Campfire CoWorks is an innovation hub located in Marquette, MI, USA. Around the Campfire, local entrepreneurs, startup founders, and creatives find the required resources to build their skills, launch new businesses, spark social impact, and reach new markets.
Here is whatMichael Gorski, RevOps Pointman and Resource Specialist at Campfire CoWorks says about company focus:
The focus for Campfire is to be an innovation hub that attracts founders of startups, entrepreneurs, and other creative professionals. With these community leaders, our goal is to build a robust local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Campfire is a highly tech-driven company in everything that is associated with business success and efficiency, which is not surprising since they position themselves as an innovation hub.
We decided to use technology to make our processes more effective right from the start. We are a system-driven company. Technology allows us to sustain our current organizational structure while at the same time providing data on what parts of the business need improvement and scaling opportunities for the company. — Michael Gorski, here and below unless otherwise noted.
Besides, the workspace prioritizes customer experience above all, so they were looking for an utterly member-friendly software solution.
The top concern that we were looking to cover with coworking software was customer experience. The onboarding process and user interface must be so simple to use that if you need to explain it then something is wrong.
Here follows the most interesting part of Campfire’s success story with their “worst-first” coworking software experience, the decision to migrate to a better solution, and the outcomes of that decision.
Before discovering andcards, Campfire CoWorks were using Nexudus, which turned out to be not a perfect choice for them. Down below Michael lists some critical problems that forced them to migrate to another platform.
The common problem of popular coworking space management systems is that they offer hybrid in-house design systems that customers aren’t familiar with. Instead of using guidelines that are based on Google’s or Apple’s research, they choose to build their own subpar interface that users have to uncover and get used to.
This is exactly what happened to Campfire. The interface of the introduced software was not intuitive enough. Members couldn’t grasp immediately how to make a booking or pay for a service and rushed to the help desk to hold the manager to account.
Our customers were confused and it turned into an administration nightmare for our community manager. The admins had to spend the same amount of time on hacking Nexudus as they would spend on manual administration. And don’t forget that we had to pay around $200 every month for the headache.
Most of the coworking space management systems give you an array of administrative tools that are aimed to help you control the workspace. However, it’s almost impossible to use them on mobile. It’s really weird in today’s mobile-first world that administrators can’t leave their desks as they have to use laptops or desktop computers to handle everyday tasks. But it all turns into a total disaster when mobile apps for members are more of an afterthought. It hurts client satisfaction and brand image a lot.
Due to poor user experience on mobile, Campfire members had to use a desktop workspace platform, which deprived them of the comfort and flexibility a mobile app could give. For instance, members couldn’t book a desk or reply in the community chat on the go. To do it they needed to find a place to switch their laptop on first.
The majority of customers were using a desktop platform more than mobile because the mobile UX wasn’t optimal.
Unfortunately, poor member experience was not the only problem reported by Michael. They suffered from repeated technical issues that caused additional inconveniences and irritation.
When our community manager was making internal changes, email push notifications would be sent to members for whatever reason. Members were confused as to why they were receiving these emails. We tried to figure this out but to no avail.
We have already mentioned that Campfire is a tech-driven company that utilizes multiple smart solutions to make the life of its members happier. Kisi access control system is one of these solutions. It is highly recommended to integrate access control and coworking space management systems to make a workspace accessible for members 24/7 and enable residents to unlock the doors with a smartphone. However, if the integration is unstable, it may cause real catastrophes.
For instance, sometimes after coworking software updates Campfire members couldn’t unlock the door and get to the space because the integration didn’t work.
Sometimes Nexudus updates triggered a domino effect. The update would have an issue connecting to our internet provider, a server reboot or surge would happen and throw our Kisi door system offline. We were getting messages from members saying they couldn’t get access to the space due to Kisi being offline.
It goes without saying that the consequences of such lags were frustrating—a huge amount of time spent by managers on fixing the problem, unhappy members, and damaged reputation of the “innovation hub” to name just a few.
When technical problems occur, the most natural step is to contact a software vendor for help and support. However, if the average response time of the support manager is more than 12 hours, it can hardly be called lightning-fast.
When we tried to get through to their customer support, at the earliest they would respond in 12 hours.
Instead of the expected automation and freedom from manual work, administrators at Campfire had to spend a lot of their time on helping members complete this or that step on the app and troubleshooting the system. As a result, no manager hours have been saved and no effort has been redirected on building community, engaging members, and other activities that are vital for coworking space success.
It was costing us money because our community manager was troubleshooting and putting out fires versus doing revenue-building activities and overall membership engagement.
The suggestion to migrate to a better solution was prompted by Clair, Chief Operations Officer at Campfire, who discovered andcards. She then requested help from their community manager Ashley, who is also a UX designer, to help benchmark several different platforms and then they collectively made the decision to switch to andcards.
Our philosophy is whoever is performing a specific task within our company, we listen to their input and then it's our responsibility to make them more efficient in their job role.
Many coworking space managers are scared of migrating to another management platform even if they are disappointed with their current system performance. Though, if the software vendor has excellent customer support like andcards does, they will walk you through every step of the migration to make it as smooth and quick as possible. At Campfire we managed to migrate everything to andcards within a day with just a few not-so-critical snags.
We did hit a few snags with the migration process but the majority of it was on Nexudus’ end because they were still connected to our Kisi system and current membership base.
The rest of the migration tasks were handled by the andcards team and the Mass Invite feature, so that Campfire could have the new system up-and-running very quickly and their members could enjoy a brand new user experience that is both powerful and intuitive.
We’ve seen a huge turnaround in our customer experience and I now have more freedom to work on projects that actually matter. We are super happy we made the change to andcards!
andcards uses native design guidelines and simple interface logic, which makes the software extremely easy to use across all platforms. In the case of Campfire, when their community manager went on maternity leave, Michael easily stepped into her boots and continued with all administrative tasks without any interruptions.
andcards is really easy to use. I mentioned that it was our community manager who initially suggested the software. She is now on maternity leave and I have stepped into her role with all the admin work. I have minimal experience in administrative work, however, the andcards’ operating system was simple enough so anybody can jump in, learn it, and have a basic understanding of how to use it.
The system is made to be loud and clear to anybody—an administrator or a member which also made it possible to adopt the new software after the migration very quickly. Moreover, if the Campfire team had any questions as to how to use the system, andcards team was there for them every step of the way.
andcards provided Campfire with native branded smartphone apps both for members and administrators. They are styled in Material Design on Android, and Human Interface Guidelines on iOS. Since app navigation and the entire interface are familiar, tenants and administrators already knew intuitively how to use the apps.
There are no separate admin panel and apps for members. andcards team builds one product for both customers and admins with the latter just having more access permissions. Mobile apps provide exactly the same set of features as a web version. With all necessary tools available in their pockets, administrators can manage a coworking space on the go as well as customers have all perks in their smartphones wherever they go.
Now, Campfire admins don’t have to stay at the desk to perform their routines. They can manage members, bills, bookings, events, services, benefits, and more on mobile.
As to members, as soon as they download the Campfire app, all workspace services become available any time, at any place, right from the palm of their hand. Members can book rooms and desks, join events, follow the community feed, get support, buy services, and so much more.
andcards app gives members so much value. They see the intuitiveness of the platform and the ability to save time.
andcards coworking software is tightly integrated with many external apps, including the access control system by Kisi. This ensures a stable connection between the apps and allows to simplify and improve both members’ and managers’ experience. Members unlock the doors with a smartphone and use the same Campfire app they use for bookings.
Administrators can automate member registration and auto-invite them to download Kisi apps. They grant access to workspace based on the membership plan. No need to track and manually cancel access. The mobile key stays active as long as a member is paying their fees and expires together with a plan.
In just one month, we onboarded 19 new members. The process was simple and people are loving how the Kisi door access is built right into the andcards application. (Less real estate taken up on their smartphones.) Since our migration to andcards we didn’t have any problems with door unlock.
Unlimited hours of 24/7 support are included in the Campfire subscription plan on andcards. Our customers don’t pay any additional fees for onboarding, help, and guidance. A personal account executive is always ready to assist with training and integration.
Support managers respond within three minutes on average.
80% of our 5-star TrustPilot reviews praise our customer service and Michael’s feedback proves this.
andcards customer service exceeded our expectations! Igor was very thorough in asking questions and listening to our unique situation and provided exceptional guidance. Also, when we did have other ongoing questions, whether the chatbot or email, the andcards support team was fast, responsive, and very helpful to our specific use cases.
Today administration at Campfire is 100% automated, which helps the brand fit the image of the innovation hub even better. All members’ details including contacts, bills, and transactions are gathered in a single digital catalog. An administrator assigns a membership plan once and then the system creates recurring bills for each resident automatically. They include a membership fee and all one-off charges for services consumed by members. The administrator has full control over bill items, they add/delete positions and sends it to a resident for payment.
Members book desks and rooms, apply for benefits and events, purchase additional services, register their guests, and more through the self-service app. They don’t need the manager’s help to use all membership perks to the fullest.
Each month members get their bills sent by the admin with all items included and pay it in a few taps right inside the same app.
Campfire app provides really smooth experience for customers and saves many hours for managers by taking care of all routines. Administrators can easily monitor business performance and residents’ happiness through the newly released Analytics andcards feature.
Now we can say at a glance that Campfire has 19 new members, Tuesdays & Thursdays are the busiest days of the week for booking and the bookings are on average three hours per session. It’s really easy to take data-driven decisions with andcards Analytics. Thank you so much for rolling out this feature!
Improved member experience can really work wonders in the hospitality business. Due to the simple onboarding process, Campfire got 19 new members and increased their desk occupancy by 52% in just one month.
Michael also denotes that there is a positive trend in member retention and upsell.
andcards has a huge effect on customer experience. The onboarding process became much simpler. Day and night difference with the previous platform.
We onboarded 19 new members recently, 10 have been day passes or week passes which have increased our desk occupancy by 52% in a month.
Besides, we noticed a positive change in member retention and membership upsell. Two members who originally signed up for a day or week pass eventually upgraded to a monthly membership.
Members got cool mobile apps and 98% prefer to use them for bookings. Now it takes a few seconds and a couple of taps to book a desk or a meeting room at Campfire CoWorks from any place on Earth.
Since andcards adoption, there were no serious technical issues associated with the system’s performance at Campfire. All support queries were resolved in a matter of minutes.
Since adopting andcards, members at Campfire didn’t experience any issues with door unlock and access to the premises. They even don’t have to use the Kisi app to open the doors with a smartphone. It all happens through andcards.
Thanks to processes automation, managers at Campfire save 20 hours every week. Now they have enough time for money-making activities, which surely causes ROI increase.
On average, I would say 20 hours per week is being saved by managers.
I would also confirm that andcards affected Campfire’s ROI in general. We like money around here and your system is helping us make more of it!
Now, when everything works flawlessly and all workspace services and easily available to customers, Campfire managers save 30 hours a week on support. They stopped to get mass poor user experience complaints and individual account issues take not more than 3-5 hours, which frees colossal time for more important management matters.
I was the person handling all the customer support when we had Nexudus, and since we have migrated, my 30 hours a week spent in trying to fix bad customer experiences is now more like 3-5 hours a week handling account issues.