Brian Rawlings, the vice president for FITLIFE, shares three things to consider when sifting through CMS choices.
Club management software (CMS) is an integral part of a fitness club’s operations. The technology can help staff streamline various aspects of member relations including safe storage of and ease of access to waivers and legal documents, check-in and out processes, and club services management such as class scheduling.
Today, there are a vast number of CMS products on the market for clubs to choose from. Deciding which technology will work best for a club comes down to the needs of the club and its members. Consider a few basics club managers should keep in mind when sifting through their software options:
Access and cybersecurity: An integrated CMS should have the ability to process and store necessary waivers, financial documents and more safely on a cloud-based system. Members need to be able to trust the information their club requires of them is being handled properly. Club management should ensure their CMS provides members and staff with transparent and comprehensive cybersecurity protocols as well as a fine-tuned user experience to ensure they can easily access their information via an application or online. Clubs may even be required by law and their insurers to have a certain level of cybersecurity throughout their operations. Management should make certain the technology they employ is in accordance with their insurance policies as well as state and federal laws.
Member communications: Clubs need to communicate effectively with members whether to promote services, report facility closures and emergencies, or provide needed updates to a specific membership. Many CMS options today can send push notifications or send out text/email blasts to members. This feature is not only convenient but can add to a club’s risk management strategy by streamlining the communication aspect of its emergency response protocols. For example, if a club experiences a disaster such as a fire, it can properly alert members of pertinent safety information through its CMS.
Support and industry expertise: An experienced CMS vendor should have the industry expertise to tailor the capabilities of their product to the needs of a club and its members. From establishing necessary software solutions to implementing the CMS technology and training staff and members how to best utilize it, clubs should have access to a CMS representative who can help identify how their technology can address potential risks and opportunities.
Choosing a CMS that fits the needs of a club and its members does not have to be a big headache. Club management can begin the process of choosing the best CMS for the organization by consulting an insurance agent or broker who understands the unique risks CMS vendors must be able to address.