What to look for when choosing fitness management software
It’s not uncommon in the early days for fitness instructors and owners to manage their businesses entirely on paper, spreadsheets, and handwritten notes. This guest blog by TeamUp, one of our supplier partners, provides a useful guide to what to look for when choosing gym management software.
As a business and customer list grows, a manual booking system becomes untenable. Payments slip through the cracks, tracking attendances becomes harder, and sending marketing materials or important notifications becomes a job in itself.
Gym management software can quickly help you get things under control, while allowing you to get back to doing what you love.
We break down what your software should have to help you achieve your own business goals, and why having powerful, flexible software will elevate your customer experience and keep customers coming back for more.
Why instructors need booking software
Software gives you the ability to manage and strengthen your customer relations. Seeing who’s booking classes, who’s new, and who’s returning helps you keep track of memberships, but also gives customers responsibility for their memberships, cutting your workload in half.
This means as your business grows, your admin does not. Gym software completely takes away the complexity of time-consuming admin, filling classes, securing payments, and rustling through spreadsheets looking for that one little piece of data.
The key features to look for in booking software
Knowing what features you need is the key to finding a system that fits your needs, but there are other important factors to take into consideration such as service, support, and potential.
Scheduling needs to be clear for your customers. They want to be able to see what classes you have coming up and their availability. From your schedule, it should be easy for your customers to sign up for a class within a few clicks.
Another thing to consider is how you can incorporate it into your brand. Finding a provider that offers you a way to embed your schedule in your own website allows you to maintain your uniqueness. Your schedule will appear on your website, but your software will still be working away in the background.
One of the more painstaking sides of running a fitness business without software is keeping track of payments. Without a system in place to prevent missed payments or last-minute cancellations, people can slip through the cracks and ultimately you’re the one losing out.
Invest in software that allows you to set up your memberships and classes so that customers can only attend if they’re fully paid up.
Flexible memberships are ideal for managing each customer’s needs. For example, create memberships with different pricing for different services, eg a basic package that only allows for standard classes or a more expensive option that includes a certain number of private sessions.
The right provider will give you the tools to create memberships to help customers who may not be able to pay for a full membership upfront. A payment plan could help them keep coming to class and help you retain customers.
Thorough reports about every part of your business
Reports make you an expert in your own business with clear data insights into every aspect. From financial reports to customer attendance and class popularity, robust reporting helps you make fact-based decisions based on accurate data.
Fair pricing doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest, it’s about transparent pricing, ie knowing exactly how much it costs and what you get for that fee.
Typically fitness software either has scalable pricing or pricing based on feature sets. Importantly, does the pricing plan on offer cover all the essential features you need to make your business run smoothly.
Free data transfer
When you sign up for software, you want to be sure all your records, such as your schedule, memberships, and payments are transferred and that your new software has all your information and all your customers’ core information so you can hit the ground running.
Reliable customer support
Investing in the right software goes beyond the features they list. The team at the other end of the phone are important. From initial demos to being easily contactable for tips or advice, you want to know that the support you need is there from day one so that you’re getting as much value as possible from your investment.
When you’re looking at different software, check reviews, especially about customer support. You want to know that they are reliable, knowledgeable, and that customers are happy with the service they provide.
Keeping your customers happy
Another consideration when you’re searching for the right management software is how it will help your members. If your software solution makes your life easier, but doesn’t make the customer experience simpler, then it’s all for nought.
Marketing integrations make this possible. Connecting your software to your marketing platforms and tools makes managing everything in one place easy and keeps your customers in the loop at all times.
Make signing up easy
Having automated emails and marketing materials ready to go at every stage of the customer journey cuts out so much admin with welcome emails for new sign-ups, a simple process to renew memberships, or milestone emails for customers who have hit targets.
Choose a software that lets you create a bespoke sign up process. The easier your sign-up process, the more likely it is that your leads will become your newest members. At the point of signing up, the most vital information to get is personal details that include an email address and payment details.
You can also opt to get your new customers to fill out waivers and PAR-Qs at this stage, or when they start signing up for classes after purchasing a membership.
An intuitive member app
Member apps are par for the course in the fitness industry now. People like to be able to book or shop while on the go, so having an option for them to pay for memberships and book classes on a member app is a must.
While an uncomplicated app is a priority when you search around for software, some companies also offer a branded app, albeit for an added fee. You can have your own logo and name on the app over your provider’s to keep your unique branding.
By keeping these tips in mind when searching for the right fitness management software provider for your business, you’ll know what questions to ask and what your expectations should be when you enquire with a software company.
It’s important to keep in mind that not every provider will be the right fit for every business. Use comparison websites and talk to other instructors for their advice about using software to narrow down the options.
Finally, ensure you’re happy that the software you opt for helps your customer experience as much as yours. Software or apps that are difficult for customers to use will only chase them away.
TeamUp is the most recommended software for gyms, studios, clubs, and personal trainers to flexibly manage their businesses in-person, online, and on-demand. As an EMD UK member enjoy a 60-day free trial of TeamUp when you sign up here.