Leading the Way With Technology
If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the fitness industry, it’s that technology can be very beneficial. From online classes to checking in with staff via Zoom, technology kept clubs connected with both members and staff during shutdowns. And, technology can continue to help you once your club reopens.
“Technology can be used in a myriad of ways to help navigate our current environment,” said Mike Rucker, the chief digital officer for Active Wellness. “Once your club opens, implementing gesture control technology on everything from soap and towel dispensers to automatic doors helps reduce surface contamination.”
Your club can also utilize technology to allow your members to check in through desktop scanners or via a mobile app to help support and encourage social distancing.
Additionally, consider using scheduling features in your member management software to book people into the club to help maintain capacity limits. “Lastly, clubs should look for temperature screening solutions,” said Rucker. “There are free offerings out there like Welld Health’s Cleared for Entry application to enterprise-grade thermal scanners with facial recognition features.”
Another key way to take advantage of technology in a post-pandemic world is by using it to track data to measure your club’s success after reopening. Bryan O’Rourke, an industry consultant, said member survey data is crucial for this.
“Having a platform that is surveying members for what is important to them and why is key,” said O’Rourke. “Measuring that information is important to continue to be aware of, and sensitive to, your members’ perspectives.”
If your club is addressing member feedback, your ability to retain existing members while also attracting new potential members is greater. If your club is interested in this, O’Rourke recommends looking into MXM’s free tools and information on member survey data.
For Rucker, the two important measurement areas to pay attention to post-COVID are the data you are getting back from your customer experience management platform and the engagement metrics you are getting back from every service delivery touchpoint.
“This data will help tell you how your members are adapting their fitness habits,” said Rucker. “Each club’s culture is different, so you need to assess your particular member base’s comfort level and adjust accordingly. You also need to see how engagement has been affected so you can make the adjustments required to class scheduling and add any required technology if you believe improving your virtual fitness offering would help with retention.”
Another key set of data points to keep track of in the coming months are the volume and sources of new leads for membership sales. While some markets may have a bigger opportunity for this than others, your club should still understand where and why leads are being generated.
“Compare the data to prior years,” said O’Rourke. “Consider marketing spend and what channels that spend is and has occurred. There are shifts that have occurred with marketing and lead gen costs, types of messaging and digital platforms that will work today as compared to the past. Consider your costs per lead and your conversion rates closely and use data to change your strategies of marketing as needed.”
Whether your club plays more attention to data points or implements new technology to make the transition to a post-COVID facility easier, it is important to know there are a variety of platforms and media you can lean on to help you while you are entering uncharted territory.