How to blend pool safety and member experience this summer
The sun is bearing down and pool season is almost upon us. Facilities across the country are gearing up to welcome crowds to their facilities and preparing for the swim lessons and classes ahead!
While the worst of the pandemic may well and truly be behind us now, it did show us how important it is to consider hygiene, pool safety, and disease control while framing your pool rules during the season.
How to reopen your swimming pool safely in 2022?
- Review swimming pool rules
- Optimize for space
- Stay on top of sanitization
- Improve capacity management
- Take a fresh look at member experience
Today, concerns around COVID-19 may not be of the highest priority, but it is still important to ensure pool visitors have a comfortable experience at the facility. This means ensuring everything from water safety to maintaining chlorinated pools at all times, apart from creating a memorable visitor experience. Let's discuss some smart safety tips that will ensure your visitors have a safe and fun time at your facility!
1. Review Swimming Pool Rules
While many pools work with the state and local regulations while setting their pool rules, you can explore your own guidelines that build on standard regulations and make your facility a safer place.
Make sure you keep your safety equipment such as life jackets and flotation devices well-maintained and easily accessible near the pool area at all times. Conduct a quick survey to gather preference data on your members. You could gather information on everything from their vaccination data to their travel history and their age groups, among other things. This will help you understand member behavior better. It would also help you frame safety guidelines and manage capacity in a way that works best for your community.
2. Optimize for space
If you're maintaining social distancing at your facility, this means your space is limited within and outside the water. However, that doesn't mean you can't optimize for space without compromising safety. Aside from managing capacity, you can manage distancing with the help of signs with ‘6 Feet Apart’ and marking spaces with tape where necessary.
In the water, however, it can be a little more of a challenge to do so. While you're relaxing your capacities, it can be a delicate balance to maintain within the pool with more people waiting to dive in.
The best way to do this would be to restrict swimmers to lanes. That way the pool is a lot more organized and it would be easier for swimmers to maintain a safe distance from each other. But restricting people to lanes is just half the job done. Why stop there when you can double your capacity without any additional risk for your members? With tools like the lane-wide FINIS Turnmaster, this can now be done without having to go to the trouble of installing a bulkhead.
3. Stay on top of Sanitization
As much as we may know the importance by now, it's only human to miss something on the list! So to help you out, we've made a list of the various touchpoints you will need to sanitize between sessions.
- Door handles
- Reception desk
- Water dispensers
- Sinks, faucets, paper towel dispensers, and flush levers
- Ladders and handrails
- Switches and buttons in common areas
- Lockers and key card readers
It would be ideal for the staff to sanitize between sessions and minimize any potential contact with members. Additionally, members can also be encouraged to sanitize before and after coming into contact with any of the above surfaces during sessions.
Be sure to manage crowding in indoor spaces as they increase the risk of spreading the virus. You can limit the number of people who can use locker rooms, showers, and other indoor spaces simultaneously and ensure the rules are followed by all.
4. Improve Capacity Management
A. Fix your upper limit
While you may no longer be required to maintain a limited capacity at your pool, the benefits of working with a lower capacity at the pool have become more evident over the last couple of years.
Your upper limit can depend on a few key factors that will count as you go about managing your facility:
- Your total member count
- The size of your facility
- The number of sessions you conduct per day
- The size of your staff
- The amount of safety equipment available
You will need to make sure that all your members are able to get equal access to your facilities as they try to beat the summer sun, while still ensuring you don't overwhelm your staff or your contingency measures. The optimum limit will ensure your members have a calm and memorable experience at the pool, while your staff can attend to them with full attention!
B. Simplify reservations and ensure fair access
Figuring out the limit is just the first step. The process gets a lot more complicated and time-consuming when you have to make registrations, ensure fair access to all members, and schedule slots effectively with a buffer time for sanitization. During the pandemic, this was where most pools turned towards technology through booking software solutions.
Booking software has been building steadily over the years and in fact, the value of the market is expected to reach $360 million by 2024. Last year, however, these solutions turned into an effective lifeboat that helped everyone from Home Owners' Associations (HOA) and Condominium Owners' Associations (COA) to public pools and other facilities across the country.
In fact, our platform was among the leading solutions that helped pools navigate through the uncertainty and challenges that pools faced during the pandemic, with over 1000 swimming pools signing up through the season. With Omnify, pool owners were able to simplify their operations with a robust platform that automated reservations, collected member data, ensured members could only book a certain number of times in a given time frame, allowed contactless check ins, and enabled effortless scheduling at a time when facility staff and managers were overwhelmed with managing safety and social distancing.
5. Take a fresh look at member experience
Now that pool managers and staff have effectively mastered online reservations, it is time to leverage this newfound efficiency to improve their member experience. As you welcome your members back and leave the year that was behind, it is important to move forward with caution, but find ways to do so while keeping your members in mind. Thankfully, there’s plenty of technology to help with that! Here’s how you can use Omnify to deliver a better experience to your members this year.
A. Mitigate risks and liability
While the risk of infection may have lowered significantly over time, there is always the chance that things could go wrong. You have the usual sanitization measures in place, you may do your best to prioritize safety, but you can't actively prevent every mishap.
That said, you can still do your best to mitigate these situations or their possibility. You could start by collecting as much data as you can from your members before they book a session. You could ask your members to fill out a COVID-19 form that pops up before booking on our platform and even creates a custom form of your own to collect any information you'd like to know.
At the same time, Omnify provides a liability waiver that will have to be signed before the booking can be completed. Members will be made aware of their own responsibilities and a paperless process makes it safer for everyone.
Download these free COVID-19 templates for swimming pools and protect your members and facility this summer:
B. Simplify Check-ins
Check-ins represent a key aspect of the member experience. Every member goes through it when they visit the facility and the simpler you can make the experience, the more memorable the visit could be for them. With Omnify, you can enable your members to check in based on their convenience. The platform provides members with two options that keep in mind the difference in comfort levels people might have with technology.
Omnify allows contactless check-ins for people comfortable with technology, where all they would need to do is scan a QR code that takes them to a check-in page. A tap on the 'Check-In' button completes the process.
For those who may not be comfortable with this, the process is equally simple, albeit without their own use of technology. Staff can check-in such members with their first name and no additional steps, so the process is minimal for everyone.
C. Personalize communication
A key aspect of member experience lies in the quality of communication between you and your members. A personal touch always leaves one smiling and shows you care about their patronage. Omnify enables this personalization with automated emails at every step of the member journey, right from the moment they sign up till the end of their session.
Automating emails also means not missing an update again, while saving valuable time and effort for the team.
Omnify has been building a reputation among amenity managers, HOAs, COAs, sports facilities, and fitness centers across the country for a constantly developing platform that caters to its clients' needs.
If you would like to know more about our platform and its applications, Sign up for your FREE TRIAL today!