There's no time in the health club industry quite like January. The new year brings an influx of new members, all motivated to work out more often and get in shape. What other time of year is the club as crowded as it is right now?
You probably have high hopes of keeping new members for a long time or turning a 10-pack into a monthly membership.
The only problem? Peak usage times may be sabotaging your members' happiness and desire to continue exercising at your club. Peak Machine Usage Time is a silent killer in the health club industry. But once you get the right data, you can use it to your advantage. How? We explain more.
What is Peak Machine Usage Time?
Peak Machine Usage Time is simply the time of day when the machines in your club are being used the most. This may sound intuitive, but you might be surprised to see how different machines are used in your club. Peak Machine Usage Times can show you that you don't have enough of one particular type of equipment. On the other hand, Peak Machine Usage Time can tell you when you have too much of a certain equipment type.
Even with 20+ years experience in the club industry, "eyeballing" when your machines are in use the most is sort of like looking at yourself in the mirror and determining that you're overweight. Sure, we may not like what we see, but wouldn't it be helpful to get on the scale and have a number to tell us more?
The Member Satisfaction Downfall
Believe it or not, members do not have one negative experience at a club and immediately quit. What club operators are starting to realize, is that it is several minor-negative experiences add up over several visits. And the negative experiences are happening in silence.
In relation to the commercial fitness equipment on your floor, negative experiences happen when a member is unable to use the machine they want several times in a row.
Now, to solve this, do you need more treadmills? Do you need more ellipticals? Has your manufacturer provided you with an easy-to-follow sequencing solution, so members can figure out a substitute solution on their own?
If you're getting ready to purchase new equipment, understanding peak usage times and optimizing your equipment mix can save you thousands of dollars in operating costs. Additionally, it may help you save in cancellation fees and improve member satisfaction.
The How to Use Peak Usage Time to Improve Member Satisfaction
Knowing peak usage time isn't just a piece of information you keep to yourself. Your members don't want to come to the club when every machine is taken, just as much as you don't want to see unhappy members because of an over-saturation situation.
You can actually use Peak Machine Usage Time data to help members see when machines are not in use. By letting members know when machines are not in use as often, you are providing helpful, relevant information that they can use to have a better experience at the club. It's can be as simple as including the information in your next email to members.
"But what if everyone comes at off-times now?" You say to yourself. Well, while that could happen, people have jobs, families, kids and softball games that take their time. So it's probably not going to happen.
But, this is your opportunity to reach the members who might say, "I wish I knew when the gym wasn't crowded, so I could go at that time." For those members who are slightly annoyed and dissatisfied by an overcrowded club, sharing this information will be music to their ears. Now they can organize their day around attending the gym at a time when things won't be so hectic.
Remember, it's your health club. But you want your members to feel like it is their club, with equipment and classes available on their time. Knowing your Machine Peak Usage Time is a great first step towards improving member satisfaction.