In 2017, Xinya Du, a then first year student at Cornell University, came up with a method to teach computers to ask better questions using AI. Why? Because we as humans aren’t naturally very good at identifying the gaps in our knowledge.
To put it simply – we don’t know what we don’t know.
This is an important adage to consider when it comes to choosing the tools like a gym management software that will help your fitness club, studio, or gym to succeed. If you don’t know what platforms are on the market, you could be missing out. Further, if you don’t know what to ask to make sure you’re choosing the right platform, you may end up regretting your decision down the road.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top questions you need to ask your potential sports and fitness software platform before moving forward with a contract. If they can’t answer these questions, you’ll know it’s time to look elsewhere.
Questions to ask about the gym management software (1-8)
Product is one of the most important areas to dive into on your sales call. Your potential club management software vendor will likely show you the tools you’d be using on a daily basis, and dive into specifics of the platform. You and your team will be in the platform every day, so make sure you feel comfortable with the interface. Answers to these questions will give you an understanding of whether or not this sports and fitness software solution will serve your business in a valuable way.
In what ways can this be customized for my fitness business?
Whichever gym management software platform you choose should be flexible enough to fit the needs of your business. Plain and simple. Sports and fitness businesses have unique offerings and operations models, and it’s important to ensure the software can fit your needs — not the other way around. Look for a platform that offers flexibility to create any type of program, event, offering, or membership.
Can I use this fitness software on any device?
This question is great because how the vendor answers will reveal just how modern their technology is. A good gym management software will offer a web-based platform, as well as a mobile business app to keep you connected on the go.
Additional questions to ask about the gym management software:
- How easy will it be for my members to transact?
- Can my staff customize their calendar view?
- What payment methods does this platform support?
- Does this platform offer family-based accounts?
- Can I run member and event pre-sales before my doors open?
- Are all operational tools integrated within one platform?
Questions to ask about customer support (9-16)
No matter what gym management software you choose to move forward with, you will from time to time run into areas where you’ll need the help of customer support. It’s important to ask the questions that will paint a clear picture of what this experience will look like for you.
What customer training do you offer for the club management software?
A great gym management software won’t set you up for failure. In other words, they’ll work with you as a partner to ensure you have the tools and knowledge to get the most out of their platform. If your potential provider doesn’t offer initial onboarding calls to get your account set up for success, plus continued customer education after you’re up and running — consider looking elsewhere.
Will I have a dedicated support rep when using the fitness software?
Say you’re about to start a group workout session when your payment system suddenly goes down. How important to you will it be to have a dedicated support team on standby to help troubleshoot your issue? Many club management software providers will tell you about how many support reps they have, but we believe having a dedicated team, familiar with the workings of your business, is much more valuable.
Additional questions to ask about the customer support:
- Do your support reps have experience working with sports and fitness businesses?
- What does the process to migrate my existing data to your platform look like?
- How long does that data migration take?
- Do you offer continued customer education with new features?
- What if I have a problem on a weekend?
- What channels can I use to contact support?
Questions to ask about data and security (17-24)
This is where we start to get into the nitty gritty. Security and privacy probably isn’t the first thing you’ll ask about when choosing a gym management software, but it’s one of the most important aspects to ensuring a smart provider choice. With the amount of data breaches and supply chain violations we’ve seen recently, ensuring your sports and fitness software provider is keeping security top of mind is crucial.
Can you tell me about your commitment to payment transaction security?
Your prospective provider should be able to detail the security measures their payment processor uses to protect transactions. For example, UP Payments, our in-house payment processing platform, includes fraud management, encryption and compliance, and chargeback support. Because our customers should trust the security of their transactions.
Do you have a cyber risk management program?
Because of how serious the risk of cyber crime has become, it’s important to understand if the provider has a plan in place to mitigate risk. If they can’t answer this question, look to a gym management software provider that can.
Additional questions to ask about data and security of the gym management software:
- Is your gym software certified for security?
- What are your comprehensive data privacy procedures?
- Do you have an incident response plan when dealing with data breaches?
- Does your payment processor follow GDPR regulations and guidelines?
- Have you ever had a customer data breach of the scope of FitMetrix?
- How layered are your security encryptions?
Questions to ask about their customers (25-32)
It’s no secret that subscribing to a gym management software platform is a big financial commitment. As a business owner or operator, you want to be sure that you’re getting a return on that investment. There’s no better way to do that than to ask about the results real customers are seeing.
Are they happy with the software? Do they feel it’s been valuable to their brand? Ask your sales rep about customers they’ve worked with on your demo call, and do your research on review sites as well.
What’s your Net Promoter Score of the fitness software?
As defined by Medallia, “The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.”
In B2B software, the average NPS score is 30. Do you want your gym management software to be average, as rated by their customers? As a benchmark to compare to, Upper Hand’s NPS score is 54. If your prospective fitness software doesn’t meet or exceed that score, you’re not going with the best option.
Can you share some ROI results from real customers using the gym management software?
In this answer, look for results as they relate to an increase in transactions per client, increase in dollars spent per client, and an increase in annual revenue. These KPIs will really paint the picture of where your business could see significant growth as a result of switching to their platform.
Upper Hand customers save an average of 8-12 hours per week on administrative tasks. The average increase in annual revenue per business is $13,000. What would your business look like after saving $13,000 and 520 hours per year? Get a free walk-through of the software to see how Upper Hand can give you the competitive edge.
Additional questions to ask about their customers:
- Do you take feedback from your customers when launching new features?
- Do your customers’ clients benefit from your platform?
- What is the complaint you hear most often from your customers?
- What is the praise you hear most often from your customers?
- How soon after switching to your gym management software do customers see positive ROI?
- Is your customer base mostly made up of sports and fitness businesses?
Questions to ask about their business roadmap (33-40)
The sports and fitness industry is constantly changing. In fact, J.P. Morgan research reports that the industry is poised to break the 1.1 trillion dollar cap by 2023. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a gym management software that will adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the curve. And really, that’s what you ultimately should be looking for — a partner.
A fitness software platform that will prioritize your needs and continue to give you the competitive edge in the midst of industry disruption. A true partner in growth. Ask these questions, and you’ll gain an understanding of whether this prospective platform will be your partner…or not.
Is your club management software built using the latest technologies and designs?
In just a glance at the platform, you may be able to discern this answer for yourself. If the user interface looks strangely similar to Microsoft in the early 2000’s, save yourself some time and check out a more technically innovative option, like Upper Hand. Upper Hand understands that world-class software experiences start with world-class tech and design. And if the club management software you’re checking out is already behind the curve, don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon.
How often are you releasing new code?
As we mentioned before, the industry is changing quickly. Weekly code releases are standard for businesses operating at the highest caliber. That means that their product and engineering teams have their customers in mind today, and are working to build for their futures as well.
Additional questions to ask about the product roadmap for their gym management software:
- Does your platform operate on the cloud?
- Do you have an open API that can connect with any platform?
- What new features could I expect to see coming soon?
- How do you train your customers on new releases?
- How do you determine which features to build?
- Can this platform give me the competitive advantage to scale my business for the future?
As we mentioned in the introduction, as humans we typically don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why we put together this list of questions. To aid you in discovering the critical things you need to know before choosing a gym management software.
In asking these questions, you’ll become familiar with the product, and whether or not it’s a good fit for your business. You’ll get an idea of what their customer support process would be like. You will see how secure their platform is. You’ll understand whether their customers see the value in their software.
And most importantly, you’ll see if they can be a partner in growth for your business.
With all that in mind, we would be remiss not to mention the one sports software platform that does it all, and can answer each of these questions. Upper Hand is the leader in fitness software for a reason. See how our platform can be your partner in growth, giving your business the competitive edge.