Three industry experts share how members use and benefit from their clubs’ mobile app.
When a club’s mobile app is integrated into operations, it can either positively or negatively affect members’ experience. That’s why it’s important to ensure the connection between your software and patrons is made attentively, securely and easily. A successful app not only saves members time but also sets the stage for a more personalized and connected relationship.
In the latest Thought Leaders digital roundtable, Ben Ludwig, the COO of Traction Group LLC, an F45 Training company; Chip Pelasky, the vice president of sales for TruFit Athletic Clubs; and David Murray, the head of digital product at F45, sat down to discuss how to use club apps to positively impact member experience.
Before letting your members get a hold of your app, a best practice is to have you and your team delve into it to understand its abilities, predict or solve its shortcomings and know how it can best work for your club.
By knowing your app, you can then better share that knowledge with others. Murray outlined the features of the F45 app including common functions like booking classes, joining waitlists and checking class schedules. Beyond that, members can also view meal plans, recipes, leaderboard profiles and more. The team worked to improve the technology and to ensure users can easily have their health information at their fingertips.
When implementing a mobile app for your organization, you should always reexamine it to ensure it provides a frictionless member experience. While the F45 app has many features, Murray explained how the team had to reevaluate its operations and look for new features to make it more useful.
“The baseline for our app ecosystem was pretty fragmented,” said Murray. “We did a lot of work through 2023 to bring it all together. Probably the biggest feature we launched was assessments which is the ability for members to track their progress. It’s actually a companion to the workouts in the studio.”
Tracking data from apps can not only benefit members, but it can also help you keep track of popular classes among members. Pelasky is working to use TruFit Athletic Clubs’ data in an upcoming milestones program where members will receive prizes for completing so many classes. This will help the club retain members which is a current key focus.
“I’m trying to get as much information and data out of these analytics that I can so we’re able to track their workouts,” explained Pelasky. “I want to recognize the members’ efforts and share that with our community where everybody’s getting recognition.”
Similarly, Ludwig noted how data from a club’s app can also be used for personalized messaging to help with retention. Understanding what classes a member is taking, and at what time, can help determine what marketing promotions they should receive and individualize customer service communications.
“I want to make sure each member feels as special as possible,” said Ludwig. “If we can do a good job at that, we accomplish what we want to accomplish. We help them want to come back because they feel wanted, like they’re a part of the community and they’re getting results.”
For Ludwig, promoting and building community through using the should be started during the onboarding process and continue gradually. Getting them to buy into the gamification and encourage app usage by slowly showing off more features can extend the lifetime members.
“It’s our job to make sure we engage them in that gamification from Day One,” said Ludwig. “You don’t need to sell them on all of the features on the app. You need to just say, ‘This is your next step. Download the app, and here’s what we’re going to do with it.’ Make it a part of the onboarding.”
Explaining the app during onboarding was also important for Pelasky.
Walking members through the basics of the app personally and showcasing the promotions, events and challenges marketed on it increases the likelihood of them engaging with it. Pelasky said this also further promotes community in the club.
“You have to build the value and the benefits of your app,” explained Pelasky. “I think it really is the heartbeat of the community and club. They’re in the gym an hour or hour and a half, three to four days a week. They’ve got the app 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s nonstop.”
Today, when technology has become a part of the everyday, having a successful app for your club is vital for member experience. When used effectively, you connect your members to their own health journey and show you’re invested and committed to their goals.
Watch the full conversation, below.