Fitness facilities seem to be thriving, with gym memberships growing by nearly 20% since 2008 and expected growth of 23% over the next decade. That said, you’ll still need to put the work in to welcome potential members from the moment they walk in the door. In other words, you’ll need to highlight your gym or health club’s front desk experience to ensure you’re providing as many reasons to sign up (and keep coming) as you can. There are a number of ways to improve the front desk check-in experience at your gym — and we’re sharing a few of them below.
Focus on Design
The visual impact and functionality of your front desk will matter a lot. It’s a good idea to make a list of your priorities when designing this space, as this can help to ensure that the front desk will be both efficient and aesthetically pleasing. That said, function should come before anything else in this case; if you design based on visual style alone, your front desk won’t be able to accommodate the needs of employees or members. Once you make certain the needs of those individuals can be met, you can turn your attention to the layout, the desk design, and the space’s overall appearance. Make sure that the scale and height of these areas work well for the majority of people who come in and that you forgo clutter for clean lines. The front desk area should not only welcome visitors and allow for streamlined check-in but should instantly tell the story of your brand. That way, members will have the logistics taken care of and will respond on an emotional level to your facility.
Invest in Health Club Software
Now that you’ve made sure that the design of the front desk area will accommodate your members and staff, you’ll need to obtain the tools necessary to streamline the check-in process. There are plenty of health club management systems out there that can allow you to keep track of membership details and ensure members stay engaged. But you’ll want to specifically look at platforms that provide check in software for gyms. These health club management software platforms can allow staff members to access vital information and verify members are up-to-date on payments. Best of all, health club software programs can allow members to check in via a key tag, a pin code, a fingerprint, or other means — either by a staff member or through a self check-in process. Rather than having an old fashioned sign-in sheet or having to tediously type in the name of each member upon check-in, this process will be simple and painless. In the digital age, having this type of health club software is a must; no one wants to wait to work out.
Train Your Staff
While having health club software can go a long way in improving the customer experience, you’ll still need to train your staff properly to ensure a smooth check-in process. Keep in mind that the staff members at the desk are on the front lines; their interactions with members (and potential members) can have a huge impact on satisfaction and retention. When a health club or gym exhibits stellar customer service, your facility can increase profits and brand loyalty over time. For members who don’t participate in fitness classes or personal training sessions, these front desk interactions may be their only real interaction with your business — so it’s important to make it count. Staff members should showcase your brand’s ethos while exhibiting confidence, friendliness, and compassion. Above all else, your employees should make every person feel welcomed and accepted from the onset. Not only should you remember this when hiring, but you’ll need to drive home these values during training. And, of course, staff members should be well trained to use health club software to facilitate a painless check-in or member registration process.
As you can see, there are several aspects to improving the front desk check-in process at your health club. But if you keep these tips in mind, you should be able to exceed member expectations and improve the employee experience while boosting your brand reputation.