Between wearables, heart-rate monitors, mobile apps and new software, technology is everywhere. Fitness technology provides numerous benefits to your members because it allows them to better track workouts, stay motivated and keep engaged in the club. However, it seems as if there are new developments in technology each month. Just with fitness trends, it can be hard to decide what technology is here to stay, versus a quick passing fad.
To help you decide what technology to invest in, Travis Shannon, the vice president of information at Leisure Sports, highlights a few pieces of technology that might enhance the member experience within your club.
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While this might seem basic, Shannon explained it is a necessity for members. “This really doesn’t have much to do with the fitness side of things, but it really does have to do with the entertainment,” said Shannon. “Whether it is audio or steaming movies, for us it has become an amenity that is expected and even though we offer it for free, it needs to be rock solid and essential to compete with what people’s experience is streaming stuff at home.”
Between Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, the Apple watch and numerous others, there is no shortage of wearable options for your members to choose from. And according to Shannon wearables are an essential technology to have. “It is important to have some sort of wearable strategy with your business,” he added. “Which ones do you prefer? Which ones do you encourage members to use? I think that data can help members reach their fitness goals quicker or a least have more transparency into their progress. It is also a way for us to tie into things outside the building. While it seems a little odd to put something on that they can use anywhere, I think in the end that only benefits us to encourage people to be a bit more active.”
It is not enough to be on Facebook and Twitter, but it is essential to take full advantage of social media platforms as a tool to build community. “Really encourage virtual and online communities for communication and as a way to stay connected,” explained Shannon. “That goes hand in hand with the wearable components as well. It is not enough to use wearables to have members track their workouts, but what is the interaction with that? Are they being held accountable by friends or other members? How does that function keep you engaged as a member whether you are onsite or not?”
Some kind of surveying mechanism is essential to keep track of how members feel about the club and in turn, enhance the member experience. “Gather useful information from your members about where they perceive you as being deficient,” said Shannon. “In order to address those things, you need to gather that information and those types of survey tools are absolutely essential to making any kind of dent in the membership experience.”