Technology continues to transform the fitness industry. Exercisers can get access to workouts and nutrition plans at a touch of a button, track their health and fitness through wearable devices, and compete against famous athletes through virtual reality gamification.
The higher levels of interaction, communication and engagement between clients and fitness providers today is largely driven by technology. Management software has made it easier for you to streamline your services and expand your reach to members outside of your facilities.
How can implementing technology help boost revenue?
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You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrases ‘in the cloud’ and ‘cloud technology’ but may not know exactly what they mean or how they relate to your club. According to IBM, cloud computing is ‘the delivery of on-demand computing resources – everything from applications to data centres – over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.’
RightScale’s 2018 State of the Cloud report revealed that 81% of US enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy in place that enables them to do old and new things more easily, efficiently and economically. The cloud outsources a number of data-related functions, which means that clubs no longer need expensive, high-end computer hardware and software, or highly paid technicians on site. With the cloud, businesses don’t have to worry about software glitches, equipment breakdowns or safely securing vital information. The cloud provider does all the heavy lifting.
You can utilise the cloud to make tutorials, virtual classes, exercise tracking, create challenges & competitions and asset management – the ability to monitor, evaluate and maintain fitness equipment. All these features work towards streamlining your services and enhancing the member experience. The cloud also enables clubs to access real business intelligence to make smart business decisions. For example, if your cloud software data shows a low number of senior citizens using your facilities, you could schedule workout classes at off-peak times, giving older people an opportunity to enjoy your facilities in a quieter atmosphere, a very attractive prospect for those new to the world of fitness. As an added bonus, you’ll be maximizing your ROI by keeping your club bustling outside of peak hours.
The most important part of the cloud is not so much the technology, but the customer. In a digitized world, mobile apps are a key way to improve interaction with clients. This can be done by creating competitions and rewarding points to members who complete fitness challenges, and share their progress with other members. The purpose of a digital community is that it’s easily accessible from a smartphone and the community feature helps motivate members to stay focused and committed to their fitness journeys. The more motivated your members are, the more likely they are to keep you as their fitness provider of choice. Loyal members are also more profitable members for your club as they’re likely to keep using your facilities.
Offering coaching services to your clients is certainly nothing new. However, offering them digitally, without even meeting the trainer, is a different story. Thanks to the cloud, the need for physical, in-person coaching is reducing, as members opt for services that work around them, but most importantly, are available 24/7.
Training plan software can add a new dynamic to your service offering. Clients can visualize their progress and get detailed exercise and nutrition instructions. Using the software, you’ll be able to adjust a member’s plans quickly and easily. Offering a personalised online coaching service will also give you an additional revenue stream to tap into and help boost your retention.
To help members break out of a plateau, some clubs are offering alternative workouts, from Crossfit to High Intensity Training, to mix up workout routines. Technology software makes it easier for you to notify your clients about these classes, encourage members to join and to schedule these workouts into their calendars. Members appreciate variety, and offering them more choice will not only keep them interested in your services, but diversifying is also likely to attract new members to your club.
There are always add-on products or services that you can offer to your members as cross-sells or upsells. Wearables and body composition monitors are a great option, since they’re becoming increasingly popular and actually provide many benefits for both trainers and clients.
Fitness trackers, for example, help remind your client to keep constant and motivates them to reach their goal, such as distance walked or calories burned. Body composition monitors can help the personal trainer monitor the changes in their client’s body and adjust their nutrition or workout plan based on the client’s goals. Members can also sync the data extracted from wearables to their app so that they can check out their progress.
You could create your own merchandise and market your business as a team. Workout shirts, water bottles, and accessories are some examples of merchandise that you can offer. People enjoy being part of a team so if you provide them with something that makes them identify themselves with the team. This will not only give you an extra source of revenue but it will also increase client retention and acquisition if you market yourself correctly.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things can be applied to improve the customer experience and to make business processes more efficient, which ultimately leads to better retention and revenue increase.
Automatic access control is a good example of an application of the Internet of Things within fitness that is already in common use. Because modern systems no longer run locally, but via the internet, members can, for example, book a lesson with their mobile phone, after which they are automatically set to “present” when passing through the turnstile at a club.
In the future, this could, conceivably, alert an instructor about who’ll be coming to their class, or allow the snack bar attendant to have a member’s favorite smoothie waiting post-workout. The more you can improve upon the user experience, the more that members will buy from you.
Utilising cloud software enables you to have greater insight and knowledge into your members’ fitness journeys, and more resources to engage, interact and motivate them. It’s important to use technology to constantly improve the member experience. The more your members enjoy the services you provide, the more likely they are to keep coming back to your facilities and boost your revenue streams.