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There is nothing more frustrating for your members than being stuck in the check-in line, waiting to work out — especially for those on strict schedules or with time restraints. According to Gina Kohr, the membership director at the York JCC, a swift check-in process starts with the simple action of scanning membership cards.

“Make sure every member has a membership card to scan and help them practice scanning the card when they enter,” said Kohr. “Members become frustrated when someone in front of them is moving slow and is not prepared with their scan card.”

To help streamline the process in the event of a long line, even if members do have their scan card, front desk associates can also ask for waiting members’ names to move the line along.

Additionally, technology can be very helpful. Facilities can allow members to add their membership card to their smartphones, helping to avoid a slow-down when someone forgets their card at home.

The process of signing up a new member should be exciting and welcomed, but it is one thing that can interrupt the check-in process for current members and cause frustration. At the York JCC, new members complete a paper application, sign a draft agreement and have their picture taken at the front desk.

Kohr explains it’s always good to have a backup tool for such hold-ups and the busiest times of the day. “There is an extra scan station used for peak times to help with visitor sign in,” she said. Additionally, it’s always a great idea to show membership appreciation with items such as free bagels or flavored water.

And while technology and extra stations are helpful, the most simple and effective tool you can offer to members during the check-in process is a smile. “Greet every member with a smile, even if the desk associates are busy,” said Kohr. “A smile can improve anyone’s mood.”

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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