be more loyal.”

Find out more
https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment-toolkit/
https://www.datahubclub.com/docs/The_GDPR.pdf
https://www.fibodo.com

 

Just pay me… please!

Imagine a world where every client pays on time, every time. A world free of those awkward calls about cancellation fees after another client no-show. Now imagine your very own personal assistant, one that fits perfectly in your pocket, collects payments on time and deals with cancellations – all without you having to lift a finger. Would you be in? We think so.

 
Running your business using fibodo means less sweat over the biggest pain points in trainers and coaches – that ongoing song and dance when it comes to collecting payments and cancellations. On fibodo, when a client books a session with you, our automated system takes payment upfront at the time of booking and only refunds a client that doesn’t show up in line with your cancellation policy, saving you hassle, time and energy. Win, win!

We built fibodo to make life easier and solve problems for trainers and coaches . As fibodo Chairman and JJB Sports’ former CEO Tom Knight, explains, “It can be really hard when you’ve developed a personal relationship with a client to charge them for a missed session if they haven’t remembered to cancel within 24 hours. Often trainers and coaches just allow clients to rebook, and don’t charge, so they lose out and don’t maximise their earning potential. fibodo removes that problem and does all the admin – it’s totally hassle free. The platform also automatically processes customer refunds, if for whatever reason the coach has to cancel.

Better still, this tranquil picture of the world is absolutely free, so if you haven’t already, sign up with fibodo for your business and get going today.

GDPR – no sweat with fibodo

We’re in the business of making your life easier and the General Data Protection Regulations  (GDPR) kicking in next month are no exception. We’ve been working closely with our lawyers to ensure fibodo is fully GDPR compliant, so you don’t have to worry about making sure you meet the requirements.

Briefly, GDPR is a regulation enforced by EU law to protect individual personal data. This means any business, big or small, will need to review the way they collect, store and use personal consumer information. Those found to be non-compliant could face hefty fines.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) outlines 12 key steps in preparation for GDPR day, the 25th May 2018. This means a lot of work in reviewing, adjusting or creating new procedures. Good news for trainers and coaches using fibodo, as our booking management platform is fully GDPR compliant – nothing to do or worry about (you’re welcome!)

If you’re going it alone, don’t let the change scare you too much – just remember to be open, honest and transparent with every aspect of your data and handle it with respect. It can be a lot to get your head around, but as a fitness business owner, we recommend you focus on a few key areas:

  • Transparency – ensure crystal clarity on how you use any client data you store and include this in your privacy policy or terms and conditions.
  • Consent – it’s critical you get explicit agreement from all clients or potential clients before you contact them with any marketing or promotional communications
  • Audit – A thorough audit of all your current data, how you handle it and what you do with it will reveal any areas you need to update or change
  • Removal – make sure you have a way of erasing data forever if a client indicates that they no longer wish to be maintained on your systems, their data must always be erased
  • Third party data – If you engage with any external data providers or partners, keep a clear outline of any data processing agreements

If you’re keen to save yourself the GDPR headache, you can sign up and get started on fibodo today – setup is quick and easy. Or if you’d like more information on how fibodo takes care of GDPR for you, please feel free get in touch, support@fibodo.com.

Start the year as you mean to go on..

Is YOUR business FIT for Purpose?

Independent businesses are going through an interesting time. Consumers expect a quicker, more personalised experience, and understanding the motivation behind each customer’s purchase, brings a need to embrace technology and social media.

All customers are different, with diverging wants and needs that they expect you to understand and meet. When these individuals are treated like a sales statistic, it becomes harder for you to foster a sense of loyalty.

There’s no denying it, the world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital. People are consuming more and more and purchasing on a daily basis – on mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers at work – and those that have not yet incorporated this in their growth strategy, need to adapt fast.

Making bookings on mobile is becoming the norm for consumers. They expect to be able to browse via mobile site, or app, without encountering any significant issues. As online booking moves more into the mainstream, consumers will be less forgiving if you don’t provide a seamless service. TechCrunch estimates that by 2020, 90 percent of mobile device users will have made a mobile payment.

 

A big challenge for businesses of any size is adapting to change, how to embrace emerging technologies and incorporate them in to the day to day. From a big picture perspective, the simple fact is that the internet is disrupting every known industry; so adapt or be left behind.

As a business owner, this is a situation where you can continue on a path of declining businesses or recognize how you can transform your business.

If you examine the most innovative companies in every industry, you will see that they recognized how the internet is driving change by taking advantage of an emerging trend or technology, thinking about how that trend changes people’s behaviour and then figure out the technology or technologies that can address those new needs, especially with mobile payment applications.

Willing customers are fast moving away from conventional methods of payment, if your business hasn’t yet figured out how to get prospective customers to open up their wallets on the move, then maybe now’s a good time to start the year by checking out an online payment tool if you haven’t already…

Anthony Franklin, Founder
Learn more about hosting with fibodo.

 

It’s not a digital revolution, we are a digital society!

We live in a material world, a society where consuming is as easy as pushing a button. we can pretty much find, buy and do everything online and whilst mobile. Through widely available and easily adopted open technology you can book a holiday on a bus, send money via text message, book cinema tickets in 2 clicks and order a taxi within minutes of your location. It’s online, it’s mobile and it’s all about now. We are not involved in a ‘digital revolution’ anymore, we are part of a digital society.

A recent survey confirmed only 5% of sporting activities are booked online, it’s crazy to think about the opportunities that are being missed. The majority of consumers are now digital, so it is simply about being a part of this community, contributing, helping to build and shape it, acting with, not dictating against.


We are a mobile nation; In fact, during a recent sports initiative over 70% of searches were made by phone or tablet. The biggest increase in internet use is cited among 16-24 year olds, almost tripling from 10 hours and 24 minutes each week in 2005 to 27 hours and 36 minutes by the end of 2014. Over 3 hours per day. Online shopping is now a default – total online sales were forecast to reach £52.25 billion in 2015, vs £44.97 billion in 2014.

The number of cash transactions will drop to just under 13 billion by 2023, while the number of cashless transactions – including cheques, credit cards, debit cards, contactless cards, direct debits, and standing orders – will rise to over 27 billion.

To get Britain active we need not look any further than the world we already live in, using the tools and infrastructure we have at hand to embrace our digital society.

Anthony Franklin, Founder

Learn more about hosting with fibodo.

Taekwondo Improves Golf – Really?

At fibodo, we often witness firsthand the incredible fitness benefits that sports provide for professional sports people.

Take Taekwondo for example. Not only is it great for your physical and mental health, but you can use it to enhance and take other sports to new levels.

Taekwondo compliments golfers of all levels, and helps to restore, improve and maintain optimal functional movement patterns and maximise golf performance.

Why?

Well, Taekwondo is ultimately about proper breathing, high levels of stability, internal strength and balance.

To find out more, we spoke to Paul Wesselingh, the 2013/14 European Seniors Golf Tour number one.

Paul has actively engaged in Taekwondo to aid his game.

Golf and Taekwondo are worlds apart,
Is that a fair assumption?

Yes I agree. Golf and TaeKwonDo are so completely different and really are not an obvious combination. I took up TaeKwonDo again in the early 90s, having originally started it when I was at college. I only took it up again as a fitness opportunity when I was a club professional, when I felt I needed something to take my mind off golf, and during the winter months. I excelled at it and soon became a 2nd Dan black belt. The problem with TaeKwonDo is that it is generally a contact sport which could also results in injuries, so I always had to be careful.

Do you think practicing Taekwondo enhances your game as a golfer?

It obviously made me fitter, more flexible, and the mental awareness was relevant to golf. However since the age of 45 I prepared for the Seniors Tour by and reduced the amount of contact Taekwondo, but still enjoyed practicing its various aspects.

Can you incorporate Taekwondo techniques into a game of golf? Can you give us a few examples?

Besides mental awareness, the big thing with TaeKwonDo is that it is an explosive sport in relation to the movements such as kicks and punches. That can be good obviously for the power move to generate club head speed.

Are there any classes that are specifically designed for golfers? If not have you thought about starting one?

I am not aware of any classes designed for golf. If someone was to use TaeKwonDo as a fitness program for golf, I would advise they stay away from the contact element such as sparring and competitive fighting, but it certainly offers in maintaining fitness, and does support core muscle groups. 

To find out more or to contact about Paul Wesselingh, you can visit his website here.