Jeremy Kelstrom, the founder and CEO of Alaris, shares the importance of real-time data and features to look for in software partners for programs and camps
We’ve officially landed in 2022; and whether we like it or not, the pandemic continues to be in our lives. People are used to the ease of services like Doordash for their meals, Uber to get around quickly, and Alexa to wake up with news, weather, and fun facts. Everywhere you go, technology is showing up. Health clubs are no different. Having digital processes in place for every member experience — in and out of the club — is essential. Members expect to have digital options that they can count on and make their lives easier, and they expect it all to happen in real-time.
Most health clubs have gotten on board with the idea that they must have an app and hybrid offerings like on-demand classes or virtual personal trainers, but not every department has joined the tech bandwagon. Youth programs and camps are an often-forgotten area for digital advancements and a potential revenue source for numerous clubs. Many of these programs are still run by paper, pen, clipboard, and binder, causing countless headaches and cursing by staff and managers. There are many software solutions out there to help bring your programs into this modern tech era, but they are not all built the same.
Here are a couple of critical features to look for in software partners for programs and camps.
Integrated With Your CMS
Many platforms are fantastic at providing a stand-alone service for registering and collecting payment, but when it comes time to know who checked into the camp or class, which child has allergies, or see authorized pick-ups, it’s back to the paper we go — and more hair-pulling by the staff. Having a software solution that tracks these items and is integrated with your club management system makes finding, compiling, and acting on that information the most efficient and headache-free solution.
Customizable and Configurable for Your Club’s Needs
More often, your club management system’s built-in child programming features aren’t designed to handle processes like activity tracking, groups, guardian messaging, or authorized pick-up changes in real-time. These things, which can seem like afterthoughts to high-level leadership, are of the highest priority to front-line staff managing numerous kids and parents all at once. Using a platform designed to handle those kinds of granular details creates happier staff, more relaxed parents and a thriving program all around.
In short, there are many software options out there for your programs and camps. Taking the time to understand how they will make your processes easier, faster and enhance the member experience, is time well spent. As a starting point, ask about how they integrate with your club management system, how customizable and configurable they are to support those operational details you need, and if they can sync important updates when it matters most. This will help you create raving and loyal fans out of your members, and who wouldn’t want more of those?