Health Club Management November December 2017

Page 83


Cohesive integration DFC provides integration solution for Oldham Community Leisure’s facilities


usy leisure facilities will understand the importance of an exceptional customer relationship management (CRM) system. Adopting a joined-up approach for all operational functions is the key to a streamlined business, and this is often the catalyst that encourages fitness organisations like Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) to partner with leading Direct Debit collection bureau DFC.

SLEEKER ADMINISTRATION OCL is responsible for the operation and development of seven leisure facilities across Oldham. Its team continuously works hard to improve the health, wellbeing and activity levels of the town’s population. OCL partnered with DFC almost three years ago – a decision based on DFC’s cohesive integration solutions that dovetailed nicely with OCL’s CRM operation. Managing information, such as membership signups, changes and cancellations, from one central hub has made their administration process much more efficient and has reduced the number of different avenues from which information is received. Beyond this, having DFC manage its entire direct debit collection process has

Oldham Leisure Centre is one of seven facilities managed by OCL

taken a weight off OCL’s shoulders and given its busy internal team the time to work on the parts of the business that truly matter to the organisation. Peter Howson, head of CRM at OCL, says: “It’s so helpful having everything automated. DFC collects our money and everything is automatically updated to our current system. It’s allowed for a really unified approach and has saved a lot of time front of house.”


It’s so helpful having everything automated. DFC collects our money and everything is automatically updated to our current system Peter Howson, OCL head of CRM

Howson continues: “If you don’t have online joining for members in this day and age, you’re missing out.” Indeed, access to this service was the final encouragement OCL needed to join forces with DFC. Howson describes DFC’s online joining portal FastDD as the most effective OCL has encountered. He says: “It has allowed us to provide joining opportunities 24/7. We can also promote this channel, which encourages more people to sign up. We offer different monthly promotions and can add these to the portal really easily.” FastDD has been fully integrated into OCL’s current website, allowing

members to easily access it, and to be able to do so at their convenience. This organised, paperless approach to onboarding members has proved highly beneficial to OCL’s administration team. Member retention and credit control have also seen significant improvements. Since working with DFC, they’ve noticed a considerably positive upward trend in their collection rate and debt recovery. Howson says: “DFC also does all the chasing for us, so there’s no need for our staff to spend time on this. They are really efficient and very quick. The biggest change we’ve noticed in terms of targets is that our collection rate and debt recovery efficacy has improved. As far as the bottom line goes, they’ve made a massive difference.” With 70 per cent of all online direct debits coming through DFC’s online joining portal, OCL’s next move is to allow DFC full management of all their incoming memberships. They are currently working with DFC to transfer all processes across and look forward to DFC’s continued support. ●

©Cybertrek 2017 November/December 2017