Marketing Efficiency Report

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Improving Club Management with Technology Part 1: Online Joins

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The January join frenzy is upon us and we know health club operators are trying to find that magic formula to manage the chaos while still maintaining a consistent member experience. This series will show you simple and effective strategies to utilize technology to unburden your staff, and improve your club’s ability to provide exceptional member experiences.

The first installment of this series will help potential members self-serve as they make New Year’s resolutions and allow your staff to have more time to focus on creating an exceptional member experience.

Convenience
In today’s digital world, club management online options such as new member enrollment, purchasing personal training packages, scheduling appointments and updating personal and financial information are essential. Members and potential members enjoy the convenience of managing their own member experience. Having an online portal that integrates with your website allows you to engage your members at their convenience.

Your new January joins may feel uncomfortable having in-person interactions about their fitness program as they get used to being a member at your health club. Giving them online options will allow them to interact where they feel most comfortable and give them the space they need to start their health journey.

Staff Time
Today’s business environment requires a fast, flexible approach to customer services. By opening up online services, you will open a whole host of benefits for your staff and your members.

  • Give members freedom to join on their own schedule
  • Reduce data entry errors
  • Reduce the line and wait for members at the front desk
  • Overcome errors or frustration related to language barriers and handwritten forms with illegible handwriting
  • Give your members easy access to all kinds of information that will increase

Exceptional Experiences
It may seem counterintuitive but by allowing technology to take some of the load of club management, you’re really allowing for better member experiences all around. Think about it; all these benefits boil down to reduced member and staff time and frustration.

If you are able to save 5 minutes per transaction when signing up a new member, you’re improving the experience by 5 minutes – and when you’re processing multiple new members each day, that can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Another way to think about online services is having a virtual sales team at your fingertips. Online sales leverage the power of technology, creating new revenue streams while maximizing existing ones without adding overhead or sacrificing your member experience.

While the convenience of technology is great, you don’t want to lose the relationship aspect of joining a community. Offering online services does not have to take away from the member experience. One way to make that connection is requiring new members to tour the facility or have a new member orientation.

5 Questions to Consider when Evaluating your Club Management Software

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Choosing a club management software can be an overwhelming process. There are so many options in the marketplace and it can be hard to compare different systems. To find the best solution for your club, here are five questions to consider in your evaluation:

  1. What do I need this software to do?

Make a list of your business wants and needs for your club management software such as, membership management, custom reporting, marketing automation, equipment checkout and inventory management, payment processing, or spa schedule management. Be sure to consider how this change may affect different areas of your organization. It is also important to consider where you see your business growing in the next five years. Will the software you choose grow with you, or will you experience growing pains?

  1. Am I looking for an all-in-one solution, or do I want several vendors to serve various business functions?

With all the different options in the marketplace, it is important to evaluate if you want to partner with one vendor for a single source of support, or if you want to manage a few systems to handle different functions such as membership management, CRM, mobile applications, and billing/receiving, to name a few. Be sure to ask about integration options when conducting your interviews if you go with several vendors

  1. Is the software user-friendly?

Your staff will ultimately be the end users of your club management system, so it is important to bring them into the purchase process, ensuring staff efficiency is not hindered by the selection. This is a great time to review current processes and determine if they are scalable for future growth or if they need to be refined during implementation.

  1. What does support look like?

So often customer support is overlooked until a critical issue arises. It is important to understand how your new vendor provides customer support. Will you be billed based on a pre-determined number of support hours or is support included in your partnership?

  1. How hard is it to implement this solution?

It is key to understand what the implementation process looks like. You want to be sure to ask about onboarding, projected timelines, data conversion processes and training. As mentioned above, reviewing processes for efficiency and scalability is important during the evaluation phase. Something to consider when evaluating your next software provider is whether they offer knowledge share or best practices throughout implementation to set you up for success from the start.

We know choosing the right club management software for your club is an important decision. We hope this short list of questions will help take the stress out of the evaluation process and help you find the best solution for your organization.

Download this Club Management Solution Blueprint as a  spreadsheet or as a PDF as a quick guide to help keep track of vendor responses during the evaluation process.