Keys to gaining patron loyalty – make coming to your aquatics facility a part of your member’s routine now, and long after the pandemic.
Even though some people have been vaccinated and restrictions are slowly being lifted, it’s clear the pandemic has shifted the game and facilities can’t rely on brand loyalties like they used to.
Now we’re back at the starting line, trying to make a game plan to get our aquatic programs, payroll and overall business back on track. The key to success is getting a patron to feel connected to an aquatic facility, so they make going a part of their routine now and long after the pandemic.
Here are three ways aquatics facilities can win patron loyalty:
1. Personalized Communication Wins
If you stepped up your social media and emailing efforts during the pandemic, keep using those methods to stay in touch and empathize with patrons’ concerns. In times of crisis, patrons want to hear empathy – not a sales pitch. As we’ve already gotten a taste of, there will still be uncertainty over the future health risks and safety of our aquatics facilities. Your communication must go beyond when your facility will reopen and explain how your facility has improved their experience and protected their safety.
2. Swim in the Long Lanes
Your patron’s trust can’t be won over in one long stroke. As aquatics facilities build trust in multiple ways overtime, points are gradually added to the scoreboard. The stakes have been raised and swimmers – and staff – expect a healthier swimming environment. What was once “nice-to-have” is now a “can’t-live-without.” So, in order to get patrons back, they need to know your aquatics facility took the extra short and long-term steps to protect their health.
To build patron’s trust, aquatics facilities have added protection against recreational water illnesses with water treatment technologies, like Hydroxyl-Based Advanced Oxidation (AOP). With up-to-date water treatment that’s proven in everything from spas to waterparks, patrons can be confident an aquatics facility is a safe place to exercise and relax for years to come.
3. Encouraging Enjoyment and Experience
Once your patron’s trust has been built, it’s time to focus on their enjoyment. Since the pandemic, patrons are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on experience and value. As a result, aquatics facilities can keep patron loyalty with improvements they can not only hear about but also experience for themselves.
How pool water feels, smells and looks can all influence a patron’s choice to swim at one aquatics facility over another. While many assume red eyes, skin irritation and “pool odor” come from chlorine, it’s actually chloramines, the disinfection by-product (DBP) of chlorine reacting to contaminants in the water. Reducing up to 90% of DBPs with water treatment, like AOP, can help elevate the experiences of both patrons and staff.
In order to get aquatics facilities back on track, patrons need to know their facility cares about their comfort. By continuing to listen, adapt and adjust to patron’s evolving needs, aquatics facilities can win patron loyalty through challenging times now, and in the future.