On the surface, modern fitness trackers and related apps - like those that Fitbit offer - seem rather obvious. Marked as “smart” devices or wearable tech, they’re essentially aggregators of data to provide measurable insights to, hopefully, illicit pride, inspire effort, or effect change.
Once collected, the data is synced with a mobile device via an app, and then turned into readable metrics for the user. In this way, they can track their progress, keep up on their health, and plan future outings.
Wearable health tech shipments rose 38% and are expected to exceed 237 million by 2020. Of course mobile health and fitness trackers (FitBit, iWatch, and Garmin etc.) are now very mainstream. They’re getting sleeker, smarter, and better with new features and new models and more competition entering the market. This is because they’re able to create something of a nourishing and steady consumer health and wellness experience that make people feel good about themselves and the choices they’ve made.
Believe it or not, we can learn from this, even in a different industry with a different set of needs.
What Are the Parallels?
You, as a business and customer experience manager or team member, are focused solely on providing a viable, and enticing customer journey for your audience. In a way, you’re offering a form of customer empowerment, by giving your clientele the means to reach a particular goal, mission, or action.
All of this, everything you do and everything you use to make this happen directly relates to your audience’s digital identity. At a given time you know who a customer is, where they work, what their job function is, and possibly what they like, want, and need. The next logical step would be to convince them to buy or complete a task. In fact, the entire customer experience you craft usually is just a means to an end, the end being whatever action you want your customers to take.
And wouldn’t you know it? All of this is almost exactly like how customers use their Fitbits, fitness trackers, and related mobile apps. Furthermore, if you draw parallels between the two seemingly unrelated scenarios, you’ll start to get a better understanding of how you - and your team - can better engage with your customers.
Considering Fitbit currently has over 23 million active users, and dominates over 19% of the total wearable tech market share, they must be doing something right. Sure, others are catching up, but that’s because the market is so great and viable, competitors are coming to the scene.
This is all a lesson on how you can supercharge your client retention ratings.
Setting Fitness Goals:
One of the most obvious features of modern fitness trackers is they allow you to not just accurately measure your activity and progress but set various goals, which you can then work toward. Starting out, you usually have a base goal of losing X amount of weight or making a certain limit. There really is no way to track this, only a way to measure your current progress by looking at weight.
With fitness trackers, however, you can measure the time, effort, and energy you’re investing in the mission. You can see how many calories you’re burning after each exercise or workout. You can see your weight calculations in pattern form as it drops - or grows.
Now, think of this same scenario only regarding your business and customers. You can use this as an example to set customer or community target numbers, making a total number of sales, and much more. You find the metrics that match your goal, set the goal, and then work towards meeting it. With the right tools, you can not only see the progress but see how a particular action or decision affects your bottom line.
Tracking Exercise and Routines:
Most fitness trackers are designed to monitor and measure more than one activity. Usually, they can tell you how many calories you burned walking or running, swimming, working out, doing an exercise video, and much more. In other words, they are used to track a variety of exercise regimens and routines. These are essentially types of engagement.
From a customer experience standpoint, what are the types of engagements you care about across their journey that you want to effectively provide touchpoints for? Is it app views? Sessions? What about content views? Posts to the activity stream? Sharing or liking content? Attending a meeting or event etc.?
More importantly, a customer experience mobile app makes it possible to seamlessly swap and track these variable types of activities for one customer and across customer sets. You’ll want to organize and setup a similar system for your customer engagement campaigns.
Along the journey to meet a fitness goal, users can establish side challenges and quests, if you will. When it comes to health, people can compete for the most steps, participate in virtual races, or take solo adventures. This is a form of gamification that helps either intrinsically or extrinsically motivate people, and is made possible through more collected data and metrics set forth.
You can do the same with customer engagement, by making use of interactive features and survey tools to get your target audience to participate. Run a poll or questionnaire that asks your customers for their opinion. Set up a quiz or campaign that allows them to engage and participate, even on a minor level. You can organize a visual scavenger hunt, offer prizes for different types of engagement or activation, or even reward social stream participation all powered from within the context of a mobile app experience that supports the customer experience journey.
There’s so much you can do to facilitate challenges for your team members and customers by looking at best practices offered up by the leading health tracker companies.
Provide Guidance and Advice:
Not everyone that buys fitness tracker knows how to reach their goal. Some need guidance and advice when it comes to their diet. Others need to boost their activity or exercise levels. Others still have further choices and health decisions to make like quitting smoking, drinking, or excess eating. A lot of this information they glean from their fitness and health services through in-app tutorials, resources, and even plug & play technology.
It’s a direct example of what you can do for your customers through news, eContent, blogs, and more. You can really shape the journey your customers have by following a similar pattern. All it requires is simply helping them by offering much-needed advice or guidance, all through the same portals they’re using to experience in a traditional customer journey or event.
Connect and Engage a Community:
Just at the beginning 2017, FitBit launched their new Community feature making it easier for users to find friends, join groups and share inspiration. They knew there was market potential for creating a shared experience for like-minded individuals who are connected through lifestyle choices and common goals, to get fitter.
This proffers a sense of belonging for customers and device owners. That audience can communicate, support, and reach out to one another via official forums and discussion boards, social media, and various overlapping channels.
It’s a great example of how and what you should do for your customers. Create a loyal, thriving community that not only supports one another but works in your favor to support your brand, products, and services from a contextual perspective.
Deliver Mobile and Real-time Notifications:
Finally, we come to mobile and real-time notifications. Similar to smartwatches, fitness trackers often come with the added support of mobile notifications. They’re brief messages or updates from a connected device that keep you up-to-date and in-the-loop.
The more simplistic features trigger an indicator for number of steps, heart rate, reaching your goal and so on. More advanced devices notify you of incoming calls, texts, and challenges met. They also send you gentle reminders or words of encouragement to help you reach your goals. You can briefly glance at it, then decide if you need to stop and reply, take action, or dismiss it and keep running.
This is exactly the kind of experience you should be offering your customers, especially at live events and venues. You can deliver up-to-date notifications and alerts, providing them with the resources and information they need to go about their day effortlessly. That’s what a mobile-first mindset is all about. Ultimately, it will improve their customer experience journey making them more loyal to you.
If you haven’t already, take a step in the right direction and follow similar strategies in your own campaigns. You never know, you may find that you do have a lot of similarities with the health and fitness technology market. More than you ever expected to, anyway.
Basically, you’re nourishing your customer experience program just like fitness seekers are nourishing their workout program. It’s customer health and wellness for the digital enterprise.