Fitness Club Operators Improve Customer Experience Through Apps
As with just about every corner of the world, technology has found its place in the fitness industry. However, as club owners have long utilized business and back-end-driven innovations to manage their memberships, there is a renewed focus on customer-centric tech offerings in the wellness realm.
This has forced some club operators to adapt their mindset while moving towards a customer experience tech initiative. However, if there is one group that is used to adjusting over the last few years, it would be those in the fitness club industry. That is why many are quick to discover the benefits of these technological advances that can help lower operating and staffing expenses, acquire new patrons, and easily manage member data.
There are also two fundamental truths in the fitness club industry. First, customer experience is everything. It is essential to deliver what members want, such as enabling them to book classes and services, pay balances, participate in hybrid memberships, and gain rewards digitally – ultimately increasing brand loyalty. Second, if there is one thing that rings true about fitness club members is that they are usually on the go. Sedentary behind a computer is not their lifestyle.
That is why mobile apps are now enabling club operators to fully engage with their customers in new and innovative ways. By giving the power to the customer to manage their own experience, they can create the precise experience they desire – all without tying up valuable club resources and staff.
Management of Club Membership
Not every new member wants to come into a physical location to join for various reasons. New customers can sign up to join the club whenever and wherever it is convenient for them with a mobile app. An app also allows users to renew or upgrade their membership if needed, all without coming in person and spending valuable time working with a team member.
Control Over Classes
By utilizing a mobile app appointment platform, members can easily book classes (and cancel if needed), schedule training sessions, and check availability with the tap of a few prompts. They can filter appointments by the trainer, location, and occupancy and even join a waitlist if needed. And, if coming in person is not on their schedule for the day, some mobile apps link to pre-recorded or live stream classes for easy viewing.
Access to Data and Payments
Transaction history, recent visits, upcoming bills, membership agreements, and more are all easily accessible on a mobile app. Members can update their profiles and accounts, pay outstanding balances, buy gift cards, as well as keep track of their fitness schedule and progress without having to speak to a customer service representative.
Membership Rewards and Motivation
One aspect of managing a fitness facility is keeping members motivated. Many operators have turned to rewards programs, promo codes, or challenges to boost engagement and better the customer experience. Some mobile apps enhance these offerings by enabling customers to manage their rewards program through real-time viewing. In addition, gamification platforms that encourage challenges or reward members when goals are met are another way mobile apps encourage regular member visits.
Communication matters more than ever, and businesses are continually looking for new ways in which to engage their customers. Through mobile push notifications, members can be sent announcements, specials, and even daily motivation. Reminders can be sent for classes and notices for upcoming dues or contracts, keeping the club top of mind. Some platforms also suggest communication between members, offering encouragement and building a solid fitness community.
Adapting to the Adoption of a Mobile App
In the digital and on-demand technology age, it only makes sense to utilize the latest innovations to better the customer experience. Fitness club owners and operators are facing even more pressure these days, and mobile apps are one such way to lessen the burden of member retention and acquisition. The fewer barriers to effective engagement, the better experience for the member and operator.
About the Author
Carole Oat, a former large club operator for 15 years, is the National Sales Manager for Twin Oaks Software. She has a BA in Health & Fitness from Springfield College and has written & published numerous club management articles helping many business operators become successful.
Carole Oat, National Sales Manager