E-signature

What is an electronic signature system, and how to use it at your gym

What is an electronic signature system, and how to use it at your gym
Written by MIHAI Published on 2022-06-07 5 minutes read

An electronic signature means you can sign a document through an online system. This step is essential for any business that wants to become paperless and save archiving space and money.

Though it might seem like a complicated system, the electronic signature or the e-signature is a straightforward, user-friendly solution for gyms and fitness centers. You can use them for all contracts and agreements.

As I'm sure you probably already know, a contract has no legal value if it's not signed by both parties. That means that every time a client buys a membership or a service at the reception desk, they must also receive a contract that needs to be signed.

Often, members don't have the patience to wait for this entire process, so they postpone signing the contract. Unfortunately, that means you often end up with many unsigned contracts, leaving you open to legal problems.

The e-signature simplifies this process, and depending on the solution your choose, you can move some or the entire process online. That means members can sign contracts in just a few seconds or even sign them at home. 

What is the electronic signature?

The electronic signature can mean a signature drawn by someone on a tablet or a special tab with a special pen or their finger. Also, the electronic signature can be registered online through a system with unique identification data. All these solutions are legal and record the member's consent for the terms and conditions mentioned in that contract.

This solution doesn't require printing contracts, which means you can archive documents electronically. 

The benefits of the e-signature

The main advantages of using an e-signature system at gyms are cutting costs and waiting times. Though this system requires an implementation cost, archiving and office supplies costs can easily be offset.

Depending on your country's legal requirements, contracts must be archived for several years. That means you'll have quite an impressive number of binders that must be kept in a proper space. Not to mention printing costs.

All these expenses can be eliminated entirely with an e-signature system because all documents can be archived electronically, including the signatures.

It will be easier to identify a document when all you have to do is search for it in a database using its number or registration date.

As I mentioned before, the e-signature can shorten waiting times by a lot when clients are purchasing a membership at the front desk. Furthermore, depending on the system's specifications, the document can be automatically generated, with all de information prefilled, based on the data on your management platform.

That means the document is ready to be signed as soon as you register the new membership. The member singes on a dedicated tab or tablet, and the contract is saved automatically in your database. Moreover, the member receives an automatic email with that document. That means the entire process takes a few seconds.

Since signing contracts is so fast, members won't skip this step, and you won't have any headaches with legal issues.

How to implement an e-signature system

As I mentioned above, there are several ways to implement an electronic signature. Each method requires various costs and can have different advantages. I will do my best to detail those used most often at fitness centers. 

Plug & play tabs

These solutions require a dedicated tab connected to the computer used for generating the document. The member signs with a stylus on that tab, and the system records the signature on the document. This is called a graphometric signature, and it is identical to a signature made on paper.

These tabs don't display the contract that the member must sign. That means they must accept and sign a document they haven't read beforehand, or you have to find a way to show them the document before signing it. You can invite the member behind the desk to read the document on your computer, or you print it out, which involves printing costs.

Though it's a simple solution, it's not the most useful at a gym.

e-signature tab

Electronic signature tablet

A more complex option is the one that uses a tablet. A dedicated tablet is preferably mounted on a stand with a rotating head. You can place it at the reception desk. The tablet displays the contract and the member, and the employee signs it with a stylus. This way, members can read the contract in their own time, without stopping your staff's activity.

One of UPfit.cloud's solutions works in a similar fashion. The tablet is mounted in a special stand with the club's branding. The frame has a rotating head, so you can show the tablet to the member signing it. Likewise, you can rotate it back, so you won't display personal info to everyone stopping by the front desk. The contract is generated automatically, and it's displayed as unsigned in the system and on the tablet.

Your receptionist opens the document and allows the member to read it, sign it with a stylus, and then do the same. After the signatures are saved, the member automatically receives the signed contract via an email, and the document's status is changed in the system.

More details about this feature here >>
e-signature tablet
Online electronic signature

A solution that is easier to manage is an online e-signature. This solution doesn't require any tab or tablet, and the member does everything online. More precisely, they receive an email with instructions and unique identification data that help them access the contract and then sign it online.

This solution is also in the UPfit.cloud's portfolio of features, and it's the most popular among our clients because it doesn't require any devices. The email is sent when the contract is registered, and the member can sign it at home. The entire process takes a few seconds, and at the end, the member receives the signed contract through email automatically.

How to sign contracts for online sales

If you sell memberships and services online, signing contracts is not an issue. In this case, the singing process is also done online through a version of an electronic signature. When a client buys a membership, right before filling in their payment details, they must thick a box that states they have read the terms and conditions and agree with it. Only after they do this they can go to the next step and buy the membership.

Of course, the online system should show the member the contract before accepting the terms and conditions. Then, after the online payment is confirmed, they should receive the contract through email.

Online payments

A quick catch-up...

Member contracts are extremely important, and it's advisable to have a detailed document every time you sell a membership or a service. But, of course, this contract has no legal value if it's not signed by both parties. Though the usual solution of printing the contract in two copies and signing it at the front desk, you can choose more modern services.

The electronic signature is an excellent way to cut the costs of archiving and printing such documents. Moreover, it simplifies the entire sales process at the reception desk because members don't have to wait that long for these documents.

Many solutions can be used at a gym or fitness center, and they all have various pros and cons. All you must do is choose the right solution for your business that can be easily integrated into your sales process.



MIHAI
MIHAI

Mihai loves discovering the latest technologies, apps, and wearables. He spends his time developing our mobile apps and trying to craft new features that will create the best member experience for our clients.

Fitness Business Romania
Fitness Business Romania

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