By Emma Excell, Special AFS Contributor
Technology continues to break boundaries in the fitness industry, not just for the consumer but also for the studio operators and personal trainers running businesses in this competitive sector.
Despite the many benefits of taking a business online, some studios are still reliant on paper-based systems to deliver core member services, such as assessments and workout subscription.
This method is littered with limitations and inefficiencies which can now be completely negated with the introduction of a digital solution.
Here, Rob Lander, CEO of Fisikal, shares some key benefits to incorporating a digital approach to assessments and workouts.
Digitalizing assessments and workout plans create a means of delivering a much superior customer experience whilst also introducing efficiencies which enable the studio to spend less time on administration, freeing up more time to spend with members and addressing other performance critical tasks.
Taking assessments online allows the targeting of more accurate profile specific audiences, so studios and trainers can create bespoke templates for different groups of members, who can also enter their own information which is then captured and stored digitally. This provides an incredibly useful pool of data on member behaviours and preferences, allowing services and communications to be pushed out that directly address these.
Moving assessments online also allows studio staff to review past assessments quickly, helping to benchmark each member’s progress and performance, adding a more personal approach to their programming.
Workouts on Demand
By creating a database of workouts online, studios can save a massive amount of administration time re-distributing or editing existing workouts. This gives the studio full control to personalize workouts on-demand for members or personal trainer clients, easily editing the difficulty and intensity to match the ability or goal.
Easy to configure and adjust, online workouts give the trainer more time to spend with the member or group and provides a more consistent, trackable method of training that members can access on the go.
Taking assessments online allows the targeting of more accurate profile specific audiences, so studios and trainers can create bespoke templates for different groups of members, who can also enter their own information which is then captured and stored digitally.
Digitalization enables complete operational visibility and a much deeper understanding of what is actually happening on the gym floor. Data from multiple trainers across multiple venues can be instantly collated to provide an overview of business – whether in terms of revenue generation, number of appointments booked versus capacity, assessment and reassessment status. Or, operators can gather information on the performance of individual trainers, enabling benchmarking and best practice to drive performance across the business.
Digitalization also makes the standardization of service delivery possible, ensuring every member enjoys highly bespoke and personal service within a pre-programmed framework. Every member is given support at key points along their member journey with automated push notifications sending appointment reminders – cutting down on no-shows and allowing for motivational tips and workout progressions, all moving the member towards their specific performance and wellbeing goals. All of this helps keep the member engaged, positively impacting retention statistics.
For members, a personalized, digital program means a much more professional, convenient and accessible service. Members will no longer have to physically visit the gym to access workout plans – they can access their program wherever they are - supported by a huge video library demonstrating how to perform exercises correctly and giving access to bespoke workouts which promote a variety of training outcomes.
Efficiencies for Staff
Studios need their staff to be time-efficient. By providing trainers with data stored on ‘the cloud’ that they can access anytime, anywhere saves time, allows more face-to-face contact with members and improves security. ‘Lost’ or ‘misplaced’ information is no longer an issue and full GDPR compliance is automated.
The studio is also able to personalize the member experience, with trainers having a real-time record of each members' past and current activity, goal history, ambitions for the future as well as a recording of any contra-indicators, exercise preferences, and performance progress. Automated messages can be set up to ensure critical touch points are not missed and bespoke emails initiated to members from the app. All of this can be instantly accessible for an unlimited number of members, from any internet connected mobile device.
If a new studio or personal trainer starts out using an online solution it can grow with their business and also creates good habits from day one. An existing studio or trainer, just starting out with no client history to input and with pre-prepared documentation for upload, could be up and running in a matter of hours. Most established single site studios or trainers should be online and fully functional within a week.
Weighing in on Costs and Conclusions
Taking your assessments and workouts digital is more affordable than you imagine and the financial investment is canceled out, almost immediately, by the efficiencies, reductions of no shows caused by ‘forgotten bookings’ and revenue generating opportunities introduced by the implementation of a digital solution.
Emma Excell is the COO of Fisikal and heads up the operations team. Emma has over 4 years of experience in investment banking and over 14 years international property development. Emma has a degree in economics, provides business analysis, digital marketing strategies and project management skills.
Rob has over 20 years of experience in the Health and Fitness industry, as a former personal trainer who built a successful business of 50 sessions per week. Rob has also spent many years as an international presenter lecturing on “Technology in the fitness industry”.
Rob was the guy with the problem and is the content matter expert. Rob started with little knowledge of technology other than the vision that one day we would all be using it for many areas of our lives.
Organizations all over the world now come to Fisikal seeking our advice on how systems and processes can be optimized. As Rob has worked in all areas of the Fitness Industry this gives him multiple perspectives to help advise on how solutions could be created but also with his advanced knowledge of technology – what the future holds and how we can adapt internal processes so they can leverage technology efficiently.