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Tuesday
Apr042017

Why So Many Tech Solutions Fall Short in the Health Club Sector 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by Virtuagym.

Teamwork—it’s one of the bedrock principles of business success, and crucial for health clubs to thrive. But the value of a cohesive unit, all horses pulling at once, isn’t limited to the human element.

When businesses outsource digital services to third parties, they often need to recruit multiple partners to serve all of their needs. Health clubs need technology to manage not just financial tasks, such as membership dues and point-of-sale transactions, but also daily club activities like class schedules and online coaching.

Satisfying this wide spectrum of services can lead to a crazy quilt of different software platforms that might fail to integrate into a cohesive interface. The result can lead to conflicts, especially when you have multiple parties dealing with support queries. When they end up blaming each other, it’ll get you nowhere.

These days, not only do consumers have less patience with burdensome digital platforms, businesses and their employees need a quick response system that meets the demands and expectations of all parties. For health clubs that means capabilities that promise: 

  • Scheduling and booking of classes and training sessions;
  • Customer service solutions;
  • Member signup and managing of dues;
  • Nutrition counseling;
  • Easy point-of-sale transactions;
  • Reliable invoicing of contractors and clients;
  • Managing club community.

That’s a lot to stuff into one software product. So the question is, is there a way to overcome this issue of integration?

The Revelation of Integration

The key to integration is the latest generation of cloud software services. “Cloud software is cost-effective, offers increased flexibility, and provides you with access to your data anywhere,” says Pieter Verschuren of Virtuagym, an international tech company that serves the fitness industry.

This access to data makes it easy to gain insights in relevant statistics and trends, and organize them into a usable format.  While locally stored data can be used to gather these insights, Verschuren recommends that you keep data in the cloud. “Local data storage is when data loss becomes a larger risk,” he says. And great as data insight is, it isn’t sufficient if it’s not accessible. These days, it has to be mobile. “Going mobile is essential.”

The advantage of an integrated system that’s easily accessible makes your club’s services more efficient, and keeps valuable data always at your fingertips. Verschuren believes this is a vitally important dimension of tech services.

The All-in-One Solution at Work

Bringing all of these capabilities together is the mission behind Virtuagym’s innovative software that not only performs needed everyday tasks, but helps create more business opportunities and revenue streams as well. Based in Amsterdam with offices in North America, Virtuagym offers an all-in-one digital platform with branded mobile apps that allows you to call up reports for various modules to acquire data points—such as the most popular classes and trainers—that help you make strategic business decisions.

Client acquisition is enabled via Virtuagym’s webshop, which is integrated with the membership management and financial modules, for completely automated online member signup. With online payment support (e.g., PayPal), people can immediately become a member via your website. While these processes run automatically, the retention dashboard and sales reports give insight in customer retention and churn, as well as revenue streams. 

This example of “teamwork” between Virtuagym’s various modules shows how software enhances ease-of-use and reduces hassle across the board. 

“Making these processes work together is the big benefit of our software. It adds ease of use to the customer journey, which increases the probability of a client staying loyal,” explains Verschuren. “But ease of use for staff is just as important for us. For example, when a client books a group class via their mobile, it’s recorded by Virtuagym’s access control module as well. This connection between access control and the schedule makes it possible for you to, for example, automatically mark clients as present in the instructor’s attendance report as soon as they enter your gym. Examples like that highlight the power of integration.” 

Learn more and see a demo of Virtuagym’s all-in-one software.