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Podcast 9 min

Making training accessible with Bo Pearson

Learn how Bo Pearson from Volt athletics makes online fitness training accessible on Ep. 8 of The CoLab Podcast

3 May 2021 by Rocco Brudno

G’day Mates!

Hey all, welcome to The CoLab podcast. My name is Ryan Macpherson, CEO of Coassemble, the online training platform revolutionizing how teams train. We have some exciting stuff to cover with Bo Pearson. Today we’re talking about how Volt Athletics delivers safe and effective fitness plans, scaled their customer onboarding, and what role an online training platform has in their business growth. Let’s dive in, shall we?

About the CoLab Podcast

The CoLab Podcast is the best business training advice from experts in the field on sharing knowledge and growing teams successfully at scale. In each episode, host Ryan Macpherson will chat with guests about entrepreneurship, strategy, management, leadership, and the value of elevating the employee experience. Ryan will also share his insights on proven methods & strategies that helped teams grow.

To listen to the full episode, click the link below to hear CoLab wherever you enjoy podcasts most.

What you’ll learn in today’s episode

Many teams are learning how to share knowledge and grow effectively at scale. Though the topics and guests will be different, we’ll always be looking through that lens to create a powerful employee experience. In today’s episode, we’ll dive into:

  • How Volt makes training accessible to their customers

  • What Bo uses online training for in his current role

  • What does Volt do to improve its customer experience

  • And more!

Strap in, it’s gonna be a great episode!

Bo’s role with Volt Athletics and fitness

Ryan starts by asking Bo about the story behind Volt and Bo’s journey with the company. Volt Athletics’ mission is to take the expertise of certified strength coaches and fitness educators and deliver training to individuals, teams, groups of people throughout the world. The goal is to create an accessible option for anyone to have safe and quality training.

Bo explains that, like most training, there can be consequences for not understanding how to complete a task. For Volt Athletics, that means being prepared with the right training for physical activity. Bo and his team want to prevent the consequence of physical and/or mental injury that can occur with incorrect physical fitness information. If you have a physically demanding warehouse job and you needed training on how to properly move heavy objects, this is a crucial piece of information to have. If wrong, the consequences can be severe—and if correct, the work can be accomplished proficiently and properly without harm.

“So it all started with the understanding that not everybody has equal access to these types of resources [on physical fitness], and there's a real consequence to not preparing for sport or not preparing for your job if you have a job that has physical demands. There's a serious consequence. And a lot of times that's injury and injury is not only physical, it's emotional, it's cognitive...”

Bo Pearson

Bo illustrates that having the proper training isn’t only crucial to doing a job well, it’s important to avoid consequences. Ryan is excited about Volt’s mission and feels it’s aligned with what Coassemble tries to do for customers—provide a resource to accomplish sharing knowledge as Volt does daily. Understanding why your audience matters and how training can benefit them is a key starting point to any successful training process.

As the Head of Customer Success, Bo wants to create as many benefits as possible for Volt’s customers to continue training with them. With a background in sports, Bo has seen firsthand what improper training looks like and wants to create access to the right training for anyone that needs it.

And that need is what drives Bo and his team to create an incredible set of resources to improve their customers’ physical fitness experience.

How does Volt help their customers train better?

Bo gives a little background on how Volt came to be. Founders Dan and Trevor began Volt as most tech start-ups commonly do—from seeing an industry need that didn’t have a solution. Dan has a background in strength condition coaching and was a coach for college athletes. Trevor was his roommate at the time, was working as an IT consultant for Seattle businesses.

One day, Trevor noticed that Dan would spend most of his days coaching, only to come home and spend his evenings programming future coaching activities. Dan didn’t have time for anything else, and that was limiting the number of people he could help. So Trevor worked with him to create a solution that’s scalable and creates a way for fitness training to become accessible to more people. Thus, Volt Athletics was born.

Ryan asks Bo what the customer journey looks like at Volt as well as what their customer segments look like. Ryan gives the example of individuals training on their own and needing guidance or trainers looking to improve their process with clients and trainees. Because Volt wants to create access for as many people as possible, Bo says it’s both.

For individuals, Volt is providing a powerful set of resources of physical fitness and strength training. For organizations and trainers, they’re offering scalable solutions for groups to expand their fitness plans and increase quality. Bo adds that this process wasn’t always perfect, but they’ve been fortunate to learn a lot with their customers and improve their offering over the years.

Ryan guesses that it’s probably time-consuming for Volt to have to educate on their industry’s misinformation and stand out as a leader. Ryan follows up on this by asking what Bo’s team does to ensure they’re able to share the most relevant knowledge with their customers.

Bo tells us that the information comes from a variety of sources, but everything Volt provides customers comes from industry experts, best practices, and methodologies that are tested. He adds that there is a balance between sharing proven practices and staying aware of new studies that are backed by professionals. Maintaining that balance is part of the fun for Bo, and his team works with certified coaches and a feedback loop with their customer base to maintain Volt as an industry leader.

How did an online training solution impact Volt and Bo’s team?

Bo mentions a few times during the first half of the podcast that a lot of what he does is made easier by using Coassemble as an online training solution. Ryan jokes that he wouldn’t have brought it up, but thanks Bo for the kind words.

Explaining what caused his need, Bo tells a similar story to what led to Volt’s birth—he needed a way to scale his time. As one of the first members of the customer success team, Bo was eating a lot of his day-to-day up with 1:1 onboarding for new customers. Noticing there were a lot of repetitive conversations (how to get started, basics, etc), Bo felt if he could replicate this information, he could provide more meaningful experiences with customers at scale.

Bo started using manual processes that could address this gap by creating YouTube videos and basic resources like PDFs. He adds what truly helped push the shift into online training in the quote below.

“We've tried to position ourselves as an extension of your coaching staff, an extension of your performance team if you're not in a sports setting. And that's what really drives value, that's what really makes a connection for the customer. And so we wanted to still be able to do those things, but in a way that was scalable.”

Bo Pearson

Short-term, Volt needed a way to create training for those repeated conversations so their team could create meaningful experiences when their customers needed it. And by investigating what learning management systems (LMS) can do, Bo realized they could be able to help even more people.

So starting out, Bo created an onboarding online training course for all new customers. Their goal was to test the training on their legacy market first because they knew they’d provide great feedback. And Volt continued testing and revising to make sure the courses were effective and providing the best experience to their customers.

Once they saw success over several months with their training, they started to tailor the information to create courses for specific groups. One of their newer customer bases is military-specific, so they changed the language to be less “sport” focused so it connects with the learners.

Bo thinks one of the key reasons Volt sees success with these courses is that they try to keep the content varied from type to type. So there might be a video or some text, and then that’s followed by a quiz or something interactive to keep learners engaged. And this helps not only increase knowledge retention but also the value customers are getting from this training.

What does Bo see for the future with online training?

Bo enjoys that online training platforms like Coassemble enable him to treat his training as a living, breathing. Rather than having to create a course entirely from scratch each time Volt has a product update, Bo can go in and quickly revise the training to add that information.

Looking toward the future, Bo sees a lot of opportunities open with a training platform for Volt. Being able to deliver more unique educational experiences to more customers with online courses creates a channel for Volt to serve one-to-many.

Bo is also excited to share that by using an online training platform, he was able to reduce his customer onboarding time by 41%. That’s 41% more time he and the team at Volt now have to create meaningful experiences and have more pointed conversations with their customers. Now looking internally, Bo sees opportunities to streamline how Volt can educate employees.

Ryan finishes the episode by asking Bo if there’s anything he’s brought from his coaching days that he still applies to his work with Volt. Looking back, Bo thinks that every coach shakes their head at what they were doing five years ago vs. today. So when looking to the future, always remember there’s room for improvement.

Subscribe for more episodes

The CoLab Podcast is a twice-monthly series that will include guests as well as Ryan providing expert knowledge on sharing knowledge, employee experience, and growing teams successfully at scale. To stay up to date, click subscribe wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts to receive the latest episodes.

Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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