Google Cloud results
Enables real-time reaction to clients’ needs
• Facilitates real-time collaboration among subsidiaries, franchisees, and
headquarters so directives can be efficiently communicated
• Helps ensure a consistent customer experience across all clubs by standardizing communication processes and tools
• Allows regional teams to address specific local demands while aligning priorities with national headquarters
“We chose G Suite because it enabled us to continue working as a close-knit team even as we started to spread across the country, and for the most cost-effective price we found on the market.” —David Mazerot, Vice President, L’Appart Fitness
Many stereotypical images of France feature people strolling down picturesque streets, carrying crispy baguettes. But if the country’s fitness market continues to grow every year, those images might soon feature gym bags instead. Almost one in 10 people in France have a gym membership and counting, which makes France the third largest fitness market in Europe. L’Appart Fitness would know. Founded in Lyon in 1997 by Patrick Mazerot, L’Appart is now among the five most frequented gym chains in the country.
L’Appart Fitness offers accessible prices for chic and cozy clubs where professional coaches guide customers through personalized routines. “L’Appart was founded by my father, and our main goals have remained the same ever since,” says David Mazerot, Vice President at L’Appart Fitness. “First, to provide the greatest possible experience to our customers and employees. And second, very in tune with our industry, to keep moving. To keep improving our performance and services.”
At the end of 2018, L’Appart multiplied its number of clubs from 40 to 120, maintaining a balance of subsidiaries and franchisees, and venturing beyond the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region for the first time. The company’s fourfold expansion followed the acquisition of French clubs Amazonia, Wide Club, and Gigagym, thanks to two successful waves of private funding.
“Following the big acquisition, we knew we’d need some kind of mobility and collaboration tools that we could implement really quickly to maintain a good level of communication with all our employees and customers,” says David. “We chose G Suite because it enabled us to continue working as a close-knit team even as we started to spread across the country, and for the most cost-effective price we found on the market.”
Connecting a national workforce with new collaborative tools
“We love seeing our Google Sheets dashboards being populated by all our teams around France, in real time. It’s so easy and effective; no one would go back to the way we worked before.” —David Mazerot, Vice President, L’Appart Fitness
L’Appart started moving to G Suite immediately after its expansion at the end of 2018, and was fully onboarded by Q2 of 2019. Most employees were ready to use tools such as Gmail, Sheets, Hangouts Meet, and Hangouts Chat from the start, as they were already familiar with them. Others were given simple training to help them take full advantage of their new tools.
“The fact that we don’t need to convert file formats to upload them to Drive saved us a lot of time during the transition. After that, all we had to do was make sure the whole team was educated on how to make the most of G Suite so we could collaborate with colleagues by using the same tools,” David recalls.
“We’ve adopted corporate Gmail accounts and now share directives with subsidiaries and franchisees through Google Drive. G Suite helps us stay close to all our employees so we can remain a cohesive group.” —David Mazerot, Vice President, L’Appart Fitness
With that in mind, L’Appart Fitness partnered with IT service management company Devoteam to train employees on how to make the most of the full G Suite package. “With Devoteam’s help, our transition went smoothly and according to plan. Devoteam trained our IT team on G Suite solutions, and now our IT team can continue to provide internal support to newcomers as our workforce keeps growing.”
Today, L’Appart draws on all G Suite products to carry out daily operations. From Slides, used by management teams to create elaborate graphs that explain important points during meetings, to Google Hangouts Meet, which is where meetings often take place. Meanwhile, Google Hangouts Chat is used to maintain ongoing communication between franchisees, subsidiaries, and headquarters.
“We love seeing our Google Sheets dashboards being populated by all our teams around France, in real time,” says David. “It’s so easy and effective; no one would go back to the way we worked before,” he laughs.
Achieving consistency to stay in good (business) shape
Having established seamless communication with employees all over France, L’Appart is now leveraging G Suite to ensure that its clubs can maintain consistent practices when dealing with customers.
“Before G Suite, some employees in our franchisees didn’t have a professional email address to communicate with clients,” says David. “We’ve adopted corporate Gmail accounts and now share directives with subsidiaries and franchisees through Google Drive. G Suite helps us stay close to all our employees so we can remain a cohesive group.”
Reacting to customers’ specific needs in real time
The company’s geographic expansion attracted new L’Appart members with different needs and preferences from its traditional clientele within Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. “A customer who lives in Paris has very different habits from another who lives in the suburbs of Lyon or Marseille, and it’s not easy to tailor to the needs of every one of them,” says David. So regional directors were assigned to each part of the country where the gym chain is now established, to ensure the specific demands of their diverse clientele are being addressed.
To better understand their new and growing community of members, L’Appart is leveraging its professional sport coaches on the ground, who observe and manually record performance-related information about their clients in Google Sheets. Regional directors can access this information in real time, to make decisions that tailor to their clients’ preferences. If a yoga class is popular at a specific time, they’ll take note and double the session, for example. If another class isn’t so popular, they’ll assess why and tweak the schedule to bring more value to customers visiting the gym at that specific time.
Meanwhile, regional managers maintain constant communication with headquarters, using Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat, to align strategies and ensure the company is moving as a unified group, even as the particular needs of each region are being addressed.
As a result, members of L’Appart Fitness are noticing more reactivity from their clubs, which are developing schedules and services that adjust to customers’ availability and preferences, not the other way around.
Staying ahead of the game with effective communication
With more effective internal processes, happier customers, and more collaborative employees, L’Appart is in excellent shape to continue multiplying its clubs throughout France and beyond. “We really believe we have a universal product that addresses the needs of customers today. Now, with more effective processes and tools for communication, our product continues to evolve to address their needs tomorrow,” says David.
“Our plan for the future is to continue multiplying our subsidiaries and franchisees, first in France, then in Europe. G Suite is supporting us in this mission by helping us stay close to both our customers and employees even as we continue to expand.”