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Is Your Digital Booking System Up to Standards?

Health clubs lose revenue when their booking systems fail to register appointments or are bogged down by too many pain points. Here’s how to get it right.

If you’re like most club owners, your margins are always being challenged by a volatile marketplace. While your membership dues are your bread and butter, you need your non-dues revenue to remain financially viable in this competitive atmosphere.

This is true whether you run a multipurpose gym, fitness-only center, an HV/LP club, or a higher end facility. Small group training (SGT), youth programming, recovery services, specialized classes, and personal training sessions are vital to your bottom line and financial health. You need to maximize your full range of offerings.

According to The 2019 IHRSA Profiles of Success, non-dues revenue as percentage of total revenue is an average of 28% for health clubs. Says the report: “Clubs reported earning nearly three out of every ten dollars from non-dues related services, i.e. personal training, Pilates, nutritional counseling, spa services, etc. Not only do non-dues revenues contribute to the bottom line, they historically have been linked to higher member retention.”

Data collected by The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report shows that personal training draws about 15% of club members, and twice as many consumers engage in SGT than with one-one-one personal training. And that number is growing, especially with adults aged 25-34. This is the core age group for all club participation.

But this audience doesn’t have a lot of patience for friction points in the booking process. When buying goods or services, consumers will abandon your brand quickly when faced with obstacles during the scheduling or purchasing process.

Technology Exerp app man on smartphone column

Statistics show that 33% of Americans will switch companies when faced with just one poor customer service experience. And more than 50% of consumers will scrap a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service. You’re losing revenue—maybe a lot of revenue—if you have a confusing or inefficient booking system.

What’s the root cause of this problem? Data silos and digital services that aren’t properly integrated. It’s a serious issue you need to address ASAP, and not just for booking efficiency, but for data collection that fuels your marketing efforts and member engagement.

How Digital Silos Affect Your Efficiency and Booking System

A Forbes article analyzing the impact of data silos point out that they’re a serious problem that prevents optimizing customer service for businesses in nearly every sector. Disrupting communication channels is a good way to frustrate members who try to order services or products from your club. This has two negative consequences: You frustrate your members by introducing a friction point in the process, and your club fails to collect the revenue from a potential transaction.

The article suggests that your digital team “identify trackable interaction points and align them with key performance indicators. Breaking down data silos is more than an IT task—it’s an exercise in building a more collaborative culture.”

This is an issue e-commerce sites have dealt with for years. But now every business is an e-commerce enterprise on some level. Today’s consumers, especially those in that age demographic sweet spot (25-34 years old), want simple, consistent, mobile-friendly and streamlined booking experiences. Consumers don’t have the patience to create multiple profiles across different channels. You can’t have an extra step in the sales funnel.

“Breaking down data silos is more than an IT task—it’s an exercise in building a more collaborative culture.”

Walter Scott

Forbes

These issues impact a club’s ability to manage and maintain their booking process. Disparate booking solutions introduce inconsistent customer experiences. This also impacts the efficiency of your staff. If your personal training booking system is not aligned with your SGT classes or spa services, for instance, you’re making it more difficult for your employees to catch every scheduling request. Separate channels lead to confusion, multiple bookings, or dropped bookings. And a dropped booking isn’t just a loss in revenue, it’s a mark against your brand. You can’t risk alienating your members.

It's also difficult to get a 360-degree view of a customer when member data is spread across multiple channels. And then there’s the loss in operational efficiencies and increased costs that result from additional internal support required to manage multiple booking systems.

Data silos also increase security vulnerabilities in your system. Without integrated digital channels, your data is at greater risk because there are more ways to get inside your CRM and digital platform.

You need a single booking channel tightly integrated with your member management platform for all of your needs. Your non-dues revenue depends on it. And, consequently, so does the financial viability of your business.

A Digital Supplier Who Puts Your Booking System in an Integrated Platform

Seamless integration is a specialty of the club management software created by the technology experts at Exerp. Exerp’s member management system is designed specifically for health clubs who need a responsive, consumer-friendly system that makes booking, customer service, and data management a breeze.

Technology Exerp employees column

A global supplier of state-of-the-art software products in the fitness and leisure industry for more than 15 years, Exerp has an assortment of products driven by sophisticated technology that’s secure, integrated, and loaded with the kind of consumer digital capabilities today’s club audience demands. With the Exerp Platform, you can …

  • Empower your members: Members can book, reschedule, and cancel from any device. You can also motivate members through push notifications, online training progress, and group suggestions to enhance the member journey.
  • Untether your staff: Staff can manage the club from anywhere. This helps you control booking and payments and maximize revenue streams. You can also deploy marketing automation to free up your staff to focus on other tasks. And they can access performance insights to improve engagement.
  • Maximize your revenue streams: Streamline the booking experience, reduce operational costs, and improve data security by keeping all member data in one place. Your marketing and sales teams can use that data to gain performance insights and improve member engagement.

Exerp’s app technology provides all of this versatility without losing critical customer data that club operators need to maximize their service proposition and revenue streams. That means no more data silos that can drop bookings and impair data reports.

The Exerp Platform is so secure and efficient that it’s used by 40% of the biggest fitness operators in Europe. Their system is highly configurable and built with the industry’s best practices first and foremost.

You need your non-dues revenue. That means getting maximum participation for all of your club services. With an intuitive, integrated mobile booking system that’s easy to manage and consumer-friendly, you don’t have to worry about leaving any money on the table.

Visit Exerp’s website today for more information on their range of digital club management solutions and other innovative products for your club.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org