Crunch Fitness is just one club chain that’s reacting to the demands of the new tech reality. But every club has to decide their own digital direction.
“The challenge for clubs with technology adoption is knowing what solutions should be incorporated in a clubs’ business,” says Al Noshirvani, chairman and co-founder of Motionsoft and a charter member of IHRSA’s Innovation & Technology Advisory Council.
Noshirvani believes that club owners should think of technology services in two distinct categories:
- Operational-enhancing technology
- Member service-focused technology
Regardless of how your club may view innovation, Noshirvani insists that club owners need to stay on top of technology solutions and services.
“The main question for operators is how can we use technology to transform your club’s growth,” he says. “We need to start creating seamless synergies between how we’ve operated clubs in the past and the modern technology-enabled way our members use technology and navigate our collective club experiences. Operational and financial efficiencies are value drivers for owners and operators, but creating an integrated digital experience for our members must be our first priority if we’re going to streamline member services and improve retention at our clubs.”
Member Experience and the Human Touch
While Neff is an enthusiastic advocate of transforming customer engagement using cloud-based digital platforms, he knows that all these great technology services can’t replace the human touch.
“I believe that human interaction is important in the success of any health club, whether you're getting that through your personal trainers, your front desk, or your group fitness programs,” he says. “I think that’s one reason why studios have been so successful. They’ve created an environment where they can make a connection.”
But there are times when people can get in the way. Noshirvani says that it’s important for clubs to know when members would prefer to skip human contact in favor of efficiency.
“I think we forget that redesigning member experience is about their needs, not yours,” he says.
Neff agrees that it’s important to understand the difference between meaningful human interaction and inconvenience.
“When members walk into a facility, they don't want to sit at your front desk for 30 or 45 seconds,” he says. “People just want to get through, get started on their workout. Crunch is considering creating ‘fast lanes’ for those individuals who want to get to their exercise routine as quickly as possible. To that end, we’ve continued to enhance our mobile app features to create a great customer experience regardless of your workout needs.”
Instantaneous Reports—Robust KPIs
Neff says that Crunch would not be as advanced in their digital tech services if not for their partnership with Motionsoft. One of the leading providers of club software technology in the fitness industry, Motionsoft not only creates digital integration of member services, the company also has helped Crunch increase their KPIs with seamless operational functions.
“Motionsoft has given us the ability to build out an enterprise reporting warehouse through a single platform,” he says. “A lot of times operators will have one application that manages check-in, another that manages billing, and another that schedules training sessions. Instead of accessing different platforms, Motionsoft has brought all these pieces together.”