Data - Keep it Clean

October 4, 2021

Profitable marketing starts with sound data and analytics. We’re working with Health Clubs on every Club OS Platform you can think of and we’ve learned how to tame the data and make it actionable. Upon first engaging a new client, we spend time, (often too much time!) sifting through piles of messy data to establish consistencies that enable the data to be used effectively.

The way in which member information is collected and entered into the OS is critical to the reliability of the database. Current and former member records (and Prospect Records) are the foundation to building a marketing database, and these records must be entered consistently and accurately.

Below are Best Practices from our data team that set base level expectations for staff when entering and updating database records. As a member-driven business, Member Data is the Health Club’s most valuable asset and attention must be given to its treatment for it to be useful.

Create a standards document for data entry and train employees on it.
• What fields are to be captured when entering a new Prospect or Member record? Further, which are required, and which are optional?
• When opt out requests are received, how is this captured in the CRM?

Consistently enter special event details so it’s trackable and useful.
• For example, to track everyone that attended a wine tasting at the club, a line in the notes field such as, "Attended Wine Tasting 10/10/2019", should be exactly that in every member that attended, so lists can be generated by member participation to assist with planning future events. Without clear direction to employees on how (& in which field) to enter this, they could enter the data anywhere or worse, nowhere!

A critical step in avoiding duplicate entries is to first search for the record to be added BEFORE adding it. They may already exist in the CRM and need only updates.

Standardize Membership Type names:
• Create naming conventions for the various Membership Types the club offers to make it easy to find all members of a certain type. For example, "Fit-Summer Family" indicates a “Fitness” membership and "Tennis-Single" indicates a “Tennis” membership.
• Create reports in the CRM that are used to verify and check system data by cross referencing accounting reports.
• Cross reference these reports with accounting teams to make sure there are no issues to be addressed. Typically, the accounting reports are the gospel, so any difference between the accounting reports and what is in the CRM can be easily addressed.

Keep member and prospect records updated with current contact information. Prioritize change of address, phone number and email with the same urgency as new billing information and have processes in place that direct staff on how to accept this info from members, and how to update it in the CRM.
• Online member portals make this a self-service option, but not one that members themselves won't prioritize as much as the club business will, so it benefits the business to periodically remind members to keep their contact and billing information current either online or in person at the club.

Every Club OS platform is unique in its structure, permissions and capabilities and we’ve managed to navigate our way to the “good” data for our clients. Our experience in working with client data is that is too often inconsistent and hampers club clients’ abilities to make use of the member data they own to guide business and marketing decisions. Examples of reasons clubs can use member data are many – hours of operation, class times, child-care availability, programming, event planning, new facilities and services, new member acquisition and more.

Follow these best practices to clean up your most valuable asset - your member data and use it to support business decisions and profitable marketing strategies. Have questions? Get in touch!

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