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The Leisure Media Company Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
The Leisure Media Company Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
features

HCM People: José Teixeira

SC 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

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
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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features

HCM People: José Teixeira

SC 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

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
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Let’s live in the future to improve today
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

Our results showed a greater than 60 per cent reduction in falls for individuals who actively participated in Bold’s programme
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
More features