Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The New System, The Wait List and SMSing

Dear Swimmers - please read this important information as it contains an update on how our exciting new system for squad attendance will save you time and energy!!

Firstly, please find the most recent squad list for your perusal at:

Please check this closely, as some of you waiting on the reserve list have been added in. Whoop, whoop! There's no way just yet for me to keep you posted on these changes other than to ask you to re-check that link from time to time, but as you'll see below, that's all soon to change!

I have been busily beavering away to create groups for SMS notifications which will mean that you'll only receive an SMS if it's pertinent to your selected squad, unless of course it's an important squad-wide notice. This should be especially useful in the case of inclement weather as I would hate to think I'd woken anyone up to tell you the pool is closed due to a lightening storm etc when you weren't planning to come anyway! I am trying to use this service sparingly as it can get quite expensive, but hoping you've thus far found it useful. On the occasion that an error might be made, I trust you'd simply delete the SMS anyway. 

Where I must apologise for any confusion is if you have received an SMS encouraging you to pop along to a given session, but are actually still listed on the wait list (see above). This is in preparation for the new system and how it will invite you along if it looks like it'll be a quieter session that day.

When the new system is ready, the plan will be for me to propagate the system with all your nominated sessions and also your credits for those sessions - quite a bit of work, but it should be worth it! I will then ask you to kindly and quickly go through your schedule on the special app, and simply uncheck any sessions that you know well in advance you will be away for, e.g. holidays, work trips etc. The benefit of doing this will be that it'll easily flag up when sessions are likely to be quieter and when those on the reserve list will get a chance to attend. In theory this will all happen automatically, with those of you on the reserve list receiving an invitation to attend if it looks like space will be available. 

For late-notice "cancellations", I will request those who are already confirmed for a session let me know before 5pm on the previous day if they cannot attend "last minute" so as to give those of you on the reserve list enough warning to attend. This might be because you're sick, injured, fancy a lie-in, or held up at work for example. The way this will be done will be very simple indeed and won't require anything more than a tap of a button in the special app that we are creating for this - no more need for direct emails and text messages, you'll simply hit a button and the system will know you're not coming! It should save us all a lot of time as I'm unable to manage such a request directly myself at this stage without a dedicated PA (but thanks if you have tried to let me know in advance - the thought is much appreciated!). 

Today would have been perfect for this as we had less than 20 swimmers along to each of the 3 sessions (despite being "fully booked") and inadvertently turned away 38 people on the wait list.

So that's the plan. Essentially nothing will change except for: 

  1. you'll have the ability to register and pay for sessions much easier through a dedicated new web portal and app
  2. will be prompted when your credits are running low (or have the option to auto-renew, or possibly even have a direct debit monthly subscription option running in parallel with the PAYG cards for those of you who are super consistent and want to be rewarded with a lower per session fee)
  3. won't have to remember your card ever again or have to hunt around in the dark for it
  4. have an app to check-in (or off!) to let me know easily if you'll be there or not (with the default being that you'll be there unless you tell the system otherwise, up to 5pm the day before the session).

As ever, I will keep you posted, but we're aiming for a Monday August 10th start to this new system, so for now please proceed as normal. My hope of course with all this is that we can maintain the flexibility of the PAYG system but equally ensure the squads are operating effectively and allowing access to those on the wait list who'd dearly love to have a session with us if the opportunity arose.

If you need a new PAYG card, you can order that here: 



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