Portsmouth University

University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth signed up for Gladstone’s MobilePro smartphone app because it aligned with some of our key strategic aims: to engage our customers interactively, allow them to access our information more quickly, book easily.

Portsmouth University

"Class booking is the most popular module, accounting for 64 per cent of app hits, with sports hall activities the second most popular, at 11 per cent."

We have been a Gladstone customer for nine years, and in addition to Plus2 membership management software, we use Connect for online booking, Join@Home for online joining, eyeQ for business intelligence, Business Process Manager for streamlining back-of-house admin and Kiosk self-service units across all three of our extensive sports facilities.

However, due to problems with our previous website provider, our customers often found it hard to access the information they needed. We felt that MobilePro could provide us with a flexible solution to this problem.

Since we launched it in September 2014, 5,100 people have downloaded the app, and we’ve seen both a dramatic boost in online transactions and a drastic drop-off in phone-call volume for bookings. Roughly 80 per cent of class users now book via MobilePro. Given that we offer 50 classes a week, this has greatly reduced the workload of our customer service advisors, allowing them to concentrate on other more important tasks.

Class booking is the most popular module, accounting for 64 per cent of app hits, with sports hall activities the second most popular, at 11 per cent. These figures show how easy the booking process is, which is vital to instilling customer confidence in the product.

But we don’t just use MobilePro as a booking app; it’s also an invaluable communication and marketing tool. According to Gladstone, we send more push notifications through the app than any of their other customers. We have used it to communicate time changes, class changes, emergency closures, charity events, competitions, competition winners and courses. Plus we always wish our members Merry Christmas on Christmas Day!

The reports and analysis feature of the app has also been extremely useful. During promotional pushes, it’s great to be able to provide our staff with targets, and motivating for them to see the numbers increasing daily. It also highlights what people want to view, which allows us to tweak our content to make it more engaging. And using the web cockpit to update content is really very simple.

Aside from reducing staff workload, the other major benefit of MobilePro has been customer satisfaction. The booking figures speak for themselves, and feedback shows that people are finding the information we share on the app useful, simple and easy to find. We can now reach our customers directly rather than having to rely on them opening an email: it makes us part of their lives.


Bryn Jones, Sports Duty Supervisor, Department of Sport and Recreation, University of Portsmouth


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