At the beginning of 2020, gyms and fitness centres around the globe had to temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, as the world slowly recovers, gyms are starting to get back on their feet. The past events now serve as a lesson for many gym owners that the world is changing. In order to deliver their customers a safe, elevated, and comfortable experience, fitness businesses are embracing the digital transformation. To do so, they are enlisting the help of gym management software.
According to Technavio, the global demand for gym management software will reach $127.31 million between 2020 to 2024. Gyms and studios are seeing the benefits gym management software offer including streamlined admin, automated payment collection, and detailed reporting allowing them to easily track and monitor the happenings of their business.
Nowadays, there are numerous gym management solutions to choose from, each offering a unique set of tools, features, and functions for your establishment. To help you choose the right one, here are some gym management software features to look out for.
1. Customer site and member app
There are many benefits to having your customers book themselves into classes and manage their own memberships. Having a place where your customers can purchase, sign up, sign and fill out forms all prior to attending a class is an important feature in fitness management systems that simplifies the onboarding and booking process for both you and your customers. From sign up to actual purchase, they can customize their experience according to how they want it to be. For example, they can dictate:
- What type of information the software can collect from them,
- The type of membership or package to purchase,
- Their preferred payment method, and
- The services or classes they wish to utilise.
Having an easy-to-navigate customer site and member app, where customers can book on the go, can eliminate the lengthy and manual process of signing up new members in person at your establishment. In turn, by saving more time on the onboarding process, you can use that time to learn about your new customer and how to best engage with them.
Moreover, you can use this feature to automatically gather and record essential information about your customers such as their personal bio, preferences, and demands.
2. Booking and scheduling
The implementation of various health and safety protocols due to the pandemic has temporarily restricted face-to-face interactions on and off. Many gyms that previously relied on a paper and pen or spreadsheet method for managing bookings and scheduling needed a way to stay open, available while keeping their customers feel safe and confident. In order to maintain social distancing, offer online classes, live stream classes, and offer outdoor sessions, you need a system that will allow you to offer all of these services in an organised fashion.
Thus, one of the essential features you should look out for in your gym management solution is a booking and scheduling feature. This allows your customers to reserve a time slot for their indoor or outdoor workout at your gym or grab a spot in your online or live stream classes. With this feature, you can regulate how many people can enter your gym or join your classes at a time. You can also set up classes--both online and in-person, manage multiple schedules, and create recurring time slots for gym usage.
3. Attendance and progress trackers
If you have found it difficult to keep customers engaged during the constant change in restrictions, gym management software can help. Having tools to monitor customer activity and attendance can help you identify which customers come less or have stopped coming to class.
For one, keep track of their attendance in the classes and on their customer journey, if they have signed up but not actually attended. By doing so, you can reach out to them in case they start missing multiple consecutive sessions and ask how they are doing. This touch of human compassion can help build deeper and intimate relationships with your customers.
Moreover, you can also use the data from your reports to recommend other relevant classes, plans, memberships, and events that your customers might be interested in.
4. Automated billing and payment
Keeping track of billings and payments can be time-consuming and repetitive. It also doesn’t help that one mistake during the process can open up a lot of other issues for your business. Streamline your billing and payment process by automating it instead.
Thankfully, many gym management software offer such features. It can automate recurring membership payments, manage accounts, and keep track of your bills for you. Just make sure to find a reliable solution that can take into account the various in-person and online membership packages, discounts, and promos available in your gym. Moreover, you would want software that can support various payment methods such as credit/debit card processing, cash, checks, or even digital wallet options.
5. Data and analytics
Leveraging data and analytics can push your business to become even more competitive. Data such as your customers’ behaviours and preferences, industry trends, and your competitors’ strategies can help you develop smarter and better strategies for your gym or fitness centre.
This is why you should consider getting software with a robust data and analytics function. This way, you don’t have to manually gather and analyze data yourself. Your software can do it for you. And coupling this feature with a report generation function, the software can convert raw data into digestible and summarized reports in the form of graphs, charts, or analytics dashboards. This will allow you to gain valuable insights in just a few glances.
It equips you with the necessary information and insights to make informed decisions on how you should operate your business. You do not need a business degree or any type of training to read these reports. Digestible information and insights can help you create a better business model for your gym and give you valuable lessons to improve and build along the way.
6. Accessibility and flexibility
Almost 93% of internet users prefer to use mobile devices when surfing the web or going online. You need to make sure your services are accessible across any device. It also follows that your gym management software should be compatible across platforms.
This allows for greater mobility and flexibility for both you and your customers. On your side, you will be able to manage and operate your business anytime and anywhere. This includes processing membership payments, signing up new members to the gym, setting up classes, and managing schedules via your smartphones or tablets. Similarly, your customers can book sessions, sign up or renew membership, and send payments through their preferred devices. Value goes even further when they can manage their memberships via a member app.
Enhance your experience with your gym management system by integrating it with other solutions and applications. For one, consider choosing your gym management system with a built-in customer relationship management tool and built-in integrations. This will give you access to tools that can help you foster deeper relationships with your customers. This includes contact management, records of past interactions, customer segmentation, and trackers.
Other integrations you should consider are payment processing software for streamlined billing and payment operations. You can also link your marketing automation software to create a seamless lead and customer journey. And for your online classes, you can connect your video conferencing apps such as Zoom into your gym management software.
A new normal for gyms and fitness centres
Times are changing. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a reminder for gym and fitness centre owners that digital transformation is the future. By embracing the many advantages of gym management systems*,* your business will be able to face whatever the future might bring to the industry.
While there are many gym management solutions available, it's up to you to determine which works best for your business. Understand your business goals and processes, determine which key features you need, and use it to find the software that best suits what you’re looking for.
To learn more about the benefits of software, check out our guide to why you need gym management software for your business.