Lots of business owners we talk to don’t enforce a reservation policy or track attendance, but the value of doing these things goes way beyond simply avoiding overbooking a class. Reservations and check-ins are some of your most valuable data points and will not only help you optimize your schedule, but also increase member engagement and retention, and improve your business overall. Today we’ll discuss how you can utilize this data to offer the best possible class schedule for both your members and your business.
Identify Popular New Class Times
Through tracking attendance, you’ll gain valuable insight into which class times are most popular. This data will enable you to adjust your schedule to be more profitable.
Let’s say your 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm classes are average-to-low attendance, but your 5:00 pm is often full. You might want to experiment with shifting your schedule to offer a 4:30 and a 5:30 class to accommodate your members’ schedules and get more people into evening classes.
Remove Costly Empty Classes
Just as you can find popular classes, you can also identify when classes should be removed from the schedule that are losing money. What if your 10:00 am class is rarely empty, but doesn’t usually have more than four people attending? Depending on how you pay your instructors (or yourself!) and how your members pay for memberships or classes, it may make sense to cancel that class altogether, even if a couple of members might drop.
It can be easy to miss certain patterns if you’re not actively tracking attendance. Let’s say your 7:00 am classes typically have low attendance, but after taking a closer look at your reports, you discover the 7:00 am class on Friday hasn’t had anyone attend in over a month. It’s clear that you could save significant money by cancelling this class.
Agile Class Adjustments
Having your members reserve their spot in class will allow you to be agile when optimizing your schedule. When members reserve their spot in class ahead of time, you’ll have the ability to cancel classes that have no reservations, and thus avoid idle instructors.
It’s important to note that this will only work if you train your members to ALWAYS reserve their spot in every class they plan to attend. Once your members understand they must reserve their spot in order to attend, you have the luxury of being able to cancel a session that has no reservations. You can even enforce a reservation window and make this systematic. For example, reservations must be made at least six hours in advance. You’ll know at 10:00 am that no one is coming to your newly introduced 4:00 pm, so you can cancel the session today. You just got back an hour of your day, or saved an instructor from an unnecessary trip.
We’ll cover additional ways that tracking attendance and encouraging reservations will improve both member experience and your business overall. If you’re looking for a solution to help you track attendance and have your member’s reserve their spot in class through a mobile gym app, schedule your demo to learn more about what Zen Planner can do.
To learn more about what top performing fitness studios around the world are doing to create success for themselves, get your copy of our free Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report.
Director of Product Management
Matt was a fitness business owner and Zen Planner customer before joining as one of the company’s first customer advocates in 2013. After building out Zen Planner’s customer implementation team, Matt became Zen Planner’s first Product Manager in 2015. He now leads Zen Planner’s product team. Matt lives with his wife, Terra, and dog, Carl, in Denver, CO.