How Customer Feedback Drives Product Innovation (And Why it Matters)

Upper Hand Software

Sports and fitness businesses know that the critical first step to introducing new offerings is ensuring that they will resonate with their customer base and ultimately help grow their business. You wouldn’t offer a new style of pilates class or introduce a new pitching clinic to your sports facility if the clients and athletes you’d target wouldn’t buy in, right? To justify creating these new offerings, sports and fitness businesses rely on feedback from their customers to ensure they bring significant value to the table. 

The team at Upper Hand is intimately familiar with the changes affecting sports and fitness business owners. We understand that, unfortunately, most sports and fitness software just can’t keep up with those evolving needs. That’s why we’ve placed a focus on allowing customer feedback to power product innovation to best serve the needs of an industry that continues to transform overnight.

By actively engaging in conversations to solve problems, Upper Hand doesn’t just pump out new features at random. Instead, a very intentional approach of incorporating customer feedback has been proven to add value to our sports and fitness software for customers and their clients.

How the Customer Feedback Process Works

The foundation for success at Upper Hand lies in constantly having a pulse on our customers. This requires all feedback channels to be open at all times. Meg Loney, Product Owner at Upper Hand has conversations with customers daily to glean insights into what features will power their business, and how Upper Hand can provide that additional value both now and long-term. 

“Oftentimes, customers will tell you what they want in a feature, but that’s just scraping the surface,” says Loney. “Taking the time to actually dig deeper and understand the underlying they are experiencing will unlock valuable insights about our customers and the market as a whole.”

Moving beyond a specific feature request allows the Upper Hand team to identify overarching trends and bigger problems to solve. “Without that understanding, we are simply making assumptions about what they want, if our solution truly meets their needs, and what value new features will deliver” says Loney.

Interested in seeing how Upper Hand can help manage your business? Schedule a personalized demo today. 

Customer-centric Feedback Channels

One feedback channel heavily utilized by customers is Upper Hand’s Product Portal, a visual roadmap of all sports and fitness software features, from the “idea” stage to “launched.” Upon account creation, users can view features that have been pushed live, are under construction, are planned for development, and ideas for future innovation. Customers can also upvote their favorite features, ensuring we are creating a product for the end user. 

“The Product Portal is a phenomenal resource that allows us to capture feedback directly from the app,” says Loney. “It’s a great tool for me to gather quantitative data based on the needs of our customers so that I can use it as a gut-check when making product decisions.”

Upper Hand also announced the creation of UH Labs, a beta testing group for customers to regularly test and submit feedback on the newest features of Upper Hand. Lab Testers are an exclusive group of customers that have a first look at new features not yet available to the public. By choosing to be involved in UH Labs, customers are able to give direct feedback that can tailor new features towards their business.

“We love to utilize UH Labs when building bigger features,” says Loney. This helps us make sure that we have the right recipe to solve the users’ problems and deliver the most value.”

Why this Matters

Unlike other sports facility software solutions, Upper Hand combines intense market research with this comprehensive customer feedback process to reinvent the process of bringing new ideas to the market. By gaining a complete understanding of the problems and opportunities that sports and fitness business owners face, Upper Hand is able to drive significant change for its customers and their clients. 

“The thing I appreciate most about Upper Hand is that they not only value our feedback, but they actually take it into consideration,” says Patrick Colgan, President of The Sharpened Athlete. “They make improvements to the software that have drastically enhanced my business experience.”

Chris Husby, Owner of Special Teams Football Academy, also credits Upper Hand with his business growth, appreciating that “they have always listened to user ideas and have implemented many of our suggestions.” Because at the end of the day, when it comes to building new sports facility software solutions, if you don’t know what’s wrong, you don’t know how to fix it, right? 

Prioritizing customer feedback has allowed Upper Hand and its customers to stay ahead of the technological curve by combatting new challenges faced by sports and fitness businesses. From video analysis software that allows for remote training to implementation of memberships to reintroduce clients to your facility, Upper Hand has remained committed to empowering customers to achieve success as well as continue to drive the industry forward.

How Feedback Will Continue to Drive Innovation

We all know the needs of sports and fitness business owners have changed immensely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From in-person training to entirely virtual offerings, the pandemic has accelerated the reliance on sports software to manage client experiences and ensure health and safety inside your doors. As we navigate a post-pandemic landscape, technology will continue to remain an integral part of sports and fitness business success.

As a sports and fitness software company, Upper Hand knows that moving fast isn’t just an option – it’s a mindset.

“Upper Hand is on an upward trajectory and has continued to come out with new iterations and functions that improve the user experience for both our staff and our clients,” says Josh Graber, Director of Operations at Dynamic Sports Training.

Interested in seeing how Upper Hand can help manage your sports facility? Schedule a personalized demo today. 

Courtney Kerr
Courtney Kerr
Courtney serves as Communications Specialist at Upper Hand.

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