Dartmouth College and AudienceView have been long-time partners and no one knows the value of that relationship more than athletics ticket manager Sarah Swanson. Since joining the Ivy League school in 2013, Sarah has guided the department’s ticketing and e-commerce business, taking the reins to improve the overall experience for students, employees and community members who take part in campus programs and events.
Ivy League schools have a reputation for developing high-achieving students that excel in their chosen fields and Dartmouth is no different. With enrollment of approximately 6,400 in 2016, Dartmouth departments have a finite pool of students to entice with extra-curricular activities. Each is vying for the same students and customers within the small community of Hanover, New Hampshire, so offering the best possible experience goes a long way to keep people coming back.
For years, Dartmouth’s fitness classes, gym memberships and locker rental renewals were processed manually. Pardon the pun, but it was as “old school” as you could get. Not only did people physically come to the fitness center office and fill out paper forms to register or renew, they were paying by cash or check because Dartmouth couldn’t accept credit cards for these programs and services.
By the early 2010s, this was an increasingly challenging situation for the school’s Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program (FLIP) classes. Each term, there are 75 FLIP classes designed to increase overall general fitness and health awareness within the college community. Approximately 700 people purchase various classes each term, generating over $250,000 each academic year.
Dartmouth modernized registration by utilizing more of what AudienceView has to offer and integrating all its FLIP classes into the platform in fall 2013. This move to keep up with the times also supported the objectives of FLIP by making good habits incredibly convenient, thereby furthering the success of the program.
Initially, this was done so that credit cards could be accepted as a form of payment. However, with all FLIP classes online by the second semester of that school year, attendees could also register while they were on the go via the mobile device of their choice or from the comfort of home.
With FLIP classes online, Dartmouth was ready to “FLIP-the-switch” with additional e-commerce options. The following year, Sarah transitioned gym membership and locker rental renewals into AudienceView.
All 1,400 paying gym members, including employees who receive a discounted rate, now get an email when a membership renewal drive begins. Members can easily complete their renewal transaction online and take advantage of any available discounts. If a member does not accept an offer to renew the first time they are approached, Dartmouth reaches out again using automated email marketing tools each time there is a price break. School employees can renew their membership online too and get access to special discounted pricing. Lockers are offered for renewal in the same transaction for full-price, discounted and employee members.
As of 2017, daily fitness passes are also being sold through AudienceView. Temp staff at the front desk simply select a day pass in the AudienceView point-of-sale (POS) system, select the customer and accept payment. This has allowed Dartmouth to accept credit cards for day passes for the first time.
- Over 90% of day pass revenue in the 2016-2017 school year has been processed via credit card. “Previously, we were only accepting cash and checks. People are not being turned away anymore because they don’t have cash and we are able to collect customer data too,” explains Swanson.
- Gym memberships generate approximately $500,000 in annual revenue and a single platform is now used in place of two systems previously.
- By 2017, online FLIP class revenue increased to more than 70% (up from 51% in 2013).
“The division that is responsible for this program is ecstatic - they have fewer people coming into their office during the first week of classes. In the past, they had to hire temporary staff, fill out paper forms and create spreadsheets. With AudienceView, everything is automated and easy to reconcile. Revenue has also increased significantly and they no longer have to hire temp staff during registration week,” says Swanson.
So how does the membership feel about Dartmouth’s systems catching up with the times?
“Members of our college community are super stoked about the changes. They can now do things online, on their own time using their mobile device or computer. They don’t have to wait in lines of 10, 15 or more to talk to someone and our staff don’t have to handle those long lines anymore either,” says Swanson.