The digitization of companies is a huge trend that has infiltrated every business area, including the fitness industry. Although many people believe that digitization only means implementing management software, this trend represents more than that.
In the context of gyms, digitization refers not only to management software but also to the automation of various actions and offering members more control over their activity.
More specifically, with various digital tools, members can, on their own and online, do multiple transactions related to their account, anywhere and anytime, without having to depend on the gym's front desk.
There are several ways members can manage their activity at the gym:
All the actions members perform with these digital tools are automatically saved in the management software, without your employees doing anything more. Here are some of the most important actions that members should be given control of.
The check-in at the gym is the most frequent action performed by members and therefore should be as simple and fast as possible. Instead of the receptionist spending minutes searching the member in the database or on a list to see if they have a membership, the member can scan a QR code from the member app that automatically opens the member profile in the management software and check if that member has access privileges.
This stream can be integrated into an access control system,in which the member scans the QR code in the app, and if they have an active membership for that location, the system unlocks the turnstiles to let them in. With this system, the gym can be open 24/7 without an employee at the front desk.
Group fitness classes are one of the most popular services at any gym, and if you've set up this service correctly, your classes are definitely always full and can only be accessed with a valid booking. These reservations should be accessible to members and not be dependent on reception staff.
With an online booking system, you allow your members to book their own place for their favorite classes without overcrowding the front desk with phone calls or in-person requests. In addition, with online bookings, the member doesn't need to depend on the gym's operating hours and can make reservations at any time, wherever they are.
If they can book classes online, it's only natural for members to cancel those bookings online as well. This makes it easier for members to take responsibility. Also, because it is convenient for them, they will not forget to cancel their reservations for the classes they can no longer attend.
It is important to have a clear image of the number of participants in a class. Also, if members get used to canceling their unwanted reservations, that will always help you have a correct overview of the booking rate before the class starts.
One way to get members to cancel their bookings that will not attend is through a system of penalties - when a member does not cancel on time and doesn't show up for class, they receive a penalty. After a certain number of penalties, the option to make online reservations is suspended for a certain number of days.
One of the most complicated and lengthy operations done at a gym's front desk is the sale of a membership to a new member. This means that not only is the sale itself done, but a new member account is created, which involves completing the forms and verifying the contact information.
Since this is a relatively long operation, it would be much easier for all parties if the member could just create their own account online.
Thus, they fill in an online form with the data necessary to create a new account, select the desired membership type, start date, and make the payment online using their credit/debit card. All the information is saved in the gym's management software, and the first time the new member comes to the gym, all you have to do is take their profile picture to validate their identity.
Current members should also be able to renew their membership on their own and pay for it online using a credit/debit card. Thus, they will no longer form queues at the front desk, and the renewal rate will increase due to members being able to do these operations whenever they want.
In addition, it is easier for them to check the complete offer of memberships and steer towards the best option for them without spending minutes at the gym's front desk until they decide.
Most gyms allow members the option to freeze their membership for personal reasons. Thus, if the member will not be able to use their membership for several days, they can freeze it for that period, and the expiration date will be moved up. This is usually done over the phone or at the front desk but can be easily moved online.
Thus, the member knows exactly how many days they are allowed to freeze their membership and how many times they can freeze it. Therefore, the member does this operation themselves whenever they deem it necessary.
If members can buy their membership via online payment, the other types of services should be sold online as well. Specifically, massage sessions, one-day subscriptions, and the rest of the SPA services could be sold online, allowing members to pay using their credit/debit card.
For them, it's easier to choose the desired package of services, consulting the entire online offer, when they have the time, without having to rush into a decision at the front desk when other people are queueing up behind them. In addition, with an online payment system for services, sales are easier for both the front desk and the members.
Members who prefer to train with a personal trainer should choose their own coach and not be assigned one by the employee they interact with at the front desk. And this operation can be done online if the member has access to a section presenting them the entire team of trainers, where they can see details about their experience and certifications.
The member can make an informed choice and buy PT sessions that are automatically assigned to the desired trainer. The sessions are paid online as well, of course, so this operation is also completely transferred from the front desk to the member.
A contract should be drawn between the gym and the person who purchases any membership or service. This way, your business is covered in the event of any problems arising. It is also essential that the member receives a contract copy of their own if they have any dissatisfaction.
To eliminate archiving costs, you can implement an electronic signature system for contracts signed at the front desk. After the member and a club representative digitally sign the contract, it is automatically emailed to the member, along with both signatures.
A remote signature is used for contracts generated for memberships and services sold online. These documents can also be automatically sent by email and, optionally, can be accessed at any time from a dedicated section of the member's mobile app or online member's account..
Many members ask for an invoice for their membership, especially when it comes to corporate contracts. Often, a member needs copies of those invoices, so they have to visit the gym only to request such a document.
To avoid these situations, the member should receive all their invoices by email. Just as with contracts, it's helpful to have access to a dedicated section in the member's app or the online member's account, where they can download their own bills whenever they need it.
For gyms, digitization means more than implementing management software. One of the most important aspects of digitizing a gym is allowing members to control their own activities.
This means that members can manage their own activity and account through a dedicated mobile app or a portal that can be accessed from the gym's website. They can check-in at the gym using the member's app, make bookings for their favorite classes, create a new member account, or purchase memberships or paid services online.
The biggest benefit this system has to offer is that the member does these actions by themselves, anywhere and anytime, and the work of the front desk staff is significantly reduced. Thus, your employees focus more on the members' experience at the gym and waste less time with administrative tasks.
There is an easier way to get more members! Communicate efficiently with them through automated emails, provide them the option to purchase memberships online, delight them with a professional mobile app and member account, and surprise them with fast services at the reception desk.
With UPfit.cloud, everything is done quickly, and you can start seeing results in a matter of days. Find out the advantages of our platform in a 20-minute demo session.
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