When Ru Pinkerton, owner of X-Fit Scotland needed some additional features to support his communication with his customers back in 2017, he decided to shop for other gym management software. While unfortunately at the time, we didn’t have what he needed, it wasn’t very long before we did. In that short period away, Ru tried out a few other systems, sat through numerous demos, and came to the conclusion TeamUp really was the right software for his business. Now equipped with the tools he needed to not only deliver the experience he wanted to his clients but even more capabilities thanks to the TeamUp integration with Zapier, Ru was thrilled to bring X-Fit back to TeamUp.
Ru was kind enough to share his experience switching and returning to TeamUp and what he found by using other software during his time away. Get his thoughts on how we compare to other booking software alternatives and what TeamUp offers his business and can offer yours too.
We had used TeamUp in its infancy so it was a bit fresher. The only thing we found a little bit challenging was the integrations. We couldn't automatically send emails to all of our members or member types and that for us was getting a little bit frustrating because we were manually having to copy over emails.
Exploring booking software alternatives
We looked for other options to do that and we left for another gym management system that said they would do that but found that they were telling fibs on how it worked and it wasn’t as good as they said it was which was frustrating. Then we tried Mindbody and they kept raising their prices. They had doubled their prices in the span of six months from the original package which was super frustrating because we were trying to manage things and figure out what we were doing.
Switching back to TeamUp
Once that happened we decided to reach out to TeamUp again and check what they had done and if they had updated the integrations. When I originally left they said they were working on the things I had asked for but they couldn’t give us a timeline. But once I reached back out, TeamUp had integrated with Zapier and we could integrate everything that we wanted to in, so we switched back over.
We still pay under a hundred pounds as well which is crazy cheap. For other management software, we paid three, four times the amount for something similar.
We hadn’t been gone that long, about six months to a year before we came back. By the time we had left and TeamUp had gotten the features we wanted, it was super quick.
Importing to TeamUp (for free)
We sent over a CSV file and they changed over all our direct debits and everything over for us. When we were with Mindbody we had to manually import everything ourselves and put in all the payments individually for every single member.
We have different prices for people that have been with us. We have grandfather our prices and we had maybe 30 different prices for members and had to manually put that in and it was a very awkward process. Coming back to TeamUp took such little effort because it was all done automatically. It was super easy.
On top of that, we didn’t even use Zapier an awful lot because TeamUp had integrated a much better welcome sequence and triggers. If somebody did 100 classes we could send them a special email. If they had a birthday coming up, we would see that and could send a message. All of those features had been integrated in and it was awesome for us.
The benefits of using Zapier
Once we got everything set up and up and running in TeamUp we started using Zapier for other things. With the Zapier integration, we can basically do everything we want to for such a minimal fee. We can do a weekly email to somebody based on their attendance, whether they’re doing two classes or three classes and we can personalise it as much or as little as we want to. Especially for someone doing a bit more personal training, you could have things automated and make it really easy.
Anything we couldn’t do directly in Zapier we used Active Campaign (a Zapier integrated app) and Fire Texts (a Zapier integrated app) so that members were getting texts at certain times which was super handy for us. It made it a lot more all-encompassing. Our customers were able to get more information from us from different types of mediums.
How TeamUp compares to other gym software
Intuitive and easy to set up
I found TeamUp way more intuitive than the other software alternatives we used. We went through quite a few demos with other software and people were trying to show us how to do things that didn’t make sense when they were setting things up. Whereas, TeamUp is so intuitive that whenever we’re logging somebody in, whenever somebody signs up, the sequence just made sense. It seemed really easy for me to set up, but then also easy for the members.
Updates and new features
The updates and new features TeamUp has done over the years have been really helpful. Having options for different types of classes and things like that to clear up the timetable, the personalisation, and with having the Zapier integration. There have been no issues.
No forced upgrades or removing core features
I speak to quite a few coaches and a lot of other CRM software are always trying to upgrade their core product to the point where one, they change their price point, and two, they change their core functionality and or take out a core functionality and move it into a higher price point. TeamUp has never done that. They’ve never changed their fundamentals that we know that works and that’s a big selling point.
Better payments and reporting
The payments are much easier with TeamUp. Having used other software, the price for payment solutions in other software was much higher. Some of them were trying to do it internally and had a 3-5% fee on every single payment. Because TeamUp has both Stripe and GoCardless, it gives you the freedom to do a lot more. Or you can do cash and do a bank transfer to yourself. That was super handy.
The reporting has also been quite easy as well. The dashboard is really easy to look at, so we know what we’re doing revenue-wise. We know percentage-wise what we’re trying to beat from the month before. We’re trying to increase our revenue and look at what we’re doing. I think we could be using the reporting a bit better by having a better eye on things, but all in all, it’s solid.
We used to do cash and bank transfers, and when you’re asking someone to pay every month it becomes a question of whether or not they want to. But with a recurring payment, having it set up monthly to renew takes that doubt away. Before having management software, numbers-wise, maybe 10-15% of each month were late payments or people deciding not to carry on this month, saying they would come back next month. But now with recurring payments, that has gone down to 2-3%. It makes my life so much easier. It’s maybe an hour a week of a task whereas before it was a full day’s work of chasing almost a fifth of your revenue.
Massive new growth with an easy customer experience
When we came back to TeamUp we had about 60 to 70 members. Now our numbers are up to 120. People like to complain first, but our customers don’t usually come to us saying they are struggling to put their payment in or struggling to book in. It genuinely seems quite intuitive for customers. People know how many sessions they get, they know the policies. It’s all in there for them. They can focus on their sessions and not on their payments and if they’re going to come one month.
Savings in time, price, and energy
There are definitely a few things in TeamUp that take a little bit more tech-savvy if you’re switching from another software, but in that initial set up you can learn so quickly. It can seem overwhelming when you’re thinking that this is something new to learn, but it’s so easy. Comparing it to another software we maybe spent 10 to 15 hours putting in all the details to make sure it was right. That took us so much time, but when we switched over to TeamUp that was all handled for us. It took maybe half an hour to send over the CVS file and then give them the login details for GoCardless, and from there that was all set up.
I maybe sent three or four hours learning how to use Zapier and from there it meant we opened up a whole world of integration that we wouldn’t have had with any other software. By learning that tech side we saved so much money over the space of a year to the point that we can now outsource and pay someone to set up those extra communication processes, but before we had to pay what that would have cost to the software itself. We’re saving a couple of thousand pounds and that’s been huge for us.
Bonus: how to grow your business with the help of software in 2022
Add more sessions and time slots to expand the availability
In Scotland, and in the UK because there are so many people still working from home or in hybrid, we’ve added so many extra sessions during the day, which normally would be dead time. Pre-pandemic we were sitting at about 100 members, and we were always struggling to get past that. But as soon as we opened up, we jumped straight up to 120, 130 members. Having those extra times during the day when people are coming in, that’s helped us massively.
Keep your members informed
People are expecting more information now and want to be more well-informed. We have been giving infotainment to some extent by teaching people skills on how to eat better, how to work out, and what to do. Before it was people coming in, doing their workout, and leaving. There is a bigger uptick now on wanting more information from us.
People are also doing more sessions now, more than the sessions they would have done previously. Before it would be two or three times in the gym and that’s it for the week, but now it’s become a hobby that they have centred their lives around and will come five or six times a week. Having processes and check-ins in place have really helped.
Utilise customer referrals
By putting those processes in place we have also gotten more referrals, so we’re spending less money on adverts. Asking our members to refer us, we’re making more money and it’s free, as opposed to an advert where we are spending a thousand pounds to get a thousand pounds back.
If you do a referral campaign, you can get double that, which has been a big change for us, and our customers want to help. They want to be part of it, especially when they enter and see the big changes we are able to make, they love it.
Video: Why Ru Pinkerton recommends TeamUp
It's also a lot cheaper than quite a lot of the other competitors who are trying to do a lot of things. In my opinion, we've tried them and they've all fallen short and TeamUp does everything that it needs to do. And then if you need to do something extra, it's so handy for being able to do that.
To learn more about TeamUp for your fitness business, hear from dozens of TeamUp customers about their experience and how to use TeamUp to its full potential.