Posted by Karen Bryan on 16 March, 2017
Are you sick of the front desk stress? Late night booking management, cancellations, attendances and payments? The nightmare continues..
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Fitness and technology go hand in hand. Why not take advantage of it in the management of your business?
To get started, you need:
- A Mobile App for your gym or studio
- An Online Booking Portal
- Gym Software (The backbone that manages it all).
If you’re not the most tech savvy being in the world, we know this can sound a bit overwhelming. However, an all-in-one gym management software does exist. If you choose the right gym-studio software for your fitness business, you can wave goodbye to the booking headache, for good.
First, let’s think about the savings…
That’s Right. Time is Money.
It’s time to start thinking about your time in monetary terms. If you could save 14 hours a week from repetitive admin, how much money would you save? Let’s think about it: Even if you were to pay yourself minimum wage for your time spent on admin - that still adds up to $102 a week, $406 a month and $4872 a year!
Let’s take a look at some of the great online and mobile app features you can use to eliminate the booking headache:
1: self sign-up
What if potential clients could easily search for your app and download it straight to their mobile device? From here, they could create their very own account with your gym or studio.
Once a potential client has created an account via your gym booking app, they have easy access to browse your class, course and even your appointment schedule for the days and weeks ahead.
With the ability to view descriptions of your services and trainers, they have all the information they need to manage their own fitness regime from the palm of their hand.
In a couple of taps, that potential client could convert into a member of your facility. How? They can easily purchase a membership through your app. The best part? You didn’t even have to lift a finger.
2: mobile booking
Ready to forget the days where you spent countless hours managing member bookings? When you have a mobile app for your fitness or wellness business, your members don't have to call, email or text to book into a class, course or even an appointment.
Picture this - your members can book in for their favourite class in just a couple of taps. Since your mobile app is integrated with a gym management software, all bookings are recorded in class booking lists, as well as the member’s individual profile.
What’s more, is that your members are only ever one click away from their next booking. The less clicks a member has to make to complete their booking, the less likely they are to drop off before confirming a payment. Essentially, making it easier for them to become a loyal customer down the line.
Depending on your software provider, members can even book a friend in for a class via the app. Who wouldn’t want a built in referral system for their business?
3: MOBILE payments
Let’s get down to the details. The payment details! When you have a mobile app for your gym or studio your members can make payments faster than you can say “pay at the front desk”.
When your members make their first payment through the app, they are even greeted with an online “first payment” waiver, set out with terms and conditions created specifically for your business.
Following this, your members have the ability to add and save their card details in order to make future payments a two tap process. Not only is this highly convenient for your members, but it takes away the pre class rush at the front desk, as members will have paid in advance.
You can also expect higher attendance rates, as members will have paid or used their class credit in advance - win win!
4: instant cancellations
Wait, why would I want to make it easy for my members to cancel their booking? This is a good question and we have a straight up answer: When you have a defined process in place for cancellations, you can drastically reduce the pain of the dreaded no show.
When a member does not have a simple way to cancel their booking when required, they just won’t show up, simple as. This leaves you with an empty class spot and one less class payment.
When you have a mobile app for bookings, however, your members will have already paid and thus will be more likely to let you know if they can no longer attend. All you have to do is define some simple cancellation rules, and your members will be much more likely to cancel through the app - or risk losing a class credit.
You can decide to refund members a class credit once they have canceled 8 hours before the start time. Alternatively, you may decide not to refund unless the cancellation is made at least 12 hours in advance. The rules are up to you.
5: automatic waiting list
So, now that you have some cancellation rules in place, you can create a plan of action to refill these spots.. ASAP. If you still feel like you’re losing revenue from late cancellations, then an automatic waiting list is exactly what you need.
Once your classes hit booking capacity, members who try to book will be given the option to join the class waiting list. Once a spot becomes available, a notification will be sent to the waiting members. The first to book gets the available spot!
By refilling empty class spots automatically, you can keep your classes full and class revenue high.
6: pUSH notifications
We talked about the time savings associated with automating gym-studio admin. Now, let’s think of the other activities you could engage in with the time you save. With Glofox, for example, you can send push notifications to members through your branded mobile app.
A push message is a short, informative message or notification displayed on the home screen of a smart phone or tablet. What’s great about push notifications is that they are sent directly to your members home screen i.e. They are guaranteed to see it once notifications are enabled on their device.
According to Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Benchmark Report, the average email open rate in the health and fitness industry is just 22.5%. Ever wondered why your attendance rates haven’t improved, even though you send email reminders? Probably because 77% of your members didn’t open the email!
Research also shows that push notification click through rates can be as high as 40%. If you send a push notification to just 50 members, that’s 20 more potential bookings, from people who may not have bothered otherwise. The possibilities to increase your studio or gym revenue are endless..
Learn more about the value of push notifications.
7: schedule integration & online bookingDepending on your gym software provider, you can also integrate your schedule seamlessly with your website, creating a branded ‘Website Portal’. New customers and members can easily view your live schedule and book classes, courses and appointments directly from your website.
With Glofox, you can also link this portal with your Facebook page, ensuring you can drive bookings from the Facebook presence you’ve worked hard to create
Rid yourself of the booking headache by giving members more control over their fitness regime. With a seamless mobile and online extension of your business for booking and payments, you can start saving precious time. With confidence that an integrated back end management solution is securely taking care of your information and automating processes to make your life easier, what's not to love?