Stages Indoor Cycling: from fitness to technology company in less than 18 months
In eighteen months, Stages Indoor Cycling has grown from simply a fitness company into a fitness and technology company that focuses one hundred percent on cycling.
The acquisition of Stages Flight in 2017 (formerly VismoX), this year’s launch of Stages Solo and the incorporation of Stages Ride, Stages’ enterprise business for our club customers, has meant quite the transition for a business that’s just three years old.
“We’ve never really been good at just sitting where we are. It’s not who we are.”
To accommodate projections for Stages Flight and Stages Solo in 2018, Stages Indoor Cycling had to adjust quickly: “We went from producing bikes where we knew we’d have things come up with materials or mechanisms — but these are very tangible problems we have solutions to very quickly — to adopting a new technology system we needed to be smart at quickly,” says Travis Hall, customer experience manager for Stages.
Travis Hall has worked in multiple departments across the indoor and outdoor businesses at Stages Cycling. Having seen every product that has moved through the business, his impressive depth of knowledge puts him in a good spot to head up the customer experience department.
He continues: “And along with that, our business is a global operation. We have products in around fifty countries now. We’re the front line communicating feedback to the teams across the networks without any disconnect to our customers.
“It’s this joined up approach that backs up the customer experience. It allows us to move quickly as a business and remain responsive to our customers' needs.
“There is constant communication on the feedback we get from customers, product changes and general messaging on maintenance to educate our customers.
“There’s a purpose-built system of communication between Eric Golesh and me. Most new products go through a two to three year feedback loop from the customer to the customer experience (service) team. Once we get a critical mass of feedback from the customer base, that intelligence will come to Eric, the engineering team, and me, at which point we’ll say 'let’s improve upon the product for its next phase'.
“For the bikes alone, we’ve been able to do that in a number of ways — switching out different materials or mechanisms on the bike, updating the FitLoc, SprintShift and handlebars — all of the developments made to the SC.18 bike range came through this feedback loop from the field or research and development teams.
Company President Jim Liggett puts no finer point on it: “Our two biggest focus points as a business are our focus on cycling and technology and on our customer experience. It’s not just a focus; it’s because we’re cyclists, it’s engrained in the company — we’re real enthusiasts. And because we’ve chosen cycling as our focus, we have to be good at it; we have to consistently advance, if we’re not we don’t have a business. It’s about our customer’s business and the experience we’re able to give their customers that matters most.”