Match’s New Coaching App Seeks to Help People Connect Better

Elana Kutscher‏
Coaching for dating
Match has been serving members for 24 years, but recently it’s seen some heavy competition from younger dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. To rejuvenate itself and bring something extra to its members, Match launched a new coaching app, AskMatch, in May 2019. It’s a slow launch, which means it started out only in New York City, but the plan is for it to gradually expand nationwide by 2020.

What is this new service exactly? AskMatch allows members to schedule free one-on-one appointments with dating coaches to help them work through issues like creating an appealing profile, making a good in-person impression, recognizing unrealistic expectations, getting out of the “friend zone,” using pickup lines to create conversation, and more. This isn’t an AI chatbot — these are real, live certified and professional coaches who are available to speak with members.

Taking Dating Beyond the Internet

The idea behind AskMatch is to make dating more personal, to help people connect IRL (in real life), not just online. Match has always set itself apart in this way, encouraging meaningful relationships as opposed to continuous swiping, but AskMatch is a feature that truly sets it apart from its competitors. 

CEO of Match, Hesam Hosseini, commented, “This is the first time a dating app is going beyond just a first date, to stick with our members and help them be successful.” 

Hosseini, a millennial himself, became CEO of Match in January 2018 and was tasked specifically with making the service more appealing to his peers. Match has been losing out to Tinder over the past few years, and even though both are daughter-companies of Match Group, the veteran Match needed something to boost its popularity. 

Speaking of the new AskMatch feature, Hosseini said, "I'm a millennial, and this is a service my generation wants and needs. Yes, they don't want to talk on the phone and are automating grocery delivery, but they also seek one-on-one advice for relationships. It's kind of like a personal trainer. These parts of your life that are nuanced and emotional, you see millennials investing more and going one-on-one."

AskMatch Coaching for dating

Personal Dating Coaching is Finally Affordable

Not only is AskMatch a valuable service, but it’s being offered at a heavily discounted price. Dating and relationship coaches typically run a few hundred dollars per session — Match members are getting access to experts for the membership price, about $35 a month. “Bringing this fairly small industry that’s been inaccessible to the masses [to more people] is a great goal and one that could truly differentiate us,” Hosseini said. Of course, if the service skyrockets in popularity, Hosseini said he may rethink the payment system. But for now, it’s part of the member package.

Who’s Using AskMatch?

In its beta test, AskMatch ranked better with men than women — 3 times better, in fact. Hosseini attributes this to the fact that women are more comfortable seeking advice from their friends and family, whereas men have a harder time opening up. He said, "I think in general, men are half as likely as women to talk to family and friends about their relationships because they struggle with opening up."

As of now, 95 percent of people who have used AskMatch report that they are satisfied with their coach, and 95 percent said that they found the information helpful. Match members who use the service are also 60% more likely to recommend the site to someone else when compared to members who don’t use AskMatch. 

What’s Next for Match to Conquer?

At this point, the main thing left to improve in the AskMatch app is to add more LGBTQ coaches. While many relationship issues are the same regardless of sexual preference, there is a certain sensitivity and awareness that’s necessary when dealing with LGBTQ relationships. Hosseini is “actively looking” for these coaches so that Match can offer comprehensive coaching services to all its members.

Elana Kutscher‏
Elana is a creature of the digital age, and has been working in social media marketing and content for the better part of the past decade. She has experience with software and online platforms from multiple projects with high tech firms.