Whether you love it or hate it, the relationship between your gym and your members is vital.
Paul Bascobert, president of local at Yodle, explains in an interview with Club Solutions Magazine the benefits of having a relationship with your members.
“ … If you have a relationship with your fitness center, that means things are going well. Fitness centers have a great opportunity to take advantage of that desire and do things like newsletters, special offers, renewal offers to maintain that relationship.”
For gym owners, a good member relationship starts with well-run business operations. The sign-up process should be hassle-free, which will make for happier customers. Your gym should have staff that are friendly and helpful (again, happy team = happy members).
Take it to the next level with gym membership software. It is a key solution to managing lasting customer relationships. It can fuel your gym’s growth, organize employees, and improve team collaboration. Most importantly, it creates a better overall experience for gym members.
Sounds good, right? Not so fast.
When it comes to finding the right membership management software for your gym, there are a lot of options out there.
So where do we start?
How to Evaluate Membership Software for Your Gym
You’ll need to weigh your options as you would any major business decision. Here’s some of our best tips and tricks of the trade—all with the goal of making it easier for you to run a thriving facility.
First, figure out your needs.
Take a few weeks to document business processes related to membership activities. Ask key questions like:
- How are you onboarding new members?
- Are you following-up with members for monthly or annual renewals?
- How are you sending offers and specials?
- How is your team scheduling programs, and how do trainers schedule gym time?
Document all the processes, owners, and any current technologies involved in the day-to-day. You’ll want to make sure you cover all your bases when updating business technology. Enure that your systems will play well with one another if replacing an existing process.
Do your homework.
Third-party software websites are ideal for evaluating your options. They will include information and reviews about top options all in one place. Sites like Capterra offer a collection of solutions, in this case, categorized as “club management software.” Check out what’s available, and make a short list of those that seem most relevant to your business. From there, you can start comparisons and trials.
Another tried-and-true homework strategy: ask your network. What are other gym owners using, and are they happy with it?
Ask the right questions.
Once you understand your daily operations, member activity, and top software options, be sure to ask the right questions. Here is a starting list of questions for your conversation with sales:
Related to Administration
- How many members does it support?
- Does pricing vary per membership base?
- How many administrators / team members will be able to use the software?
Related to Tech
- Which features in this system can replace our existing technology?
- What type of uptime, security, compliance standards and certifications are promised in a SLA? (We know this is techy-speak, but it’s basically promises that the software will work. Just ask to be sure it’s included in writing, and remember it’s a good comparison point against top options.)
- What type of tech support is available? Is it available on evenings and weekends?
Related to Team Usability
- What’s the most common challenge for companies transitioning from an existing database to membership software?
- What’s the average onboarding period for a team my size?
- How easy is it to manage across multiple franchises?
- What type of team and membership reporting is available? What are the most used reports for gyms like mine?
Related to Member-Facing Matters
- Will the software integrate with my website?
- Will members be able to access their own profiles via my website? Via an app?
- Does the software handle payments and renewals?
- Does the software include email workflows, or automated communications based on gym use or customer lifecycle?
- Does the software offer member workout tracking? And if so, can members share workout results?