We keep hearing that COVID-19 is here to stay and we must adapt. Pre-pandemic life isn’t just around the corner like we’d hoped. The new normal is requiring businesses and individuals to pivot on a more permanent basis.
So how can you ensure that your club is a safe place for your members to visit? And, given that you may be missing staff from time to time because of self-isolation protocols, how can you ensure that your members continue to receive the support they expect and bought into when they first joined your great club?
In this article, we will explore on how technology — specifically some features you might not know exist in member management systems — can help you not only overcome staff shortages, but also maximise your staff’s time with members. Technology can do a lot of heavy lifting to make your fitness club successful.
New Member Sign-Up
Traditionally, prospective members come to your club in person and your team signs them up using membership forms. Your staff goes through the Terms & Conditions and other paperwork with them. But the traditional way isn’t well suited to the time we’re in, where passing pens and paper forms back and forth across a desk is seen as a risky, germ-spreading endeavour. And if your club is understaffed, that is an awful lot of one-on-one attention going to the sign-up process.
With ClubWise’s In-App Joining process, the prospective member simply downloads the ClubWise Member App, inputs a club name or QR code, and then swiftly takes themselves through the sign-up process, making any payments online and digitally signing the necessary forms. All their information will be stored in their member record. No fuss, no bother, no handholding— and the new member has already downloaded our app and is ready to access the club! This leads us nicely on to the next feature…
ClubWise’s app-based QR technology enables members to safely and efficiently check into your club without worrying that the fingerprint reader or pin pad they are being asked to used is rife with the virus. Do you really want to ask your members to wipe down the reader after each use? Aside from the hygiene benefits, mobile check-in is fast and secure, and it completely frees up your reception staff, who now have the time to provide better service to members. If your reception is unmanned, you’ll find this solution that much more important.
The First Visit
Your new member’s first visit should set the tone for future visits and re-enforce to them as much as possible that they’ve made the right decision in joining your club. If staffing is an issue, why not run small ‘Orienteering’ sessions that new members can book themselves via their Member App? Even if you have available staff, having them sit behind a desk fielding ‘can you book me into’ calls is NOT good use of their time.
Get new members used to booking their own classes on your app or through an online booking portal. Allowing your members to sign up for classes digitally makes the process quick and easy for them and frees up your staff to focus their attention where it matters.
Member Communication & Retention
We all know that members who aren’t frequenting your club are cancellation risks. Soon they’ll realise that they’re paying for something they’re not using, and even a contract won’t keep them loyal.
Instead of having staff members continually calling these members, put automated text and email communications to work. You can set your automations to remind members who haven’t been to the club in a while (say, a fortnight) that you’re still here and waiting to help them achieve their goals. Be creative. ClubWise can help here, too — we regularly create templates for you to use and adapt.
Automation is a way to ensure your members know you’re thinking of them. Depending on your monthly charges, it may only take one or two members staying an extra month to pay for the technology you’re using!
The ‘Awkward’ Conversation
We’ve all experienced the awkwardness of talking to a member who’s missed a payment about paying their dues. No one enjoys that conversation. Well, with ClubWise’s automated past due process, you can avoid most of them. Your members will receive a push notification to their member app informing them of their missed payment with a link to pay, making it easy and convenient for them to make payment via the app. The best part? Neither they nor you need feel any embarrassment over the situation. Not only does this help to protect the important relationship you have built with your member, but it also means you and your team don’t have to spend valuable time chasing payments.
Member Acquisition Cycle
Now that staying fit is a major priority again, fitness clubs are chasing the same members. So how do you make sure you get your slice of the pie, especially if you don’t have a dedicated salesperson or a thoroughly planned out sales process?
Your current members are a great place to start. More than 90% of people trust recommendations from family and friends. If you have happy members, they’re likely to tell others about their experience with you. Incentivizing member referrals sweetens the deal for them and for the club.
This is where the ClubWise Member Rewards programme can help. Most members would love a discount on their monthly membership. Using a membership fee discount as an incentive keeps members engaged and connected with your club. Give a member who refers a friend who joins this if they introduce someone to your club who then joins. You set the monthly discount (for example, a $2 reward for your $30/month membership) which the referring member will receive off their monthly membership fee for as long as the member they refer continues to pay their dues and doesn’t leave, freeze their membership, or miss a payment.in which case the referring member’s monthly fee goes back up by $2.
You can make those discounts stackable. Suppose someone refers a number of their friends, and several join. Give them the discount for each one. Yes, the member may get down to a $0 membership fee, but, using our $30/month membership, at $2 a pop they will have had to refer 15 joiners to your club – that’s $450 of revenue per month for a cost of $30!
The beauty of this process is that it’s fully automated. Your members can use the ClubWise Member App to refer someone, linking them in the system. When the referral joins, the discount is automatic, as are the ‘thank you’ emails. Sit back and watch the new memberships and revenue flow. There’s no downside!
These are just some of the ways ClubWise can help you maximise your resources and time during these
tough times. Our Development team have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to make ClubWise as ‘COVID-proof’ as possible. If you’d like to know more about how we can help your club meet the demands of today, please don’t hesitate to contact us.