Technology and the Y
Chief Experience Officer Amelia Scott shares a look at the future of digital experience at the YMCA
With our new app now available for download, I wanted to take a moment to share our long-term plan on how we want our digital experience to serve you.
If you’re an avid doer-of-things on phones, tablets, or computers, you likely have a few apps or sites that do it beautifully. It feels natural to navigate to what you are looking for, it’s easy to find what you need, and you feel informed about your purchase. It wasn’t a thorn in your side, you never had to call or email anyone for help. This summarizes our digital experience goal for you.
Our long-term plan is to thoughtfully reduce the software platforms we ask you to interface with, shorten the amount of time it takes for you to find what you need, make it easier and more intuitive for you to serve yourself in your Y account. We have metrics to help us accomplish this and internal controls to ensure we are meeting our marks. In summary, we want one platform with one username and password and we want it to be intuitive for you to use.
Looking back to 2019, we offered our members:
- A YMCA online account to purchase most offerings with limited ability to manage the account, plus
- A separate app with fitness schedules, facility hours, and your membership barcode, plus
- A separate online portal to view sports schedules, plus
- A system for child care paperwork, plus
- A separate platform for fitness schedules, plus
- A paper ticketed system for class reservations, plus
- A separate system for Regymen Fitness and MyZone classes, plus
- Paper supplements or in-person service for all other YMCA interactions
It all added up to a lot of logins. We embarked on our digital experience journey in January of 2020 and then we all know what happened. After responding to the needs of the organization and the community that came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reconnected late in 2020 to our digital experience goal.
From then to now:
- We introduced an enhanced app that added challenges and fitness tracking
- Upgraded our member management system introducing options to do more in your Y account
- Migrated our calendar and reservation system to your Y account
- Consolidated our sports and childcare into one system
- Added swim program progression into your Y account
- Introduced digital signature pads and electronic waivers to support a paperless process
What we’re currently working on:
- Now — Launching a new app that is developed in-house by YMCA of the USA and seamlessly integrates with your Y account
- Enhancements to your Y account to improve the shopping and calendar reservation experience based on your feedback and usage patterns
- Integrating MyZone for Regymen into the new app
- Continued upgrades to your Y account that give you a 360’ view of your YMCA offerings so you can see and manage membership, child care, sports, and all programs
- Improved search and shopping functionality
- More intuitive navigation in your Y account portal
We’ve made a commitment to be relentless about improving the overall digital experience for you. We read and listen to every comment; we are diving into journey mapping to document your pain points; and we are measuring the time it takes to engage in the most common activities so we can materially reduce pain points you may experience. More importantly, we use third party, external vendors for most of our technology development and as opportunities to select new vendors or renegotiate contracts arise, we are unrelenting about our partners committing to go with us on this journey.
We look forward to continued learning, listening, and delivering continual improvements for you.
Chief Experience Officer
YMCA of South Hampton Roads