24/7 access and multiple check-in options? Yes, with Visual Clubmate™

24/7 access and multiple check-in options? Yes, with Visual Clubmate™

When selecting your gym access control system, you first have to check if your management software integrates seamlessly with your chosen hardware. Unfortunately, we still live in a time when not all software is created equal and many have fallen behind in this arena.

When you begin planning your facilities renovation and changing the access control system, you might find yourself needing to invest in a new management software as well.

Luckily there are several software’s out there that do the job well like Visual Clubmate™ . There software allows you to install virtually any type of access control systems including barcode scanner, RFID, biometrics, keypad and Bluetooth, which can be used for front-desk, turnstile and interlocking doors. The system is proprietary and all parts are integrated flawlessly to create a fast and accurate access to check-in system.  The software also allows you to assign different access hours to different membership plans.

Biometrics check-in

Visual Clubmate™, connected to BioStation 2, will allow you to offer your members 24/7 access to your facility using biometrics check-in. Whether it’s fingerprint identification or facial recognition, Visual Clubmate™ offers you and your members a secure check-in method. The BioStation 2 can hold up to 500,000 maximum users and 3,000,000 logs for backup in case of a connection loss to server, in order to safely guard all records.

RFID check-in

With Visual Clubmate™ you can also use state of the art RFID technology to allow your members 24/7 access. Cards, key fobs and even mobile phones can be used to interact with the door access hardware.

 

Keypad check-in

The 4 or 6-digit passcode used to be one of the best and most secure check-in options before the implementation of biometrics. While this method isn’t as popular as a single solution anymore, Visual Clubmate™ still offers it as a backup and nonmember check-in solution.

Bluetooth check-in

The future is upon us and the hardware we use today will likely be replaced by smart phone technologies almost completely. No longer will you use member cards or key fobs or barcodes but a button within your mobile application will send a blue tooth signal to the door access and unlock the door for you. This is not some advanced technology it is available today and could save you thousands of dollars a year on key fobs or member cards. Visual Clubmate™ has built a fully automated system to operate 24-hour facilities at minimal cost while producing maximum revenue.

 

Access reporting

Visual Clubmate™ In a world of big data, knowing who checks in to your facility and when, allows you to decipher the commonality between check in times and client demographics producing successfully managed facilities.

  • Better manage your staffing resources, by using them during the peak hours
  • Identify members whose visitation has dropped off and act before you lose them
  • Identify off-peak hours and create memberships that target these specific hours, to increase traffic
  • Identify members whose memberships are about to expire and contact them about renewal.

Fitness software data breach impacts over 100 million! Are your customers at risk?

Negligence and lack of protocol may be attributed to the exposure of over hundred million user records.

Why negligence?

Because servers that were responsible for storing sensitive, private user information did not even have a basic password configured.

Read more here…

MindBody-owned FitMetrix exposed millions of user records — thanks to servers without passwords

MINDBODY Co Data Breach Could Impact 113.5M Users

 

At Visual ClubMate™, we believe that member privacy should be a top priority for every club management solution! That is why our enterprise technology software solution adheres to the highest standards of user data protection, is PCI compliant, and its online infrastructure is SSAE 16 SOC-2 Type II and HIIPA certified.

Switch to Visual ClubMate™ today, to start enjoying the unparalleled benefits of a secure enterprise technology software solution.

The Future of the health and wellness industry.

Follow me if you will, on a journey, a journey filled with wonder and fantasy to a place in the very near future. Most of us in the health and wellness industry find ourselves in a very important place in the history of scientific evolution. Our industry is one of the fastest growing and most profitable in the service centered fields and this puts us in that sweat spot to affect the innovations of tomorrow.  The idealism of the next generation and the will of the enormous aging population has taken what was two separate fields and blended them into one. A seamless symbiotic relationship between strength and health that has changed how our industry will need to view its future. As a populous in whole we have begun the tremendous shift to automation, be it at fast food restaurants or grocery stores and those who are last to the autonomous party will be stuck paying the bill for those who get there first. My vision of a future health and wellness facility starts with the automation of all functions that can be automated. No front desk attendants instead you will have rfid readers that prompt an AI to great you at the door by name. Accessing your smart device / chip in your wrist etc. to gather information then asking the member to use the facial recognition function on there mobile application to unlock the facility. Non-members will still be scanned and asked to install the application and purchase a day pass, sent via push notification.

The member will pull up their personalized work out, likely on smart glasses and begin the warmup section of the prescription. Once they reach the first exercise location the AI will recognize, via entire facility rfid location sensors, that they arrived and begin playing the personal trainer video on the members smart glasses, wall display, or a personal display located on the work out machine. At the same time the nonmember was prompted by the facility to head to the assessment room. Here they will be instructed to begin a barrage of tests completed on IOT devices that instantly push the data to the club’s software for evaluation. Each of these tests will be explained by the AI personal trainer on a display for the nonmember to follow. Once complete the data from the tests will be extrapolated and a customized work out plan will be prescribed to the prospective member based on the guest’s goals and the results of their testing. Of course, a suggested timeline and appropriate membership will be offered to the nonmember at this time. Upon acceptance of the membership contract via DocuSign type technology on the new members smart device the facilities software will begin completion of required waivers as well as a complete parq and nutrition questionnaire. A comprehensive dietary plan will be built based on the results of all the questions and tests so the new member will have a complete health and wellness plan moving forward to achieve the goals set by the new member.

As our two members move through their workout routine they will be constantly pushed by the AI trainer and tracked by the smart facility to insure accurate work outs and data analytics.  As members progress and gain strength and lose weight, the system will track the improvements and keep them updated within there member portal application. Complete with a personalized avatar that represents their current physique and changes as they do. As their work outs come to fruition they will be prompted to head over to the recovery room where mechanized massage stations will perform full body massages. Recovery shakes will be available from an automated vending machine that can be purchased directly through the mobile application simply by passing the imbedded rfid chip across a payment pad. Merchandise is also available for purchase on the mobile application and can be picked up at the facility from the merch vending machines located throughout the facility. The IOT enabled hardware throughout the facility will perform self-diagnostics hourly and upload information into the software for monitoring. On the way out the members smile and wave to the sole employee who is steadily cleaning the work out equipment.

This may seem far fetched but here at Visual ClubMate we expect to have these technologies completed within 3-5 years. Many of these functions are already developed and the remainder are in development now. Visit our website and request a demonstration if you are interested in doubling your retention and new memberships while demolishing your bottom-line!

How organizing competitions at your club can substantially increase member retention rate

People nowadays have a lot of options when choosing a gym or health club, so they have no problem leaving your club after a month and switching to a new one, unless you, as an owner or manager, can offer him what he needs to keep coming back: a sense of community.

One of the best ways to make your customers feel that they belong is to create a strong tie not only with your gym or health club, but with the other members as well. The best way to achieve this is to host regular competitions, where you invite your members to participate both in singles and team events.

Singles events are useful when it comes to creating healthy competition between your members, who no matter the result, will always want to come back for more, whether it’s to defeat other members or simply defend a title. No matter the reason, you can be certain that, once they are hooked on the events you are organizing, they’ll regularly come to the gym to train and get better for the next one.

While singles events create healthy competition, the team ones will help strengthen the bonds between your members. You can set many rules and parameters to help build your community such as all teams are randomly created in the day of the event. This way, members who’ve never talked to each other will get a chance to get acquainted and maybe even create new friendships. Now that your members have gotten to know each other, they will start feeling like being part of a family, which will be much harder to leave.

Setting up these events flawlessly is very important, if you want your members to keep attending. A good gym management software, like Visual ClubMate, which has special built-in functions for these types of events, can help speed up the process and ensure that your event runs smoothly.

With Visual ClubMate, you can forget about pen and paper registration. Create the events, sign-up sheets, ladders and competition draws directly online. This will allow your members to easily register and track the results during the competition, thus offering them a better experience.

This is just one on the many features that make Visual ClubMate one of the best gym management software on the market and specializes in maximizing member retention.

Contact us today to set up a demo!

This gym software feature will hook your members for life

Finding the right gym for you isn’t always an easy thing. It’s the place where you’re going to spend a lot of time, energy and money, so picking a place where you feel comfortable is crucial. Otherwise, you end up canceling your membership after only a couple of months and move on to the next gym.

In the last 5 years I’ve switched gyms 4 times, and not because I’m a tough customer.  The quality of the equipment and services was above average, the prices reasonable and the crowd pleasant.  What more do you want from a gym, you might ask. How about some good, if not great, staff interaction?

The first contact you have with the gym, as a client, is with the front desk staff. At first, everyone is all smiles, and ready to help you with anything, but after a few weeks, once you become a “regular”, they begin to show their true face. How many times have you walked into a gym and found the front desk staff with their face buried into their phone or flirting with the personal trainers? Too many times. And it just ruins your entire workout. This was exactly the reason why I gave up on the first three gyms.

The staff of the forth gym wasn’t all that different and I was ready to cancel my membership, when something amazing happened.

It was my birthday, but also leg day, so I had to go do my workout.  I got to the gym, went to the front desk, gave the staff my name (they had no software, just some Excel spreadsheets) and received my towels. Just as I was about to head to the lockers, the receptionist gave me a big smile and said “Happy Birthday!”, after which she handed me a small gift bag, which contained a pair of gym gloves.

Needless to say, at that point they won me as a customer for life. Not because of that free pair of gloves, or because the girl at the front desk smiled for the first time in over a month, but because I knew that somebody at that gym cared enough to know when my birthday was.

After some time, I learned that in order to keep track of all the birthdays, one of the women working at the front desk created a spreadsheet file which contained all the birthdays of the members. Then, at the start of each year, she would mark them on a calendar which sat on the desk.

Yes, the staff invested a lot of time into this, but at the end of the day it was worth it. I haven’t changed gyms since, and each time I go there I see a lot of long time regulars.

Is this something you want to do in your gym? If so, don’t rush to grab your pen and calendar just yet, as nowadays you have a much simpler solution.

Visual ClubMate, our gym management software, has a built-in solution that helps you identify members birthdays in mere seconds. As soon as one of your members checks in, an alert appears on your PC screen, informing your staff of a member’s birthday. This way, all you have to do is prepare gift bags in advance, and present them when necessary.

You can also use Visual ClubMate’s reports system to immediately generate a file with birthdays for each month of the year. You will never miss one a member birthday again, even if that person doesn’t come to train on that day. Even a simple text message will show them that you care.

Contact us today to set up a demo!

Sales in a short story!

One day a young boy was walking down an inconspicuous street minding his own business when he came across the most unreasonable wall. Now this wall had been there for a very long time and behind it was said to be the most audacious treasure imaginable. Many men had attempted to breach the wall, some tried to clime it others dig under it. Some even attempted to brake it down yet none were successful. The wall was all but impregnable with the only entrance to the riches behind, a gate with the most unfavorable temper. Legend told that the only way to enter and take the treasure was by persuading the gate to let you through, so as expected multitudes of people stopped at the gate daily to ask for access, all were denied quickly and sent on their way just as swift. As the young boy approached the gate he saw that is was very angry or sad perhaps, certainly not chipper so he stopped to inquire the reason for the poor hinged goliath’s melancholy.  The conversation began guarded as ever but the boy was determined to help the poor gate so he listened quietly as the gate professed his great fortitude against the masses and told his story of persistence and strength. As time passed the gates frown turned to a smile and the mood shifted and hearts opened. After much discussion and a few laughs the boy thanked the gate for his time and wished him well. The gate so enamored with the conversational skills of the young boy asked quietly how he had learned to speak with such eloquence.  With true humility the boy replied, “I did no such thing, you spoke I simply listened. Disturbed by the pure politeness of the boy the gate asked very sincerely “Do you not want to take the treasure that lies behind me?” to which the boy replied “O no good sir, I would never take anything from a friend, as we have become just that over the past span of time, without it being offered to me first!” The gate opened and the boy gathered up the treasure and returned often for conversation and more riches.

Why Members Are Not “Checking-in” at Your Gym and How to Change That

More and more people are going to the gym these days, after becoming very health conscious. This has led to gyms springing up like mushrooms after the rain and a fierce battle over customers.  Thus, reaching out to members has become key in order for a gym to remain competitive.

The Internet has become the best way to reach out to both existing member and potential customers. And while traditional online advertising is still effective, social media is the best way to go, given that people access Facebook or Twitter all the time. Here’s how you should run your social media accounts in order to engage you members.

First thing you need to do is to select a campaign topic, what makes your gym stand out from the rest. Is it bodybuilding, strength training, bootcamps, post pregnancy recovery? Do a brainstorming with your staff and come up with the best message to spread around the social media platforms. First, you need to make sure your members can find you on these platforms, so be sure to advertise them both on your website and inside your gym.

Next thing to do is to adapt your message for each social media platform. With Facebook you could try to reach out to your members’ friends. With Twitter, the best way to go is to use some witty one-liners. On Pinterest, you should focus on spreading your message using images, while on Youtube you should use the best videos that can help you convey this message. Be very careful when choosing the images and videos, as they have to target your entire audience. Try using them to show people how your gym stands apart from the rest, and post “before and after” images of your members so that people can see how effective your methods are.

Posting without engagement won’t give you the desired results, so, apart from showing how great your gym is, you have to find a way to make your members like and share your posts. Giving them perks, like free towels or t-shirts for likes and shares on your social media sites is a great way to increase engagement and spread your message to potential customers as well.

You should also encourage your members to “check-in” every time they visit your gym by offering them free personal training and other perks.

The best “engagement” you can get online is a review. Encouraging your members to share their experiences in your gym will be one of the best ways to attract new customers and retain old ones.

5 Ways to Improve Cash Flow

More often than not, fitness and health clubs struggle to make use with a limited budget. This is why it is essential, especially for new clubs, to account for every dollar that comes in and out of your business.

In the beginning, a club owner will have to spend a massive amount of money, on equipment, staff, personal trainers, management software and other essential things to running a club. At this stage, if you are a club owner, you are probably operating at a loss. But the expenses don’t stop there. You have to pay monthly salaries to employees and independent contractors, rent, electricity, water and maintenance bills. And you always need to have an emergency budget ready at a moment’s notice in case of an equipment breakdown. Payment for these factors cannot be deferred, and they represent a struggle even for the experienced club owners.

These are just some of the reasons why you need a good cash flow to survive in this business. Here are some ways to help you improve it:

1.Have an on time collection procedure. Utilizing a gym membership management system like Visual ClubMate will help you know exactly when your members are set to pay you, which of them are about to go into default. Don’t let you hard earned dollars get away just because you can’t keep track of when you should get paid. This is the best way to make sure that your business will keep growing.

2.Cut down your costs. There’s always a way to save some money by cutting down your expenses, like the electricity bill for example. If your facility is not opened 24 hours per day, or you have wide gaps of down time throughout the day, you can turn off non-essential equipment when no one is using them. The same goes for heaters or air-conditioning units.

3.Offer promotions. These are a great way to secure payments in advance from you members. Promotions such as “get 3 months for the price of 2” will help you quickly increase your cash flow and, with such a generous discount, member retention as well.

4.Offer discounts. Discounts are another great way to improve your cash flow. Giving your members a 5% discount for renewing their membership before it expires will keep them happy and at your gym. This is also a great strategy for owners who have just opened their gyms.

5.Pay taxes on time. Yes, taxes will drain money from your account but you should always pay them before they are due. Otherwise you run the risk of paying penalties, which means more money out of your pocket.

Why music selection can have a big impact on your fitness business

It may sound crazy, but the music blasting through your gym speakers has an important impact on the overall activity and happiness of your members.  How many members come to train with their headphones on? A lot, I bet. Sometimes, the music is the only thing standing between a great workout and leaving the gym after just a few minutes. Try putting yourself in your member’s shoes. Would you be able to work out if the music is bad? If not, after how many sessions would you stop going to that specific gym altogether?

And while working out individually most members have the possibility to listen to their own music, in classes they are at your mercy. This is where your playlist needs to shine or some of the participants might decide to stop attending after a couple of sessions.

First of all, try setting up your playlist to follow the energy of how your class is setup: warm-up, workout, cool down. Try to avoid going form a “slow” song, of about 80 beats per minute, to one that is 314 beats per minute.

Next, you should pay attention to the words or the message of a song. The last thing you want to do is insult your members or make them feel embarrassed. It would be wise to listen to a song carefully before adding it to your playlist or even looking up the lyrics on the internet.

Variety is also important. Don’t bore your members with an entire Radiohead album. Try mixing it up. If you’re out of ideas, you could even ask them what songs they’d like to listen during the next class.

And lastly, always try to look at their reactions when a new song comes on. Are they rolling their eyes or tapping their foot to the beat?

Remember! Music may look insignificant, but if you’re consistently playing terrible music, it could lead to someone finding a new gym.

3 simple ways to improve member retention

Getting new members to sign up to your gym is always a great feeling. It is a new credit card into your system and you want to give that person the best possible services and experience, so that he can bring him friends to your company as well. While getting him and his friends to sign up is great, you must always remember that the long-term, consistent clients are the key to your success.

So, now that you got them to sign up for a month, how do you make them come back after the first 30 days are over?

The first key to increasing member retention is to make them feel like they are part of a community. In order to create a tight community, try holding regular events for your members. Also, encourage them to come early before a class, so that they get to interact with other members before training and create bonds. Don’t forget that new members might not know anyone from your gym, so spend some time with them and introduce them to the gym’s “veterans”. Lastly, encourage your staff to engage in the lives of all members both the newer folks and the old-timers.

The second way to increase member retention is to keep communicating with your customers at all times. Keep track of members who have not been at the gym for a week or two (usually this is a sign of a disengaged member) and contact then, either via phone or email. Also, if one of your staff has a closer relationship with the member you can ask them to get in touch with that person.

Lastly, you want to make sure that your members are constantly progressing. No one wants to commit a lot of time and money into an activity and not get results. You should try to closely monitor their progress and review it with them at least once a month. Keeping your members on the right track will ensure that they will continue to come to your gym.

These are just 3 ways of increasing you member retention. If you have 10 or 1.000 members, keeping track of all of them is hard if you don’t have the right club management software. Visual ClubMate is one of the best management software available on the market that has multiple features which will help you improve your member retention.