As David Lloyd’s business success and expansion continued, we embarked together on an ambitious digital transformation programme.
David Lloyd Clubs is Europe’s premier health, racquets and fitness provider, with more than 100 clubs, 570,000 members and an 8,600-strong workforce. It runs more than 13,000 exercise classes every week and operates 1,400 tennis, squash and badminton courts.
With club and customer numbers growing fast, David Lloyd wanted to enhance the members’ experience, improve its understanding of how people were using the facilities, and reduce costs. This required an ambitious digital transformation programme that would touch every aspect of its business, creating a whole new suite of digital capabilities and significantly upgrading many of its existing systems.
An award-winning start
We first got involved when David Lloyd brought us in to complete its new online court and exercise-class booking system. This was such a success that it then asked us to deliver the next phase: the mobile booking apps. These too, were enormously popular with members: 85% of class bookings are now done via the apps. The app also won gold in the Leisure category at the UK [app] design awards.
Expanding our role with a full web replatforming and rebrand
Attention then turned to David Lloyd’s website. As part of its growth strategy, the business had a major prime-time television advertising campaign scheduled during the X Factor. This would encourage millions of viewers to visit the site.
In preparation, David Lloyd wanted to refresh the branding and bolster the site’s foundations, to ensure it continued to perform well under the unprecedented loads it was about to experience. As we had built the booking system and mobile apps to successfully handle large peaks of traffic, we were asked to rebuild the websites for David Lloyd’s UK and European brands. This involved a major technology replatforming, as well as a new user interface, which we worked on with David Lloyd’s design agency. Rigorous testing gave David Lloyd the confidence the new sites would perform when the advertising campaign aired, which they duly did.
Digital transformation partner
Having delivered three flagship projects for David Lloyd, we were now firmly established as its go-to digital transformation partner. And we kicked on from there, working strategically with its both in-house digital team and management to help shape the right portfolio of digital capabilities to support its growing business. We delivered new, integrated applications to replace paper- or spreadsheet-based processes. We built the tools to enable David Lloyd to personalise its customer experiences and help people get the most out of their memberships. We transformed many of the systems used by David Lloyd’s employees. And as the business grew, our analytics forecasts helped it plan ahead to ensure its digital infrastructure would continue to deliver the premium experiences associated with the David Lloyd brand. With the loads on some systems growing by as much as 50% year-on-year, future-proofing in this way is essential.
Better customer experiences and other benefits
David Lloyd’s digital transformation is already bearing fruit. First and foremost, it’s enabling better customer experiences whenever a member interacts with David Lloyd. The new website, booking system and mobile apps provide the convenience of self-service, and also mean reception staff spend much less time handling booking requests. Consequently, they’re able to focus more on providing excellent customer service. Meanwhile, the personalisation capabilities are enabling David Lloyd to provide a more tailored experience to every member, thereby increasing loyalty. The integrated, business-wide digital capabilities have also provided a step-change in David Lloyd’s understanding of how people are using its services. The reports it now has access to are enabling it to further refine its offerings to best suit the evolving needs of its members. And there are also the many cost savings and security enhancements achieved by replacing paper-based systems and spreadsheets with automated, digital capabilities.
The benefits of working with a single digital transformation partner
Kristian Merritt, Director of IT at David Lloyd Clubs, explains why having a single, accountable partner looking after its entire digital transformation has been of such benefit: “We really enjoy working with Softwire because they can bring their full range of digital capabilities to our programmes. This includes everything from strategic advice through to the user experience design and complex software delivery. Working with one accountable partner has enabled us to consistently deliver these flagship projects, often in quite tight timescales.
“Softwire take full responsibility for all our customer interaction channels, which means there’s always that strategic, big-picture thinking going on, even when they’re working on individual projects. What this has meant is that we’ve been able to create unified customer experiences across the web, mobile and in our clubs.”