The Experts Weigh in: CMS Maximization
You likely invested a lot of time, money and resources into choosing your club management software (CMS). But now that you’re using it, are you doing so to the fullest extent? With CMS under-utilization a common problem for health club operators, we went straight to the source and asked top CMS companies to share features they commonly see owners and managers not making the most of.
National Sales Manager
How can clubs ensure they’re utilizing their CMS to the fullest extent? To start, I would focus on the data surrounding prospects. Determine if you are clearly able to distinguish in your data who is a member and who is a prospect. This might seem simple, but how easy is it to actually get that information? Can you generate a report? Are you able to send a mailer or e-blast tailored to prospects versus members?
Next, for each prospect, can you assign a staff member to do follow-ups (i.e. a sales rep)? Can the follow-up be tracked, and is it easy to manage steps for follow-up, i.e. book an appointment or a tour? Does your CMS have the ability to indicate notes, areas of interest, goals and current weight? Can a trial period be given to the prospect? These are features that can be really useful to a club operator and that can help maximize CMS.
Are there any commonly overlooked features of your software you’ve noticed clubs don’t utilize as much as they should? Yes — a common area that is not taken advantage of much is maximizing the information that CMS reports can provide. Especially the day-to-day common management tools such as matching the daily point of sale report to your bank account to make sure the deposit matches the revenue taken in.
Next, the ability to see a quick snapshot view of the overall membership picture is often under-utilized. The Twin Oaks “Member Profile” report tells an owner or manager immediately on that day and time exactly how many members they have, the number on billing, the number of paid-in-fulls, average dues amount, average tenure, additional family members, short-terms, etc. Use this information to run your club better.
How can clubs ensure they’re utilizing their CMS to the fullest extent? First, it’s important that clubs have partnerships with the right companies and that the partner fits the club’s business needs, as well as its demographics. Second, ensure that the staff understands the club’s goals and what the business hopes to attain from a new partner. In addition, it’s a good idea that your future partner has the capabilities that are in line with your business, i.e., billing, follow-up, marketing, retention and reporting. Be sure to pay attention to the details and be accountable on all levels. Lastly, it’s crucial that your processes are as “frictionless” as possible not only for you, but for your members.
Are there any commonly overlooked features of your software you’ve noticed clubs don’t utilize as much as they should? Club members that don’t attend on a regular basis lose track of their goals and stop paying. By using ASF’s My Reports and the 30/60/90 retention tool, club owners can identify and reach out to non-active members and not only keep them engaged, but continue with their payments. Also, this is a great software tool to keep those members that signed up in January on track and in the club.
Often, club owners focus on new sales, but fail to recognize existing members going out the back door. ASF’s Attrition Trends, as part of My Reports, gives owners an overview of their business health. It’s all about retention and by keeping members focused, engaged and participating, owners can start closing the back door.
Many clubs could do a better job of tracking the progress of each sale’s lead with a daily action list. ASF’s Prospect Management helps clubs manage their sales relationships so that staff don’t lose on an opportunity due to inaction. This in turn helps track the success of the club’s marketing efforts, such as referral sources, and helps define what works best for the club. Eventually it can streamline into the enrollment process since so much prospect data has been captured and helps close the deal faster through ASF’s My Enrollment.
How can clubs ensure they’re utilizing their CMS to the fullest extent? It’s important to ask questions. If your CMS has a support team or a specialist who can answer your questions, use them. A few questions can eliminate hours of frustration. When there are built-in features you are unaware of, and business processes you want to implement, the support team can share that information during your conversation. My favorite go-to: Help Files and Tutorials. Help Files sometimes provide nuggets of information you won’t find elsewhere.
Are there any commonly overlooked features of your software you’ve noticed clubs don’t utilize as much as they should? Reports are a commonly overlooked feature because many people feel intimidated by data or think it will take too long to put together. However, our reporting tool is built to provide easy access to all your data, using one-click and drag-and-drop of data fields to create the report.
Once you’ve created your ideal report(s), you can save the report. By saving, you can come back to the report form, select your date range, or schedule it to be delivered on a regular basis with the data you need. You can even export to Excel. If additional or less data is required, the reports are easily modified to present how much or little information you need, in a format that is easy for you to read. And our client service team has put together several dozen standardized reports based on our current clients’ needs, so the report you need may already be available with the click of the mouse.
Electronic signatures is another commonly overlooked feature. Save time, paper and unwanted errors by using digital contracts and e-signatures. It’s easy, and you can still print out a hard-copy to hand to your customers. In addition, your customers have access to their digital contract details with their login, so it is a win-win.
Director of Enterprise Sales
How can clubs ensure they’re utilizing their CMS to the fullest extent? For clubs to best utilize their CMS, it’s important for them to first understand their own KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and what they are trying to accomplish. Once those are established, utilize your CMS to measure and analyze those KPIs through specific reports. By running those reports weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc., you’ll be able to break down the numbers and really see what is working for your business.
It helps to work with your CMS’s customer support team. At MINDBODY we pair businesses with an Onboarding Specialist who can help you set up your software based on your KPIs and the day-to-day tasks you are hoping to accomplish. Additionally, larger or more complex businesses are paired with a Customer Success Specialist who can help determine the reports you should be running, and the growth you will want to see in those reports. They also help our subscribers find the gaps in their businesses and identify how they can best use MINDBODY to fill those gaps.
Are there any commonly overlooked features of your software you’ve noticed clubs don’t utilize as much as they should? We have several automated features, specifically our automated retention tool, that clients could be taking more advantage of. With a simple setup, your software can work for you to send automated emails and text messages to your clients to remind them of upcoming appointments, entice them with special offers or even just to check-in if they haven’t been to the club in a while. This creates additional touchpoints with your clients with little-to-no effort required of your staff. By creating these engaging interactions with your clients, they will feel more a part of your club’s community and in turn, you’re likely to gain greater retention from your clientele.
Also, while many clubs traditionally run their software from a desktop, MINDBODY offers several mobile solutions that will allow you and your staff to function away from the front desk. With the MINDBODY Express mobile app you can run your day-to-day business from an iPad or iPhone, allowing you to move throughout the club and make updates in real-time. Our custom-branded app and web tools allow you to fully brand your customers’ online experiences from web to social to mobile.