Workout Anytime, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fitness franchise, has stood out in the crowded fitness segment since its inception in 1999 by offering incredible value for both its franchise owners and its members, fueling its growth to more than 175-plus clubs in 2019. Now, as the brand looks ahead to the 200-unit mark, it is leveling up its technology, both for consumers and staff members, to maintain its edge.
On the staff associate front, Workout Anytime has upgraded its training programs as part of its expanded Workout Anytime University initiative, using Bridge, a cloud-based learning management system.
“In the fitness industry, there’s a lot of turnover, and this program allows us to ensure that our training is being communicated efficiently and consistently across all of our clubs,” said Mark de Gorter, Chief Operating Officer for Workout Anytime. “We develop the training programs at our corporate office in Alpharetta, Georgia, and roll them out across the network through this cloud-based platform. Our team can now learn by engaging in a repeatable, consistent system that allows them to learn all aspects of our club system when, where and how they want to. Our goal is to increase operational performance and sales at the franchise level, and this platform has really moved the needle in our ability to meet this objective.”
Workout Anytime’s learning management system offers a total of nearly 100 online courses with short, video-based lessons and a short quiz at the end of each lesson. Learners can access both required and recommended offerings that vary based on position; the content for the sales team, for example, differs from courses for a fitness coach. Plus, the program allows Workout Anytime to run reports to assess the progress of individual learners and groups of learners against assigned programs and courses.
Multi-unit franchisee Mike King owns three Workout Anytime clubs in Lenoir, Weaverville and Marion, North Carolina, and has seen great success by implementing both technologies.
“Having access to the Workout Anytime University platform helps keep what the employees are learning consistent, with engaging content that is relevant to their specific job duties,” said King. “They aren’t just reading a handbook or documents that tell them how to do their job. They’re able to watch videos that have tests afterwards to make sure they understand. Since implementing the new program, I’ve noticed an increase in the consistency in how our staff fields incoming calls, sets up appointments for tours of the clubs and sells memberships.”
King added that the platform supplements one-on-one training, role playing, staff meetings and more, but doesn’t replace communication that requires a human touch.
Along with its commitment to improving its employee experience, Workout Anytime is laser-focused on improving the customer experience. In 2019, the brand also implemented a consumer listening and member satisfaction tool called Member Experience Metrics (MXM) Medallia at the beginning of 2019, with more than half the clubs in the system having implemented MXM Medallia at the midway point of the year. MXM Medallia allows the brand to measure satisfaction through Net Promoter Score through surveys that are sent to members each day on topics like cleanliness, friendliness of staff, equipment and more.
“We’ve set aggressive targets to reduce member attrition, and have witnessed first-hand the benefits of implementing the MXM system. Specifically, its allowed us to develop deeper connections to our members, and allows us to address, and respond, to both good and bad feedback, and although very limited, have taken challenging responses and turned them into satisfied members because we’ve been proactive, authentic and personal to their situations,” said de Gorter. “Along the way, we’ve seen a significant positive correlation between member satisfaction and club profitability. For example, our top 10 clubs in member satisfaction scores have demonstrated a 13% lower attrition rate than even the targets we’ve set for the rest of the network, so we know we’re on to something really special here.”
Since incorporating MXM Medallia, King has seen a dramatic increase in his clubs’ cleanliness and friendliness.
“This tool has given a platform to members that we may have never otherwise heard from, who are seeing things that we aren’t seeing. It’s easy for them to give feedback via a quick survey,” said King. “Our overall scores have increased because members are noticing the higher levels of cleanliness and friendliness in our clubs due to the feedback we’ve received. In addition to learning about areas of opportunity, we have also gotten a lot of great compliments on things that we are doing well. As an owner, we can’t catch our employees doing everything right but when we get positive feedback from members, it’s important to give recognition and praise to those who deserve it, which makes them feel valued and improves morale.”
As Workout Anytime looks ahead to the second half of the year and beyond, de Gorter and his team are investigating other technology tools to improve the member experience and unit-level economics, including an automated reputation management and social listings platform, field operations and site selection technology and enterprise-level marketing programs to take more off the franchisees so they can focus on running their businesses.
“We have invested in tools that elevate our training and give our members a voice to be able to share feedback about what we’re doing well, and what opportunities exist,” said de Gorter. “On the franchise-partner level, those who invest into these technologies have the ability to create great member experiences, generally improve their operational ability, and with it, become more profitable. We will continue to innovate with technology solutions to create efficiencies and increase the bottom line for our franchisees.”