When Laura Ehrman became F45 Training’s Regional General Manager for three studios in Arizona, she quickly realized that the studios’ phone systems needed an overhaul. At the time, the three studios she managed were each using separate Sideline accounts, which — due to platform constraints — couldn’t be united or managed under a single account. Since each Sideline account had to be managed in its own silo, Laura and the franchises’ owners had less visibility into each studio’s operations, and it was harder to streamline client communications.
Laura needed a phone solution that was easy to manage at scale and improved client communication in and out of the studio. That’s how she landed on OpenPhone. Here’s why she hasn’t looked back since.
1. Flexible workspace and management ensure privacy and security
While Laura and the franchise owners oversee three F45 studios, each studio operates independently day to day. OpenPhone’s flexible permissions mean that users have access to all the phone lines they need — and none that they don’t.
Using OpenPhone’s permissions, Laura can ensure that she and the franchise owners can easily access every phone number they have on the platform. However, those who work within a single studio — including studio managers, coaching staff, sales associates, and head coaches — can only use the phone numbers they’ve been granted access to on OpenPhone.
“It gives me a lot of flexibility to be able to arrange the teams however I need to,” says Laura. “If somebody wants to do sales associate responsibilities at two studios, I can give them access to both with no problem through OpenPhone.”
If a team member leaves F45, Laura can also easily revoke their access to any individual and shared numbers on OpenPhone, ensuring they no longer have access to client information.
When clients join one of the three F45 gyms Laura manages, she wants them to feel “like they’re coming to a family.”
“Our ownership group feels so strongly about this — we want people to feel that they’re coming to something that’s different than their everyday, big-box gym,” she says. “But that takes a personal touch.”
However, maintaining a personal touch with clients can get tricky as a business scales — especially when client communication is handed off regularly between team members.
At Laura’s franchises, when a lead first signs up, a studio manager reaches out and chats with them until they’ve booked their first class. 24 hours after that class, the studio manager will reach back out to see how it went. Following that, the head coach takes over regular follow-ups to ensure the client is enjoying their experience.
Before transitioning to OpenPhone, Laura had to closely monitor communications across each Sideline account to ensure a smooth client experience. Now, however, team members can see every call and text that’s taken place with a client within OpenPhone. Plus, they can use internal threads to communicate and problem-solve behind the scenes.
“With our previous phone solution, if I saw a message without a response, I needed to take a screenshot of a text message to notify the studio manager,” says Laura. “Now, I can tag them directly in the OpenPhone app and see their response, which is much more efficient.”
3. Texting sparks a record month
Laura’s team also uses texting to drive word of mouth. Recently they scheduled text messages using OpenPhone to current members, encouraging them to invite friends and family to visit F45 for Wahlberg Week, a series of classes created by Mark Walhberg and F45 Chief of Athletics Gunnar Peterson.
Increasing their texting by 50% to support this campaign led to the largest membership increase for their studios in one month.
4. Better ability to train employees for ongoing improvement
Having all client communication centralized in one platform also makes it easier for Laura to train staff members across the three studios.
“I love the fact that we can record calls, so I can listen back and reach out to our sales associates or studio managers if there’s a training opportunity,” she says. “It’s a way for them to get better at what they do.”
Behind the scenes, on the OpenPhone platform, Laura can also see exactly which users are answering inquiries and reaching out to customers. Thanks to OpenPhone’s shared phone numbers, clients don’t see that different team members are answering their calls or sending them texts — the communication all appears from the same number on their end. But it allows Laura to understand what’s happening within each studio.
“It’s very easy for me to see who’s working because I can see that they’re using OpenPhone,” she says. “I can see who’s working after hours and who’s replying here and there.”
5. A quick start from day one
Every day, the F45 teams use their phones to communicate with members, get leads, and manage their studios. So, when it came time to port numbers over from Sideline to OpenPhone, Laura was understandably nervous.
“It’s just something that you freak out about,” she says. “[Your phone] is your lifeline to your business.”
As it turns out, though, porting F45’s numbers to OpenPhone was a “seamless transition.” After that, Laura had the teams’ caller ID and voicemail set up in no time. “Pretty much the minute the port happened, we were off and running,” she says.
Training the F45 teams on the new phone system was also a painless experience. All Laura had to do was send team members OpenPhone’s 22-minute demo, which taught them everything they needed to know about the intuitive platform.
“Honestly, I’ve had to do very little hand-holding or training,” Laura says. “Everybody just jumped right in and started using the tool, and I’ve not had one complaint about OpenPhone yet.”
The bottom line
OpenPhone lets Laura streamline and scale client communication across three growing F45 studios — all from one easy-to-use platform.
Ready to make your client communications more efficient? Find out how OpenPhone can help your team by signing up for a free trial today.
Kenza is a freelance writer who covers B2B SaaS, the future of work, and psychology. Away from her keyboard, you can find her running, biking, and enjoying live music.