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Why good software matters to gym management

Why good software matters to gym management
December 30, 2015

Mike Henton of Jonas Leisure explains how in the changing world of fitness, as people’s needs are becoming more sophisticated, so software can tell more about the fitness market than ever before.

Henton, Jonas Leisure’s General Manager, explains “in the last year, there has been a shift in Australasia.

“We’re seeing more and more people with personal trainers, and I see that as part of a changing mentality, with less of an ‘I can stay healthy by taking a run around the block’ mentality and more people who see the value of professional health and fitness advice.

“To be successful in this environment, fitness centres need to understand their customers, to know and support their goals while giving them the space and autonomy they need. It’s not an easy balance to achieve, and requires the right tools.

“The key driver for using any fitness software is enhancing the customer experience, and to stay relevant, software needs to be up to date. As an example Gladstone – a popular platform set up by Jonas Leisure 20 years ago to support fitness centres – recently incorporated a new ‘Join Anywhere’ module offering signups online and via mobile.

“Good software helps fitness centres get closer to the customer without getting in their way. This is recognised in add-on modules to existing technologies, such as signup tools that can run online or via mobile devices, personalised programmes and apps for housing and recording individual progress, interactive portals for booking group fitness and other activities and knowledge banks to help staff make the best use of these tools.

“These features form part of the total package customers now expect at every interaction with their fitness centre. Customers don’t have to stand around in a facility filling out a form any more, and staff can get on with what they love to do.

“It’s not all about the coal face either. Good software automates the provision of rich data for managers, including sales metrics and performance so they can track what’s happening in their business and ensures that their fitness data is up to date.

“Utilising new technology to streamline bookings, programmes and sign-ups is great, but it’s only part of the picture. It’s increasingly clear retention is the key to success.

“Products such as The Retention People provide excellent tools. Their suite of products are designed to help facilities understand and retain customers. This research-based software solution identifies behaviours and patterns, creating flags to make staff aware it may be appropriate to provide support.

“Of course, it’s also important to have the right software for your market. Other Jonas Leisure platforms support different markets, with Centaman supporting local councils and recreation centres and Envibe, a new software platform for large fitness clubs and leisure centres.

“It’s true we’re not the only ones out there. There are many other software solutions, from Debitsuccess’ Clubware to Mind and Body, which provides a solution for smaller scale fitness facilities. As such, make sure you focus on your specific needs and outcomes when selecting a product rather than purely price.

“At Jonas Leisure, we’ve provided industry-leading leisure and fitness facility health club management software globally for 30 years. Our brands are well-regarded and used by some of the largest leisure facilities and fitness centres in Australia and New Zealand. I like to think the main reason for our success is this: we always look to the customer first for answers.”

Based in Auckland, Mike Henton has previously managed large swimming and fitness facilities in a leisure career spanning 20 years.

Click here to contact Jonas Leisure/Centaman via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.





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