General managers and staff members are often the first to realise when something isn’t working. They’re also the people that have to deal with unsatisfied members as a result of poor efficiency or error.
When something is preventing you from providing a better service to your customers or holding you and your staff back from hitting your KPIs, it’s clear that something needs to change. Introducing a CRM to gym operations is a fast and effective way to solve your problems, but that’s often easier said than done when you’re not the one with the business bank card.
So how can you get your boss on board with investing in reliable member management software that allows you to ultimately contribute to running a successful business with loyal members?
Get clear on the problems you’re facing and how they’re impacting the bigger picture.
The first step is to physically write down a list of operational hurdles you’re struggling to overcome. Some barriers we hear about a lot include admin assistants battling waves of paperwork, GMs unable to focus on running the business day-to-day because they’re too busy with prospect follow-ups, disorganised staff due to lack of an efficient rota and accountants spending hours trying to keep on top of the books.
Write them down, then link them to how they impact the business as a whole. For example, if the general manager is busy following up on prospects, they can’t look at the business data and identify growth opportunities. Disorganised staff means that employees will be less motivated to provide exceptional service to your customers. Mountains of paperwork leads to poor operational performance – plus it isn’t GDPR compliant to have confidential member information laying around.
Think about how these problems impact the bigger picture and create barriers to running a successful business.
Find a potential software and pick out the most relevant features.
The next step is to shop around. Look for gym management software that offers solutions to your problems. Get a closer look at the features they offer. You don’t need to make any decisions at this stage, but being aware of what’s out there will help when you take the case to your superior. It shows you’re prepared and you know what to look for.
Keep an eye out for software that integrates with systems you already use, for example, ClubRight integrates with household names such as Xero Accounting, GoCardless, MyZone and so many more.
If your club operates bookings, here’s a checklist we put together on everything you should expect from good booking software.
Be prepared to talk about money.
Naturally, your boss might be initially reluctant to invest in a CRM system because it’s seen as an added cost. Another thing that’s going to cost money with no immediate return on investment.
Yes, it is an added cost, investing in a CRM system is perhaps the best investment you can make for your club. They should be the backbone of your operations and a centralised place that stores vital information on your members and how your business is performing.
Look for other clubs that use member management software and drill down how they’ve benefited from the investment. Showing your boss these use cases as evidence will help them see that using a CRM isn’t as much of a headache as they first thought and – most importantly – is a worthy investment.
There are many reasons why a gym should use a CRM, but you can see the most valuable benefits here.
Make a plan.
One thing your superior might be concerned about is the extra work involved in signing up for gym software, so it’s important that you put together a plan of action detailing how it’s going to work.
Iron out all the details and come up with a step-by-step plan on how you’re going to implement the change without causing too much disruption to the business. If training is required for other team members, consider how you’ll make up for the drop in productivity while you get to grips with the new system. Consider how this software will work with systems you already use, such as payments providers, access control or even accounting software.
If this is your team’s first time using gym software, map out how the new features will replace existing manual processes (prospect follow-ups, chasing payments etc.) and remember to account for any additional time while the team get familiar with the system. It’s better to overestimate the length of the transition so that you have a buffer for any hiccups.
Get your colleagues on board.
Finally, getting support from coworkers that share your experience will help prove to your employer that an improved process is in high demand from your team. Speak to key stakeholders and get their input. You can even ask your members for feedback on their experience at your club. Their responses will prove valuable and will even further highlight any areas calling for better efficiency or simplification.
Be open to answering any questions that the decision-makers might have and be empathetic to their reservations. Once you understand the thing that’s preventing them from signing off on a new CRM, you can address their concerns more effectively.
When you’ve addressed all of the above, it’s time to pitch the idea to your boss. There’s no real method to this and will largely depend on how well you know your employer and what your relationship with them is like. Do they prefer a carefully written-out and highly detailed document? Or perhaps they prefer a verbal chat with the key points drilled down for them?
Regardless of what the ‘pitch’ looks like for you, as long as you have the benefits nailed, a firm plan and the potential return on investment is clear, it’ll be hard for the key stakeholders to say no. Even if they’re not on board straight away, you’ll have at least planted the idea in their mind. Keep everything you’ve presented in written form so that they have all of the information they need should they begin to change their minds.
More often than not, people are resistant to change, mainly because it’s scary to try something new. But at ClubRight, we aim to eliminate that fear with our award-winning member management software and seamless onboarding process. It’s been created by the people that know the fitness industry and, much like you, understand the day-to-day challenges of running a business in the industry.
If you want to go one step further in persuading your boss to invest in a CRM, invite them to a free online demo with one of our product experts today, or give us a call on +44 (0)203 884 9777.