This really resonated with one of our clients recently with regards to running their weekly riding lessons.
When Wirral Riding Centre (WRC) runs their weekly riding lessons, they are usually fully booked. But every week someone cancels. No biggie, they just missed one lesson so they’re not too fussed and neither are WRC because they only lost £25 that week. But if just one rider cancels their lesson and this happens every week, WRC has actually lost £1,300 by the end of the year.
Everyone changes their plans and has to make cancellations, this is a common human behaviour. But WRC saw how a behaviour can also be encouraged when they put Motivation, Ability and Prompt in the same room. They did this by using their Mobile App. They made their weekly riding lesson bookable through their app and refilled a cancellation with a quick push notification to all their riders.
Here’s what that looks like when you break it down...
Behaviour (B): A rider quickly filled the available slot.
Motivation (M): They wanted a lesson but it had previously been fully booked.
Ability (A): It was easy for them to book and pay on WRC’s app.
Prompt (P): They were prompted by a push notification that a slot had become available.
In this case, the three elements (M, A, and P) converged, so WRC received the behavioural response they were hoping for; a full attendance. But if one of those three elements was missing, there’s a good chance that cancellation would never have been filled in time.
Horse riders don’t lack motivation. Riding is our passion and spending time on our horse improving both their skills and our own is probably one of the most gratifying aspects of our sport. Luckily for WRC this is a given. But what about ability? What if WRC didn’t have an app and riders had to give them a call to book their lesson but no-one was in the office to take the call? When they were motivated to book they would have been unable to. How about the prompt? What if WRC had posted the available slot on their Facebook page and their riders missed it? Then their riders wouldn’t have known they had a chance to book it. No prompt, no behaviour. Instead, WRC sent out a push notification to their app users and within 3 minutes the slot had been booked and they had several other riders contact them requesting it which gave WRC a chance to offer them an alternative day and get more bookings!
The MAP equation gives us a useful insight into why apps are such powerful business assets. An app provides both the ability and the prompt like no other marketing tool. Riders can take action (ability) on a push notification (prompt) from the same device! It plays right into the hands of people’s behavioural patterns, literally. Thinking about it’s functionality in this way has really helped riding centres like WRC join the dots and adapt themselves to an environment that is increasingly ‘mobile’, driven by little collisions of motivation, ability and prompt.