Practical Futurist Andrew Grill spoke at Technogym’s 2019 Digital Transformation Event recently.
He shares insights with HCM
everyone in this industry wants to improve things for the consumer,” says Andrew Grill. “I’d like you to consider three benefits to embracing digital: efficiency, effectiveness, and disruption. With just a few changes, you can start using digital to create better experiences for customers, so they stick with you longer.”
“Disruption happens when there are profits to be made, when there’s new tech available, and consumer demand forces change,” he says. “Every company needs to disrupt itself if it wants to adapt.”
Live Customers Or Digital Agents?
Our smartphones already know about our preferences and our routines. Grill predicts we’re not far away from having “digital agents” in everyday life.
“Smartphone data plus developments in Artificial Intelligence will lead to the creation of digital agents,” he said. “These will take over the mundane, replicable chores of life. Your customers will soon use digital agents to book classes, or to ask about membership, for example.
“This means your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. Digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it.”
Big Changes In Data
“Thanks to APIs, we can give other systems access to our data and let them process it. Make sure you can share data with anyone you work with. Do you have an API, and do you ask if partners and suppliers have an API strategy?“
“On the data front, GDPR is forcing us to sift through data to see what is relevant,” he said. “Think about the value exchange – why should customers give you their data? They have to trust you and know you’ll offer them something in return.”
The Customer Journey
“Data is powerful, and the customer knows it,” he says. “They can leave a gym any time, taking their data with them. This gives them the upper hand. Forward thinking facilities will use data to create a consumer experience that keeps people coming back.”
“Operators capture an enviable amount of data, but not everyone knows what to do with it - or even how much they have,” says Grill. “It goes beyond which products are popular, how long people stay, and what time of day different areas of the gym are busy.
“At the end of 2016, Transport for London carried out a trial, tracking travellers’ wifi use on the tube network. In just four weeks, they captured valuable data about journey times, routes, and commuter decisions. What could you learn from analysing wifi use in your facility?”
“A lot of data is proprietary, and you can only access it by asking the customer’s permission,” he explains. “This is a compelling reason for gym owners to buy digital. How can you work with fitness kit, and digital platforms like Technogym mywellness cloud, to access data and make it work for you and your customer?
“The more you can know about your users between gym visits, the more you can give them a reason to stay. Use data to make the entire customer journey work seamlessly, so they have no reason to go anywhere else.
“With a focus on increasing the length of gym memberships, data offers us a powerful way to create personalised customer journeys to extend retention and encourage loyalty.”