One of the Largest YMCAs in the Nation Turned to Advanced Online Insights to Improve Customer Service and Increase Business.
Overview: In September, Countryside YMCA, located in Lebanon, Ohio, launched its all-new interactive virtual tour to engage consumers and highlight the amenities available at one of the nation’s largest YMCAs.
The all-new tour of Countryside YMCA offers a virtual walk-through of the facility, which sits on a 126-acre site and features eight pools, five gymnasiums, two indoor tracks, a rock climbing wall, a 13,000 square-foot cardio and weight room, Arts Center, Stolle Center for active seniors, Motion Zone for active youth, and more. Countryside YMCA is the region’s largest YMCA and is widely considered one of the largest in the nation in terms of square footage of a singular facility.
Challenge: The sprawling Countryside campus is certainly impressive to visitors, but it is also overwhelming to new guests and members.
“One thing we hear a lot is that our facility has so much to offer that it can be difficult to quickly navigate, especially as a new visitor,” said Lori Cook, Director of Marketing for Countryside YMCA. “We knew that as one of the largest Ys in the United States, we needed to address our facility’s size in an inviting and engaging way.”
In addition, Countryside has two on-site childcare centers. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, these childcare centers were limited to public access to protect the health and safety of both the staff and the children. A virtual tour would open the facility for virtual tours at any hour of the day, any day of the year to allow families to see the childcare centers and better understand the layout of the center.
Solution: After hearing a presentation by Advanced Online Insights during a local Chamber of Commerce meeting about creative ways to market during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lori reached out to Advanced Online Insights to see if a virtual tour would be a good fit for their needs.
“Ultimately, we created a tour of not only our recreation facilities but also of our two licensed childcare locations, which was very important to us,” Lori said. “We prioritize the health and safety of our guests, and by doing so, we had to limit the access to our childcare centers for tours. Through the virtual tour, we were able to allow parents to see every square inch of our childcare centers. It was important to us that our families feel comfortable with understanding where their children would be cared for and having full visibility into the space itself—and the virtual tour allowed this to happen.”
Impact: Over the course of six months, Countryside YMCA partnered with Advanced Online Insights to create the best virtual tour possible. Following Advanced Online Insights’ guidance and recommendations, the Countryside staff—led on this project by Lori Cook—prepared the center for a virtual tour by completing cosmetic updates and determining their goals for the project.
“We opted to do the tour in an effort to connect with our customers,” said Chris Johnson, CEO/President of Countryside YMCA. “Today, the consumer expects to be able to have a sense of what they are going to see and experience when they walk through the doors. This virtual tour enabled us to meet the consumer where they are and keep our facility modern and relevant.”
A virtual tour by Advanced Online Insights offers:
The Virtual Tour is added to your Google My Business Profile and included in the photo gallery.
Full commercial rights of the photographs are transferred to the business owner.
One-time photography capture fee; no monthly or yearly fees.*
Free hosting on Google's fast servers.*
Virtual tours and photos are live on Google within 2 weeks, on average, of the capture date.
Options for interactive hotspots and custom menus to embed video, hyperlinks, and content into the virtual tour for additional cost.*