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.

 

PRESS RELEASE: fibodo – Winners of the Tennis Industry Association UK’s (TIA UK) Innovation Award!

London 14th December 2017 – fibodo, the booking management software for sports and activity coaches, won the 2017 Tennis Industry Association UK’s  (TIA UK) inaugural Tennis Innovation Award for the UK.

The Innovation Awards recognise products and services that make the most positive impact to tennis in the UK, and were launched by the TIA UK in association with tennishead. Jo Carter, Publishing Executive at tennishead said:

“While improvement in racket technology continues apace, in many areas the sport has not moved on. We need innovation: products, services and marketing tools that increase reach, interest and accessibility to keep the sport appealing and relevant to all age groups.

The Innovation Awards recognize and promote those people and companies who take risks; who show initiative, drive and determination; and who have the imagination to spot business opportunities that will fill gaps in the market”.

The TIA UK officially announced fibodo as 2017 winners of the UK Tennis Innovation Award at the Business of Tennis Forum at The Queen’s Club yesterday.

The judging panel was from a range of sectors across the tennis industry and includes representatives from the ITF, LTA, the All England Club as well as tennishead:

Steve Matthews  – Chair TIA and chair of the judging panel
Dr Stuart Miller – ITF Senior Executive Director of Development and Integrity
Alastair Marks – LTA Participation Director
Ross Matheson – Manager of the All England Lawn Tennis Club
Bridget Marrison – Director of Advantage Media Network and publisher of tennishead
David Minton – Founder and Managing Director of Leisure Database Ltd
Jon Southcombe – Group Chief Executive Officer of RMI Ltd

Steve Matthews said:

Tennis is a sport that quite rightly protects and values its traditions, but like all sports it needs to balance this with customer lifestyles and new technologies in order to sustain and grow. Other sports may have embraced technology more readily but there is certainly a lot going on in tennis that people don’t know about!

TIA UK is dedicated to promoting tennis businesses in the UK and the Innovation Awards is a perfect vehicle for us to help promote fibodo to tennis with innovative products and services that will enhance the tennis experience for all”.

Anthony Franklin, Founder CEO of fibodo, said:

I would like to thank the TIA UK for rewarding fibodo with the Innovation 2017 award, in association with tennishead. It is greatly appreciated by everyone at the company, providing us with the drive to continue innovating and breaking down the barriers to participation in Tennis.

Making a positive impact in the Tennis industry is a key goal for fibodo, and we’re looking forward to announcing a number of key partnerships in the New Year, that will bring new audiences to the Sport.

I would like to invite all Tennis Clubs & Coaches that are keen to embrace technology to get in touch. The more feedback we receive at the moment, the more we can refine our platform so it meets the needs of all Club, Coaches, Members and Social Players alike.

We believe technology should work and make things simple, so we created fibodo to tennis, showing its initiative products and services, and we appreciate that the TIA UK has recognised this.”

About fibodo

fibodo (find it. book it. do it.) is a live booking management platform for activity Hosts, to list sell and manage their time more effectively. It gives a sports and activity professional, club or business the online tools to sell their time-based products and services, whilst engaging customers through a secure end-to-end booking experience.

fibodo is also good for corporates. fibodo’s b2b arm provides companies with a personalised private activity hub that allows them to improve not only their employee health and well-being, but also improve performance through greater engagement and involvement.

Registered office: fibodo Ltd, 418 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regents Street, London. W1B 5TD
Registered Company: 08904097

Learn more about fibodo.

Happy employees are productive employees

 

It’s no secret that happy employees work harder and stick around for longer. People are more productive when they know their work is valued. That’s why 88% of employers think that employee benefits are key part of motivated workforce.

Making sure your team are happy and satisfied can go a long way to increasing productivity and cutting your recruitment costs. By engaging your employees in a way that has a positive impact on their lives you create tangible links between their happiness and your business.

Companies need to build a more positive company culture and team engagement, offering something that’s genuinely different – something that provides real value – that’s how you set your company apart from the crowd. It shows that you view your employees as more than just cogs in the machine, it shows that you care about their overall quality of life too.

Nurture those links, restructure the wellness benefits, and provide activities that suit employees on an individual level.

Learn more about fibodo.

Creating the culture around pre-booking activities..

For too long, restaurants, activity clubs and salons relied on the use of paper diaries and basic enquiry forms to confirm reservations; having to take deposits over the phone by scribbling down card details, and manually printing off and scanning pre-order forms to complete the process. Managers have had to fully trust their staff to deliver a premium, albeit labour-intensive pre-booking service.

Times have changed. Customers no longer want to risk being crammed at their destination, nor do they want to give card details over the phone, and crucially, don’t want to deal with a heap of paperwork to get booked into a venue or activity.

With the move away from a “cash society”, customers expect a seamless, easy process every time they plan to go out.

When booking activities, Millennials expect a seamless, hassle-free journey from the minute they make the initial enquiry. Having a system where every facet of the enquiry processes and booking is combined, is beneficial to conversions and customer retention. This can already been seen in both the restaurant and the travel industries, with both benefiting substantially from online booking and sales.

With technology at everyone’s fingertips, the sports and activity host now benefit from customers accessing their availability 24/7. Giving people the convenience of pre-booking activities can increase customers visits, even two more visits per year can significantly impact revenue.

So what is the future of this pre-booked service? Booking “your time” is only going to keep growing. Not only across the UK but into other major global cities, and then beyond into smaller localities. We are at the start of this revolution and the upside is on the scale of the bookable “time” market. Consumers are already there and willing, it just takes the industry to see this opportunity too. We need to persuade them to throw   away their paper diaries and take the leap to something more modern, with a ‘global’ perspective on their business.

Anthony Franklin, Founder
Learn more about hosting with fibodo.

UK ACTIVE: ACTION REQUIRED

 

Thanks to Steven Ward and ukactive for the thought provoking topics and inspiring speeches offered by some of Sport, Fitness, Government and Education’s industry leaders on what it means to address the issue of inactivity in the UK and more importantly, do something about it.

The clear message echoed by everyone in a position to take the microphone, which included the many experienced and opinionated audience members, is that for anyone offering a product or service designed to increase the heart rate, it is our collective duty to work together, collaboratively, to get the nation active.

It was a true delight to see so many delegates in a position of power from all areas of sports and fitness activity engaged and inspired to do their part.

Of the speeches I listened to, there were two statements from two engaging leaders that directly link to the functionality of fibodo and what it has always been designed to achieve;

From Lawrence Dallaglio OBE on the benefits of producing advertisements that create a sense of duty to get involved: campaigns like This Girl Can whilst hugely successful, lacked direction on exactly how to get active.

From the truly charismatic Sonia Wolsey-Cooper from AXA PPP, who provided an in depth review of just how low the cost of activity is comparison to the collective benefit both to employers and to the economy: it is the responsibility of every employer in the UK to promote the benefits of activity to their workforce, from signposting the number of steps to making a small contribution towards an activity.

As a statement to the industry, fibodo are here to make a difference, and to find every UK citizen an activity within walking distance, happening right now.

We are here to empower employers to tailor their wellness benefits, providing activities that suit their employees on an individual level.

We are here to expedite the work of advertising campaigns by helping their newly inspired and ready participants find the activities they so desperately want to get involved in.

And lastly but of huge importance, we are here to help anyone who has the qualification, time and willing to offer their services to energise the nation get up, get active, and achieve something life changing.

Megan Sowney, Commercial Director, fibodo

Learn more about fibodo.

PRESS RELEASE: fibodo opens up its Golf coaching to corporate clients

London 19th October 2017 – fibodo, the FREE booking management software for sports and activity professionals (hosts), released its much anticipated range of Corporate Gateway products at the employee benefits live 2017 exhibition, held on 10th -11th October, at Olympia London.

With 227 registrations taken over the 2 days, fibodo’s Gateway products proved extremely popular.  50% of the registrations originated from the Greater London area, with the rest of the corporate registrations evenly distributed throughout the UK.  The companies were mostly over 500 employees strong, but averaged 1500, representing an estimated 300k total workforce.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and Golf remains a prime activity that employees like to play.  The key corporate interest was ease of access to activity booking for their employees, at their preferred time, cost and location.  fibodo can provide activities near their work place or home or wherever convenient for employees who travel.  Corporate representatives also listed Golf Pro accreditation and customer feedback as important factors when searching on fibodo.

fibodo founder Anthony Franklin said, “We were absolutely delighted with the turnout for EBLIVE17, and how smoothly the whole event ran.  It was bigger, better and buzzier than we thought – the feedback about fibodo has been extremely positive – we are looking forward to continuing to expand and help companies further promote a more ‘get active’ culture in their organisations, whilst all the time driving participation in the Golf sector”.

Golf Pro’s and Golf Clubs interested in driving awareness and bookings through fibodo’s corporate channels, please contact:

www.fibodo.com/hosts
support@fibodo.com
+44 (0) 207 043 0043

About employee benefits Live

More than 2,000 rewards and benefits buyers attend the employee benefits show each year. With 19 years of research, insight and knowledge, employee benefits live are the leading source of information for HR professionals responsible for employee rewards. Reaching an audience of over 94,000 on a monthly basis, of which 70% are financial decision makers, employee benefits holds its place as the industry’s most trusted resource.

About fibodo

fibodo (find it. book it. do it.) provides online and mobile IT solutions, accessible to all. It gives an individual, club or business the online tools to sell their time-based products and services, whilst engaging customers through a secure end-to-end booking experience.

fibodo is also good for corporates. fibodo’s b2b arm provides companies with a personalised private online platform that allows them to improve not only their employee health and well-being, but also improve performance through greater engagement and involvement.

We believe technology should work, and make things simple, so we created fibodo.

Registered office: fibodo Ltd, 418 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regents Street, London. W1B 5TD Registered Company: 08904097