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How to Navigate the Client Shuffle at Your Health Club

Turning prospects into members and keeping members comes down to gathering the right information on them and using that information to its fullest Photo courtesy EZFacility

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When you think about it, there are a lot of shuffles out there: the iPod shuffle, the playing card shuffler and even a dance called the Cupid Shuffle. However, the shuffle that you as a health club owner may be all too familiar with is the shuffle clients and prospective clients can get lost in. So, let's chat about how technology can act as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Prospective Clients

To be honest, new clients sometimes get lost in the shuffle. As much as you would like to think it doesn't happen, it does. In fact, it is pretty easy to lose someone you do not know much about. They can come and go from your gym with ninja stealth because the only thing that even resembles a record of their visit is the paper flyer you handed out at a local café offering a free pass. If your front desk staff member is not paying attention or the pile of flyers is lost, then so are your records. However, when you have gym management software with a strong CRM component, you can not only report on who walked through the door, but also what they did and where they spent their money.

So having a strong CRM is key, and with so much business being done online, it is essential that your gym management software also contain the tools to get your business online. Having an online portal where clients can go to register eliminates the need to manually enter prospects into your system and allows for a place that clients can peruse your facility offerings and classes. With potential clients being far more educated now than at any other time, providing them the tools to educate themselves can go a long way in getting them to visit your facility. Having the client do a bulk of the heavy lifting online while they are at home ensures they are not just another paper in the stack.

Current Members

Once you collect information on the prospects and make them members, is it possible you could still lose those members? Yes. Gaining client information is important; however, gaining the right information, organizing that information and knowing how to access it are even more important. Sure, you can tell how much your members are paying from your bank statements, but this can be time-consuming and rarely gives you any insight into the success or failure of the products and services you offer. With competent software, not only can you track how much each member is paying, but you also will have immediate access to crucial data including clients with expiring memberships, clients with class packages that are about to run out and, most importantly, clients with memberships or packages that have already expired. Every package that goes un-renewed or sits expired is, for the most part, money left on the table. Strong software will provide notifications and ample reporting to keep the business owner always in the know. For example, receiving an email such as "ALERT: Bryant has 1 session remaining on his personal training 10-pack" may be an inconvenience, but the possible return on being notified about Bryant's status is well worth it.

Furthermore, with a point of sale system, you can associate purchases with clients. Although it may be something as simple as the fact that a member purchases a Gatorade with every Zumba class, that information creates a buying profile for the client. Once you know what products a client prefers, you can expand upon those offerings and sell more.

Without management software, you may struggle to track critical variables that help you smoothly manage your business. How do you know that John Doe, whom you can see works out at 5:30 a.m. every Monday, is paid up on his membership? With management software, your staff can access a client's history with the touch of a button.

If you think about it, the ultimate goal for a health club is to gain more clients and, in turn, gain more money. A huge key to that principle is not only attracting but also signing prospective clients. Yet, a lot of businesses can find themselves struggling with this due to poor tracking. From tracking interested prospects coming into a facility to tracking what prospects are doing and buying, gym management software can be a great way to ensure no one gets lost in the shuffle.

BIO

Bryant Strozinsky is marketing supervisor for EZFacility. After working in the personal training industry, Strozinsky found himself beginning his career with EZFacility – a gym management software company – as a product trainer before advancing to head of the marketing department. An advocate for healthy living, Strozinsky also enjoys struggling through 18 holes of golf and attempting to remain moderately competitive at three sets of tennis.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.