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Sell Passes and Memberships

Group Fitness Class Software that Takes the ‘Ick Factor’ Out of Getting Paid for Classes

Chasing down late payments and spending hours making phone calls to rectify delinquent accounts is not going to cut it. You’re not alone if you’re looking for a better way to boost your fitness studio’s revenue.

April 4, 2022

If you’re one of the resilient, and let’s face it, lucky, fitness businesses that weathered the pandemic, you know just how precious every dollar is to your survival. There’s no margin for error when it comes to your bottom line.

Chasing down late payments and spending hours making phone calls to rectify delinquent accounts is not going to cut it.

Besides, it feels kind of icky to have to ask customers for money for missed classes or membership dues when you should be talking about your latest and greatest class offering and celebrating their fitness journey. 

You’re not alone if you’re looking for a better way to boost your fitness studio’s revenue.

It’s been rough out there.

After generating record revenue of $35 billion in 2019, the U.S. fitness industry generated just $15 billion in 2020, a loss of about $20.4 billion or 58 percent due to temporary club closures and restricted capacities mandated by local and state governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to The 2021 IHRSA Global Report.

The good news? According to Club Industry magazine’s 2022 trend report this is the fitness industry’s comeback year, a year when all the hard lessons learned since 2019 mature into elevated business models for those left standing. Friendliness and excellence in customer service is one of the top three deciding factors in who will be successful. 

By minimizing the time you and your staff spend tracking down missed payments and figuring out how to collect payment, not only will you have more time to spend having positive, relationship building conversations with your clientele, but you’ll instantly increase your customer’s satisfaction and provide a much more professional brand experience. 

The right group fitness class software can help you automate your customer journey and provide built in tools and stop-gaps that will prevent unpaid classes, missed payments for workshops and events and delinquent memberships.  

There are a lot of group fitness software providers out there at a variety of price points and features. Sometimes choosing one can be overwhelming.

When choosing group fitness class software there are a few key factors to consider: 

How many customers do you have and how do you manage them?
Some start-up fitness business owners start out with a spreadsheet or even a notebook (yikes!) where they keep the names and contact information – if they have it – for all the students who have attended their group fitness classes or training sessions at their gym. Maybe you’re still collecting customer information on paper new student forms and trying to aggregate it into some kind of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. 

If you have more than 10 total customers, it’s time to upgrade to a group fitness class software platform.

Without this, it can be tough to track sales,

  • Do you know who spent how much in the last month?
  • Do you know which type of class pass or membership you sold the most of?
  • Do you know your new student conversion rate by month, over time?

AND time consuming to contact clients,

  • Are you cutting and pasting emails from a spreadsheet or transferring them manually to your email platform every time you want to send an email?
  • Or, are you trying to remind them as they come to class?

Do you sell one type of class pass or do you sell a variety of passes and memberships?
If you’re like most fitness businesses you’ve got a new student introductory offer, a drop in class rate, a couple of discounted class passes and a monthly membership that you sell to your clients.

A group fitness class software platform allows fitness businesses to:

  • Sell multiple pass and membership types online and in-studio
  • Lets you connect all those payments to individual customer accounts
  • Send alerts to customers when their pass count is running low or their credit card payment failed on their membership

A good group fitness class software platform also allows a business owner to instantly run a report to find out how much revenue class pass sales generated in a given time period and whether this is trending up or down.

How do you manage group fitness class types and enrollment?
You’ve got some amazing group fitness classes that you – and maybe your team of instructors – are going to offer to your community.

🡲 How do you get the information about the class name, description, who it’s for and the price out to potential new students?

🡲 How will students sign up for your class and submit payment?

🡲 How will you manage the waiting list for your super-popular classes?

The answers to these questions can mean the difference between an automated, time-saving fitness business OR being constantly stuck INSIDE your business.

You can really boost revenue with a professional-looking online group fitness class schedule that allows you to share registration links across digital communication channels like your website, social media platforms, email.

When you’re taking payment instantly, up-front and encouraging students to pre-register for fitness classes, your business is going to run much more efficiently.

Plus, you’ll know what to expect and plan for in terms of capacity and revenue.

How do your customers schedule group fitness classes or training sessions with you?
If you’re still operating out of the mindset of “build it and they will come,” it’s time for an upgrade.

Simply waiting for students to show up, and hoping that word of mouth will generate enough attendance to keep you in business is not a winning strategy.

Similarly, relying on email, text, social media messaging and similar means of taking class registrations is unreliable and doesn’t provide you with a way to take payment.

What happens when a customer cancels? Do you still get paid?
Having a cancellation policy is critical to providing great customer service and making sure that you don’t get left high and dry when customers inevitably flake out. When you use a group fitness software platform that includes an automation for handling class or session cancellations, you can skip the awkward conversation where you try to collect money from a no-show. Instead, your cancellation policy is clearly communicated up front to your customers and their credit card is automatically charged if they don’t cancel in advance of a missed appointment or class.

Do you offer private training sessions?
If so:

  • How do your clients book a time with you?
  • How do you manage your calendar to avoid clients booking at inconvenient times or double-booking?

If you have multiple instructors offering 1:1 sessions:

  • How are you keeping track of everyone’s availability and rates?
  • How do you send your clients reminders about their upcoming session with you?
  • Do your clients pay for their lessons up front or do you rely on them handing you a check or cash afterwards?

Again, a group fitness software platform can manage – and automate – ALL OF THIS.

How do your customers find and view your group fitness class schedule?

  • Is your class schedule available online to potential new students searching online for great new fitness experiences?
  • Is it displayed in a way that’s easy to understand at a glance with the class name, description, date, time and instructor’s name included?
  • Can customers instantly click to reserve a spot in class and submit payment?

As we mentioned earlier, there are dozens of group fitness class software platforms to choose from.

On paper, most fitness booking software options look a lot alike.

For the most part, features include all the core necessities:

  • Online class schedule
  • Class bookings
  • Pass and membership sales
  • Customer contact storage and management
  • Payment processing
  • Sales reports
  • Staff management

So what’s the distinguishing factor savvy fitness business owners shopping for group fitness class software look for?

Well, it’s like making a cup of coffee, just about anyone can do it, but Starbucks figured out that the secret to a multi-billion dollar business is in how the coffee is made and served. 

At Punchpass, we built our group fitness class management software around one thing: our customers.

We start with the question, “What do small fitness business owners need most to reduce administrative hassle, boost their bottom line and bring more joy into their daily professional lives?”

That’s why our customer service is second to none. From promising that our customers will never wait on hold on the phone for help, to inviting our customers to regularly tell us what they like and don’t like about our software and designing new features to meet their ever-evolving needs, we crowd-source our product for a better product that stands out from the pack. 

Here are some examples of how we’ve been first to market with software innovations:

  • When COVID-19 hit, we were the first group fitness software provider to offer seamless integration with Zoom. Shortly thereafter we launched our pre-recorded online video content library feature. 
  • We created a way to flag unpaid class attendees at sign in to not allow instructors to proceed with the class enrollment until the customer has paid for the class, eliminating costly unpaid visits. 
  • When a customer’s monthly membership payment is declined, Punchpass automatically emails the administrator to alert them about the need for follow up.
  • We developed an easy way to send a bulk email to customers whose membership payments didn’t go through, saving business owners from making uncomfortable and time consuming payment reminder phone calls. 
  • Our class waiting list feature not only automatically creates an online waiting list for full classes, but also takes care of selecting which customer is invited to any openings and notifies them by email. 
  • We made our software super easy to set up and learn how to use. There are no stress headaches or costly mistakes because of complicated, non-intuitive features. 
  • Our group fitness class software is purposely designed to be simple and easy to navigate. We’ve included the most valuable – time saving and revenue boosting – features and left out the stuff we know most fitness business owners never use. 
  • We created digital new student forms and online waivers, eliminating the hassle of paper. 
  • We were among the first to offer health-conscious consumers a touchless sign in experience. 
  • We are continuously considering how we can help fitness business owners elevate their own customers’ experience with our software. The more we can automate the back-end of fitness business management, the more our fitness business clients get to be out front with the people they love and serve!

Here are a few additional ways we are making fitness business owners’ lives easier: 

  • Integration with marketing tools like MailChimp and Facebook
  • Our upgraded Stripe payment processing gateway
  • Gift Passes for customers who want to give the gift of fitness and share the love
  • The new Punchpass mobile app

We also provide our community with industry-leading guides, blog posts, webinars and other support tools to support fitness business owners in being at the top of their game. 

If you’re considering a group fitness class software provider make sure that you compare Punchpass to our competition. We wholeheartedly endorse thorough research and want all our customers to feel that they’ve made the best decision for their unique business. We definitely aren’t for everyone. 

Here’s who we’re best for: 

  • Forward-thinking fitness business owners who want an alternative to the same old, same old software everyone else seems to be using. 
  • Start-up fitness businesses
  • Fitness businesses revamping themselves after the pandemic
  • Fitness businesses looking for all the key features they need to thrive without the complicated ones they don’t
  • Cost-conscious fitness businesses

Here’s who we’re not best for: 

  • Large, national big-box gyms with dozens of locations
  • Traditionalists
  • Fitness business owners who don’t mind paying for all the extra bells and whistles