by Ty McDowell, on Tuesday October 6, 2015

Securing a presence on smartphones is advantage for gym. Technology comes closer every day to offering a central device where we can do absolutely everything we need to do. Actually, the technology is there and it’s the service providers who have not quite completed this circle. Major organizations and institutions such as banks, media, utilities and medical facilities brought this into the main stream and others such as department, big box and drug stores and restaurants have wisely following suit. Workout facilities, salons, golf courses and bakeries are seeing the advantage of not only doing business online but creating apps to make that experience easier and better. We have apps for operating our garage doors and security systems. The advantage to appearing on the home screen of the device that most people use for everything from banking to entertainment has become obvious.Children’s activity centers are no different. In fact, having that presence on the smartphone screen was the very reason that Frank Kudlac set out to create an app that Achievers Gymnastics could offer to its parents.

“We see our parents using their smartphones to do everything. And that made me ask the question, ‘Why can’t they do what they need to do with Achievers from their smartphones as well?’”

Creating Value

That point or realization was when Frank contacted Mobile Inventor. Achievers wanted their app to be a great convenience for parents: an app that wasn’t just another feature of the gym but one that added value to the relationship.

Adding value is critical to the app’s success. When it comes to their children, parents want to have complete and immediate information and they want to be able to act on it when it’s convenient to them.  By offering easy access to the activities and important data that are important to them, parents are compelled to use the app often.

Easy access:

  • Saves parents time
  • Gets parents what they want when they want it
  • Keeps parents up to date

The value added by the mobile app will also win you points in the convenience category with parents who are seeking out a gym for their children’s activities.

Frank accomplished all of this with the Achievers mobile app with Mobile Inventor’s help. The design makes it easy for parents to do things like view class schedules, enroll their children in the ones they prefer and pay – all in their app in just a matter of seconds.

Pushing Information Out

Achievers’ app also enables staff to push out special announcements to parents. This is a boon to Achievers’ advertising efforts because special events and classes can be promoted with minimal cost and effort. Emergency notices – such as bad weather closings – are delivered fast. And because it appears on the parents’ smartphone, they get the news regardless of where they are.

“It’s easy for us to let parents know what is going on this way and it’s a bonus for them. Nothing is more frustrating than finding out too late about a cancellation.  Unread email messages in Inboxes are useless for such information while push notifications are delivered directly as messages on their devices – getting the news out very effectively.”

Full Use of Idle Time

Parents sit in lines in many places: carpools, doctor’s offices and hair salons. A gym app can be right there among the other apps on smartphones that they find valuable. It’s easier and quicker for parents to do all the administrative tasks they need to do with your gym through the app so they jump on and use everything that they can get to while they have idle time.

Parents can:

  • Search for preferred classes
  • Enroll and pay for classes
  • Look at the activities calendar
  • Order leotards and team t-shirts
  • Look through competition videos
  • Select pictures to save for themselves or order
  • Review their child’s skills progress

Parents find answers to questions for themselves and feel empowered through being completely up-to-date with their child’s progress and the gym’s activities.

Bonus for Front Office Staff

Because the app puts the parents in self-serve mode, front office staff is freed from answering so many administrative questions and can spend time discussing more meaningful topics and building relationships with parents. Mundane data entry is eliminated from office staff responsibilities and is practically error-free since parents enter it themselves.

The features that do require staff effort, such as push notifications, are simple and quick to complete and save staff from spending huge blocks of time with individual emails and phone calls.

Mobile apps are truly vehicles that gyms can put in place for parental satisfaction, operational improvement and competitive advantage.