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These days there is a mobile app for everything. You can catch a ride with Uber, get directions with Google Maps, track nutrition, manage bank accounts and much more. And since your members are constantly using their phones, it is the perfect way to stay in touch with them. After noticing this growing trend of people using mobile devices, Brick Bodies, with numerous locations in the Baltimore, Maryland area, decided to create a mobile app.
“We worked with an outside company to develop the app,” said Vicki Brick, the CEO of Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc. “We gave them our logo and the colors we wanted and they designed the app. We have open API’s, so most of the info flows from our website and other operating systems.”
Through the app, members can view class schedules and automatically schedule classes in their electronic calendars. Brick explained they can receive alerts and notifications about special events or operational information, as well as check-in to the club through their phone. “It enhances the member’s experience because it allows them to access information at the touch of a button,” she said. “It also helps with branding and is a constant reminder of the club on a phone screen, which is viewed multiple times a day.”
According to Brick, the biggest challenge with developing the app was properly educating members and staff about the app and its functionality. “Prior to the launch of the app, we met with our team to introduce our app and teach them about the features. We had all leadership positions download the app,” added Brick. “In order to educate the members about the app, we displayed information about the app on the website, in the club, via email blasts and through face-to-face communication with members at point of sale or in other areas of the club.”
Another key component to developing an app is keeping it fresh. Brick explained it is essential to keep the app updated with the most recent club information. “It is a constant work in progress,” she explained. “We needed to constantly inspect the info on the app to make sure everything is correct and up to date. We assigned a champion from our marketing team to inspect that.”
While launching an app might seem like a daunting task, Brick offered a few pieces of advice that might make the process a little smoother. “Make sure you have a champion who will constantly inspect the app and make sure information is correct and up to date,” said Brick. “Look at the user experience of the app through the eyes of the member. We live in a mobile world. Sixty to 70 percent of communication is through a mobile device. Make it easy for people to do business with you.”