For health club owners, the elements of the cloud that concern them include apps, smart sensors, servo motor actuators, mobile devices, digital services, the entire Internet, and, more broadly, the Internet of Things (IoT). According to some estimates, nearly 5.5 million “things” are being added to the IoT every day, and, by 2020, it’s estimated it will host some 25 billion of them.
Everybody and everything is plugging into the cloud these days. This is especially true for the fitness crowd. According to research group Flurry Analytics, the usage of health and fitness apps has grown 330% over the last three years. Over 75% of users opened their apps two times per week, and 33% opened them 10 times per week. Many of these apps are connected to wearables and equipment that are common in almost every club. Including yours.
For the health and fitness industry the message is clear: Your customers are in the cloud. And they want to stay there.
New Technology Solving Old Problems
The lessons learned from early experience with cloud computing is how easy it is to be overwhelmed. Best to keep this in mind: The cloud is a tool, not a destination.
Your membership still works out in the real world, physically interacting with equipment, your staff, and other members. It’s still about customer service.
“The most important thing about the cloud is not actually the technology—it’s the customer,” says Bryan O’Rourke, president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C). “It’s about how clubs are going to leverage it to enhance service. The better we can do that, the more customers we’ll get.”
The cloud gives you a wide spectrum of options in maximizing customer engagement. Cloud-related services can …
- engage the interest of prospects and members;
- mitigate workout boredom;
- increase satisfaction and utilization;
- improve results;
- increase members’ spending;
- have a positive effect on retention.
There’s nothing revolutionary about that list of goals. They’ve always been a focus of health clubs. But what’s new is that the cloud tears down the walls of your facility. Your members are everywhere, and so are you. Or at least, you should be.