With fall upon us, the leisurely days of summer are history. In their place have popped up the school pick-up line, soccer practice and a busier schedule for the entire family. As American schedules become crammed for time, club managers must pick up on the cue their members are sending: Time is of the essence.
A recent survey on how Americans use their time conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides startling insight into how little time the average American adult spends on sport, exercise and recreation activities, such as golf. The study found that only 23-percent of American men and 18-percent of American women participate in exercise activities daily.
These numbers may not immediately raise eyebrows, but comparing them along with the time spent by Americans on other activities puts into perspective the battle with time that clubs face in attracting new and loyal members. With only 24-hours in a day, the average American spends 7.6 of those hours working, 2.6 hours on household activities and 2 hours caring for children. Factoring in sleep and transportation time, it's easy to recognize how many say there isn't enough time in the day for them to engage in activities like golf.
Luckily for clubs, the solution to addressing this time crunch lies at member’s fingertips. Below are 3 app-based features clubs can offer to not only save members time, but enhance their experiences.
1. Cater to members' needs through mobile food ordering
Clubs can save member's time by offering customized food and beverage ordering options through their smartphones. Say you are in your office and about to ponder everyone’s daily late afternoon inquiry…”what’s for dinner?” They open the club’s app and click, click…your member just spent $100 while ordering a healthy dinner “To-Go” in seconds. The key is that that club was the most convenient option at the time of that decision.
2. Cut the valet line through an app-based car request
The time has come to leave the club and all that stands between you and your front door is a pesky wait at the valet stand. As we say, “waiting is for amateurs”. Click, click (before you walk out) and your car is waiting for you.
The key is that the club offers the fastest valet ever, leaving all others inferior.
3. Streamline customer service
How many times have you tried to call a business only to get passed a few times before reaching the right person? The same happens at the club. How many times have you danced around a website looking for something specific and can’t find it? The same happens at the club. Unclear customer service options are not only inefficient, but test a member's patience to the point of taking their hard earned money and precious time elsewhere.
A beautifully designed app can save members from engaging in a wild goose chase when seeking to have their needs addressed. This seamless transition may serve the dual benefits of making members happier and driving your club's bottom line.
The key is that the club makes it easier to get who and what you want.
Don’t overlook that your website is part of your member experience, your phone system and who answers it is part of the member experience and your parking situation is the first and final impression of your onsite member experience. A time efficient service delivery is critical to your reputation. An American Express study found that 70-percent of Americans are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
With Americans' increasing reliance on smartphone technology and declining amount of time for leisure activities, clubs must take stock of the ways in which they can create efficiencies for members. In doing so, clubs may help members clear out more time from their hectic schedules to spend engaging in leisurely and fun activities at the club.