Monday, 7 December 2015

The Problem with Engaging with Swimmers

This is a guest post from Colin Scott, the Business Development Manager of 222 Sports Ltd. the developers of SWIMTAG. Prior to joining the SWIMTAG team in 2014, he worked as Sales and Marketing Manager at Westwoods Health Club, an exclusive private club which is part of Fettes College in Edinburgh. Westwoods were the first SWIMTAG operator in Scotland.

We all know that staff engagement with members is crucial to building rapport, making members feel welcome and ensuring they remain a member for longer!

In the gym this is comparatively easy to do.
The member will be invited to an introductory session of some description, where the instructor will find out their goals and set up a programme to help them achieve them. They will then be invited to make an appointment for future programme updates, fitness assessments and the best instructors will also engage members in the gym, ask them how their programme is going and get to know them on a personal level.

If they use classes, then they will get to know the class instructor and they’ll also get to know all the other friendly people who take part.

So far, so good. But what about the members who prefer to swim? If they are lucky they’ll get a hello at reception. They might also get a cursory nod or a hello from a lifeguard who, if they are doing their job properly and following RLSS guidelines, won’t be engaging pool users in too much conversation.

So how do you solve the problem?

When I worked at Westwoods Health Club, we faced a similar situation. The gym users had an excellent level of care, our Swim Only members loved the spacious pool and clean changing rooms which were the best around, so we still had good retention rates, but we wanted to do more. We wanted to get engagement with swimmers closer to the level our gym users had.

We finally found the answer when we installed SWIMTAG in May 2013.
All of a sudden the reception team had something new and exciting to tell the swimmers about and they would say things like “Going for a swim? Try this; it tells you how many lengths you’ve done, how many calories you’ve burned, and how fast you’re going, you’ll love it”.

Members would take a wristband, swim with it, then head home to check out their stats. They would then come back, raving about the data that SWIMTAG provided, how they had set up their PB’s and how they wanted to try SWIMTAG again so that they could try and swim faster, or try and burn more calories!

The SWIMTAG operator panel also gave us the opportunity to send messages to our swimmers and we could also set up challenge and competitions and review our swimming stats.

It was all these great features, combined with the great customer service offered at SWIMTAG HQ, that lead me to join SWIMTAG.

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