Operating during a health crisis is a challenge for companies in any vertical or niche, but it poses a particularly difficult challenge for the fitness industry. These businesses need to address a wide range of health safety issues and build trust among their members, while maintaining memberships and additional revenue streams in order for their businesses to remain viable.
Jon Levin, director of product management, Star Micronics, says one of the biggest challenges in reopening a health club is social distancing and keeping machines and facilities clean. Their post-coronavirus operations must include ways to track the number of people scheduled or entering the facility in real time and schedule cleaning based on the number of members using the equipment.
“Cleanliness is even more of an issue for health clubs than other businesses due to the high-contact nature of physical activity with various workout equipment, weights, etc.,” Levin says. “No technology can replace the physical need to clean that gym equipment, but technology can help reduce the need for human interaction.”
Solutions that customers of your health club or fitness center might find useful when they reopen include:
- Fitness club management or employee management software with features that can help them organize cleaning schedules, require employee digital signatures, and a step-by-step checklist to ensure all aspects of cleaning are covered. Levin says clubs may find it helpful to allow each team member to access apps on a tablet to avoid having to share a computer.
- Kiosks can reduce the interaction between facility staff and customers. Levin says, “It will be essential in all aspects, including registration, enrollment and orientation of new members, and the sale of snacks, smoothies and retail products. I imagine easy-to-clean self-service kiosks will become a bigger part of the fitness club experience in all of these areas. »
- Hardware made with antimicrobial materials may reduce the risk of people in the fitness center contracting the virus. In some cases, antimicrobial films can be applied to the material to give it this property.
- Digitized processes for all aspects of the client’s relationship with the establishment. “For example,” Levin says. “Clients should never have to touch a pen to log in, sign a waiver, or register for a particular class or equipment.”
- Contactless payments so customers can pay by tapping or waving a card, smartphone or smartwatch. With contactless payments, cash or cards never have to change hands, which could help reduce the spread of the virus.
- Printed communications can replace some of the information that health club staff would have shared with members in person and provide a way to continue regular communication with customers. Printing schedule changes, information about virtual classes, or new offers and upcoming events can help keep members informed, without breaking social distancing rules. Levin says printed receipts for purchases at the club are also great communication tools, especially in self-serve situations.
Be more than a solution provider
As your customers reopen their businesses, you will begin to collect a wealth of information from your network on the best ways to approach reopening health clubs, what works and what doesn’t. You can share information, for example, about how to set times or require appointments to limit the number of people in the facility, whether virtual classes are keeping members engaged, or how clubs are informing members when the equipment has not been disinfected and is not. t ready to use.
Your conversations with customers and prospects can also shed light on how to perform temperature checks, the best personal protective equipment for staff, and new revenue streams that keep businesses in the dark, like selling merchandise. or remote personal trainer services.
You can also educate yourself and be the go-to source for the latest regulations in your clients’ city or county to help ensure they are compliant.
Your expertise in providing solutions to the fitness industry has given you an in-depth understanding of your customers’ businesses pre-coronavirus. This knowledge puts you in a unique position to adapt their operations and IT solutions to today’s new challenges. Don’t miss this opportunity to build closer relationships with your customers as a trusted business advisor as well as an IT solutions provider.
For more information on solutions that can help your customers reopen their health club as well as kick-start customers in other verticals or niches, contact BlueStar’s Star Micronics team.