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Bluecoat Sports

Bluecoat Sports is a state-of-the-art health and fitness club based inside Christ’s Hospital School grounds. Originally built for the school, Bluecoats Sports was opened up for use by the wider community in the late nineties and the club has operated as a charity ever since.

After launching online booking a year and a half ago, Bluecoats found themselves faced with no-shows to fitness classes and facility hires. With Xn’s help, they implemented a penalty policy that benefited them and wider charities.

A penalty system that benefits everyone

In November 2018, Bluecoats Sports introduced a penalty system with a difference. Under the new system, every penny collected through fines goes straight to their chosen ‘charity of the quarter’.

The system, a bolt-on to Xn Leisure’s wider leisure management software, works by charging members a £4 fee every time they book onto a class or court but do not turn up.  

The initiative has been an instant success. In the first month, non-attendance decreased by an impressive 58% and they raised £552 for their first chosen charity, the British Heart Foundation.

Mike Abbott, Commercial Manager at Bluecoats Sports, said:

“We’ve always had a no-show policy, but previously we didn’t have the teeth to back it. We needed to do something more about non-attendance and increasing occupancy and it made sense to use an automated system. As a charity ourselves, we didn’t want to make a profit from this, so we donate the money raised from the penalty system to a different local charity 4 times a year.

“We have a really good working relationship with Xn Leisure and have been incredibly impressed with the penalty system so far.”

Bluecoat Sports relationship with Xn Leisure spans more than a decade. The pair originally joined forces to implement a centrally-hosted management solution at Bluecoat Sports, as well as hardware, like check-in kiosks, to facilitate the customer journey.

Xn Leisure’s penalty system works by creating a digital journey across a number of touchpoints, such as email and SMS reminders, finally triggering a fine when a member doesn’t check-in at reception prior to their class or court booking.

The penalty module has been fundamental in significantly improving centre participation. Even feedback from members has been particularly positive, with mutual agreement that the penalty system is necessary and supports great causes.

Andres Senior, Account Manager at Xn Leisure, said:

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the team at Bluecoats on overcoming the issue of non-attendance and in doing so improving their member experience. Members attending classes are usually very committed to their exercise program. There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to book their usual session, only to later find out places were available.

Xn’s online bookings makes it easy for members to book their classes, however it does tempt some customers to reserve a slot even when they are unsure whether they can attend. Sending text and email messages reminds them to cancel if they cannot be there and fast track kiosks make it easy to check-in and ensure everyone who does show up is recorded correctly. This provides staff the correct data and the confidence to challenge those who break the rules and ultimately improve the experience for every customer. Using the technology to raise funds for good causes is the perfect way to get your members to buy into the scheme and provide increased community benefits.”

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