Many health, fitness, and wellness clubs are turning to technology-enabled solutions to expand their offerings and provide a more robust member experience. Digital touchpoints are increasingly used in these facilities for services like check-in, self-registration and class sign-up, and payments. Beyond streamlining clerical workflows, new tech-enabled solutions can also improve the overall member experience by adding new services, such as interactive health stations that offer exercise guides, tips, or even virtual classes.
For health club associates, these touchpoints reduce the burden of administrative work, letting staff members focus on customer engagement and more important service interactions.
Here are some of the digital solutions fitness centers are rolling out to offer efficient, high-quality experiences in this competitive market.
Streamlined member registration and payments
Self-service kiosks in a fitness setting can be used to bust lines and speed-up the processing of simple clerical tasks.
In BFit Gyms, customers can use a self-registration system to check in, register, or access several member services options. BFit’s website is also linked to the kiosks, enabling a consistent experience across physical and digital channels.
In a busy fitness center, gym, CrossFit, or yoga studio, a digital touchpoint can eliminate bottlenecks at the front desk by enabling self-service:
- Membership balance payments
- Account information updates
Many fitness centers are also enabling account management options on a website or mobile application, further reducing the reliance upon staff for clerical functions.
Touchpoints enable a personalized member experience
New technologies, like apps and wearable fitness trackers, have made it possible to take a data-driven approach to health and fitness. Gyms and fitness clubs can similarly take advantage of personalization via digital touchpoints within their facilities. Here’s how:
- Members entering a gym can scan a membership card at a kiosk, logging their entry to the gym while also showing them quick facts about their workout history and, perhaps, today’s routine.
- Statistics like workout streaks, daily goals, and class reminders help members feel engaged in their fitness club experience. This adds a competitive element that can be satisfying and fun, leading to better member retention.
- With scanning-enabled points of entry, coded member ID cards allow health clubs to choose which area of the facility a member can access and when, as well as track the usage of each area.
Reducing administrative burden on staff
Whether you’re running a high-traffic fitness facility or a single-room studio, the demands on staff are always a concern. Digital touchpoints enable faster, automated workflows that reduce errors, provide a great customer experience, and free up specialists for other customer interactions.
Consider a busy fitness center that runs popular spin and pilates classes in the evening. To increase awareness and attract new customers, members are allowed to bring a guest to class once per month.
When that class is about to start, the front desk becomes crowded with members who need to sign their guests in for the class, along with any other members who might be looking for assistance at that moment. Staff then has to manually enter the information for each guest, which can be time-consuming—often taking several minutes per interaction and opening up the door for clerical errors.
With a smart touchpoint, guests could check themselves in by scanning an ID and providing an email address—a valuable tool for lead capture—drastically reducing strain on staff and the wait time of current and prospective members. This could also tie the data seamlessly into the facility’s online tools, enabling personalized reminders or record keeping.
Tech as a tool for member retention
Member retention at fitness centers requires success in two equally important but intertwined areas:
- Customer experience
- Engagement and encouragement
Helping members meet their fitness goals not only provides a better member experience, it also motivates them to keep coming back. According to one study, members who were at risk of canceling their membership and received a “successful commitment interaction” to encourage them to continue to visit the gym were 45% less likely to cancel than members who didn’t receive such an interaction.
Smarter fitness centers can use analytics to create a personalized experience. This can include creating custom workflows for things like offering a free class to a member who hasn’t visited the gym in a while.
The virtual on-demand fitness class
A growing number of fitness centers, including industry giants like Crunch and Gold’s Gym, are offering digital fitness classes for members who can’t make it to the gym during class hours.
But virtual classes don’t just benefit traditional fitness clubs. They also enable hotel and residential gyms, facilities that typically lack the resources to hire trainers and class instructors, to vastly expand their offerings in their physical locations.
What does an in-gym virtual class setup look like? A course selection kiosk is paired with a projector, allowing gym members or staff to stream a class through a growing number of fitness streaming services like FitCloudConnect and Fitness On Demand.
Improving gym analytics and improving the bottom line with digital touchpoints
Vault Fitness Center operates as a busy 24-hour gym with personal fitness sessions. With over 30 personal trainers renting space in the facility, Vault needed a way to account for the number of sessions each trainer was facilitating.
The process of checking members into training sessions with an antiquated paper log system proved to be inefficient and vulnerable to clerical errors. To address this problem, Vault adopted a digital kiosk system that enabled members to quickly check into their sessions when they enter the gym. Session data from the kiosk automatically populates a database that Vault uses to account for training sessions, making it faster and easier to bill trainers for their gym time.
With the introduction of a digital touchpoint, Vault was able to turn a multi-day process into one that takes between five to ten minutes.
Versatile devices for the evolving fitness center
As gyms and fitness centers continue to create more immersive member experiences, they’ll depend on digital integrations that can adapt to their needs. Selecting technology solutions that are flexible, upgradeable, and powerful enough to support the future iterations of fitness tech is essential to long-term member satisfaction and retention.
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