Rob’s online course The Customer Revolution has a long thread of discussion in response to an assignment about the CARI pool and its failure to perform as hoped.
Ironically, if you search Google for “cari pool”, the first search result leads you to the selfsame discussion.
I stumbled across this when looking for the CARI website. Suggestion for CARI: ditch the meaningless name, and call yourself the “Charlottetown Swimming Pool” and set up a website at www.pool.pe.ca.
Oliver and I have been swimming at CARI every Wednesday since Christmas. When we go, during the supper hour, we usually have the pool to ourselves. It truly is a great resource, something that the “customer perception” of which does, indeed, demand study. Perhaps part of the challenge is that Islanders don’t know quite what to do in a leisure swimming pool, especially without kids. Float around?
By the way, it is pleasantly unusual to have a university course so exposed to public view.
One more thing: the CARI pool schedule is a wonder of complexity and needs simplification. An important thing to note: on the right side, under “Leisure Pool Schedule,” when it says “Open Swim,” you can read that to me “you can come swimming during this time.”
My young’n is just starting to enjoy going for a swim, which until now has been at the pool at the Delta Hotel where I have a membership. But I’ve been considering a visit to the CARI pool… that is, until I looked at the schedule you just linked. I looked for about five seconds, and thought; “nah… forget it”. Definitely needs simplification.
It is great to have access to Rob’s course online.
I have a lot of reading to catch up on, including the books.
We are all creatures of habit, and getting into the habit of fitness, especially at a new facility is a tough sell.
An initial push to market the pool is necessary.
I suggest a contest. This should have been started back in January, however here goes…
Offer two tickets to some warm, clear water beach where swimming in winter would be a welcome break. For some period, say the month of February, whoever swims the most laps gets the tickets. Post the results on the website daily. Advertise heavily to get the word out before the contest.
This would motivate me. Partner with some fitness related organization, use the media to report on the contest.
Motivate people into the habit of swimming there!
So that’s my big idea — a contest called Swim to the Carribean!
Just finished a round of parents and tots CARI swimming lessons for my 3-year old. Almost everybody in the class showed up one Saturday only to be told that there was no swimming class that week. I inquired as to how we might have known that, and was told that this information was provided at registration time. I mentioned that we had registered via phone and paid via Visa and had received no such information. The desk person just shrugged. When I got home, I checked their website, and found no mention of this unavailability except in the highly unreadable PDF schedule for that week which had been updated only three days before (and it was not very clear to me what the cancellation entailed). There was mention on the main page of another cancellation the week before, and some of the parents had missed that week thinking that the lessons were cancelled, but, apparently, it applied only to adult lessons. These parents weren’t very happy with their children missing two weeks in a row. I sent an email to CARI, but never received a reply. In short, the administration of the place and the website leave a lot to be desired. It’s a lovely pool — they’ve just got to run the place better.
I love taking my kids to swim at the CARI pool. It is a lot of fun, but it is quite expensive. I think that there are a lot of families on PEI who cannot afford to swim there. When we swam in the pool every Friday morning back in the fall, we usually had the pool to ourselves. Yet on Friday mornings the CHANCES Drop in and Play group in Stratford is bursting at the seams with kids and caregivers. Parents are always looking for activites to do with their kids, but it needs to be affordable. $3.25 for a 2 yr old is a bit much. Memberships would probably help. The pool in Montague is free for preschoolers. I could get a fitness membership for the year for just over $300 and have unlimited access to swim in the pool with my kids. To swim once a week at the CARI pool with my 2 kids would cost over $600 for the year. No fitness access and no unlimited swimming.
They seem to have recently updated their website. Still pretty bad, but at least it makes more sense now, with schedules and smimming lessons more clearly stated.