Don’t Desert CRM, Sweat it.


Share on LinkedIn

A number of media outlets have picked up on research issued last week by Sport England related to changes in sporting participation levels. The headlines could be summed up into the words “Gym bubble has burst” pointing to the fact that regular Gym attendance has reduced by 153,000 in the 6 months to March 2015.

The report describes the move away from Gym sessions and aerobic classes to other sports and activities notably running, cycling & tennis.

This is no surprise to me, I’m pleased to see so many people ditching a monthly Gym subscription in favour of more affordable and satisfying alternatives. I have long been of the opinion that annual Gym membership contracts were second only to CRM software subscriptions in terms of low levels of adoption and wasted £’s.

For those joining a gym as a means for health and fitness improvement, as opposed to an opportunity to socialise, the initial enthusiasm and regular attendance can soon trail off leaving only the monthly direct debit as a nagging reminder of user adoption failure.

That gradual disengagement, just like business CRM, can be influenced by a number of factors including a perception that it’s not working and there are no visible results, possibly priorities have changed, it becomes inconvenient and yes it hurts – essentially the gain not being worth the pain.

The reality of paid gym subscriptions is that, just like business CRM, many people begin with the best intentions – then fail, then at some point begin again only to fail once more for the very same reasons.

As with a CRM solution, there is a broad choice of Health Club and Gym brands some with expensive contracts that are difficult to get out of that include a package of features you don’t actually need.

The quality of the equipment and environment will differ between the providers and is likely reflected in the price point, but quality of the equipment from my experience has little influence on the fitness outcome. Because, just like business CRM, the equipment/platform/technology is not the most important determining factor in the outcome. More important is a clear focus on what you are trying to achieve, a high degree of motivation and expert guidance from an experienced personal trainer or expert advisor.

That expert guidance isn’t just about the safe operation of the machinery, it’s about the design of fitness programme that recognises the start point in terms of capability, a clear objective and reflects a reasonable rate of progression where visible improvement will maintain motivation.

So if you are just about to sign that direct debit for a Gym membership or a CRM subscription for your business, consider the following:
• No clear goal = success unlikely
• No plan aligned to that goal and no external support via an expert advisor = success unlikely
• Advisor with narrow knowledge & limited experience = success unlikely
• No monitoring and tweaking of the plan = success unlikely
• No perseverance & tenacity = success unlikely

Dean Carroll
Dean Carroll is a 15 year customer experience strategy & technology veteran, he leads the CRM Consulting Practice for Touchstone in London. Dean has worked for technology leaders such Microsoft and Vodafone, has built award winning consulting businesses and oversees transformational CRM projects that create sustained value.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here