The first few months are among the best times of the year for gym and health club owners – and one of the worst for dedicated gym-goers. Discounted membership prices, New Year’s resolutions and the desire to have a beach body by summer are just a few reasons gyms get crowded early in the year.
In fact, gym traffic can increase by as much as 30 to 40 percent in January, according to Tim Keightley, executive vice president of operations at Gold’s Gym.
The problem that arises is loyal gym-goers find themselves waiting to use machines they have no problem accessing in, say, October. Some members persuade themselves to deal with the situation for a few weeks until the gym inevitably empties out, while others steer clear of the fitness center until it calms down.
Another solution to gym overcrowding is for health club owners to invest in a few simple technology upgrades that will allow new and existing members to work out as efficiently as possible.
Make Waiting For a Machine Productive
There’s no bigger buzz kill than walking into a health club and seeing lines everywhere. This situation can’t always be helped, but it can be improved with a paging system.
Providing guests with personal pagers saves members from waiting in lines for your most popular services, such as a massage station. A guest can put himself on a wait list with a gym employee and receive an Adverteaser Paddle Pager to alert him when it opens up. Now, the guest can work out on free weights or go for a run around the track until it’s his turn.
This type of pager has an added bonus in that there’s a spot for business owners to advertise. Whether you’re offering a new class or have changed your hours, you can take advantage of the paddle pager’s free advertising.
Notify Members Via Cell Phones
Another type of paging that can make the best of crowded gyms is a system that incorporates cell phone paging. This is especially helpful for health clubs that offer classes.
Let’s say a fitness instructor is holding a class with space for 25 people, and all 25 book their spot in advance. The instructor can create a wait list with names and phone numbers to keep in case someone cancels.
If a spot becomes available, the instructor can send a quick message to someone on the wait list via his or her cell phone. This is especially beneficial for classes that charge per person because it will maximize revenue and provide excellent customer service.
Surveys Help Gym Owners Improve Customer Experience
Some issues are so annoying that they can send even the most devoted fitness junkie far, far away – to another gym.
Gym goers who constantly have to deal with broken machines, dirty locker rooms or annoying music can leave a fitness center faster than Usain Bolt. It’s critical to stay in touch with members’ feelings about the facilities.
Of course, it’s not possible for a gym owner to speak with every member, but using a tool such as a digital survey tablet allows the manager to get a better overview of what needs improvement.
The great thing about a digital survey tool is that it’s completely customizable. A manager can upload a different set of questions in the morning, afternoon and evening to get a clear picture of how the health club operates at different times of the day. Even better, the manager can get the results in real-time.
If members record a negative experience, the system will immediately alert a manager who can respond and attempt to solve the problem before the member leaves frustrated.
With a few technology upgrades, the members will be flocking to your gym or health club – and not just in the first few months of each year.
Find Out More About New Technologies Enhance the Customer Experience
Complete the form below to download the free eBook, The Value from Technology, for more detail about how using technology can improve the guest experience while making you more efficient.
Skip Cass is the chief executive officer at LRS and an expert in operational efficiency and creating a memorable guest experience.