Choosing a member management software can often feel overwhelming. There are so many options and it’s a pretty big decision because you’ve invested so much of yourself in your business and your community. Your members are more than likely the most important part of your business and you want to make sure they have a great experience with you and that includes the software that they’ll use at your gym or school. Many of our current customers tell us that they even had moments of panic even thinking about trying out software that is new.
If you’re having that moment of panic, step back a second, take a deep breath, even grab a beer or cocktail (I’m not judging if it’s before noon somewhere right now) and use these three easy guidelines for choosing a member management software.
Start with “Why”
Why do you want member management software? Maybe it’s something like needing to have clear, understandable systems that will allow you to scale and eventually franchise. It may also be as simple as having your athletes’ workout results, memberships and attendance clearly tracked.
The why might be a set of objectives or tie into a larger mission statement. Here are some examples:
- Decrease my churn rate by increasing attendance rates
- Train competitive athletes and allow them to track their progress
- Exceed net revenue by $75,000 this year
- Spend less time on administrative tasks and more time investing myself the success of my athletes
- Maintain the culture of my gym or school as I continue to grow by delivering world-class customer service through enduring relationships
The answer to this question will largely dictate what types of features will be essential for you in choosing a member management software.
Then Ask “How?”
The next question you should ask yourself is “How will these features create value for me?” Seeing features as singular forms are helpful, but understanding how features interact with each other is enlightening. For example, member management software might offer scheduling for group classes and automated emails – both are great features to have. However a system that allows you to reserve group classes AND have automated emails to confirm/remind your prospects/members of their upcoming class can be illuminating.
Your member management software should have software specialists who help you paint a picture of how their system will assimilate with your business. You also should ensure that whatever system you consider also has an Onboarding team that can be your champion once you make an official decision.
If you’re able to broaden your vision behind the “why,” the “how” should serve as a clear means to achieve a set of goals.
Just like there is no one perfect person (ok, my wife may be the exception), there’s not going to be a software provider that is perfect. Each member management software is going to offer a different user interface, user experience and product features. You may not find a system that has everything you want or need, but at the minimum you should have an idea of what is essential for you and your business.
For example, a system may provide great workout tracking but may be a bit less strong on the reporting side. If your goal is to solely track your athletes’ progress then that software system may be perfect for you. Although if your “why” gravitates around growing and generating your revenue, as well as tracking your athletes’ progress, you may want a system that provides performance tracking as well as robust reporting capabilities to make better business decisions.
Let the “why” guide the decision behind what is important to you and your business.
The Bottom Line…
Make sure you find a member management software that is invested in your success and treats your business as if it were their own.
Not sure what questions to ask when evaluating member management software providers? We’ve created a helpful checklist highlighting the 9 Things to Know Before Buying Software to Run Your Business. Download this great resource for free today!