What are customers looking for in a gym? A variety of equipment, a clean environment, great classes, friendly staff—these are all correct answers. But a frequently overlooked preference of gym members is that their gym's billing system is honest, fair, and easy to use. By simplifying your gym's billing structure and methods, you can increase your customers' satisfaction with their experience and hopefully find some new customers, too. Here are five ways to make billing easier on your gym customers.
1. Simplify your fee schedule.
It's a lot simpler and easier to charge one membership fee monthly rather than billing for individual services. For example, you could charge every member $45 per month and allow them to use whatever services they want. This is simpler than charging a $20 base fee, $5 extra for tanning, another $5 per month for babysitting services, and so forth. If you have been billing for individual services to this point, you will need to sit down and figure out the average amount that each client is paying, how much you need to take in, and what a fair rate for an all-inclusive membership fee would be.
If you're having trouble wrapping all services into one fee, another option is to offer two or three different options—but no more. For instance, you could have a basic membership for $30 a month, a silver membership that includes a few more services for $40 a month, and a premium membership that includes every service for $50 a month.
2. Let customers choose their billing date.
It might be easiest for you to bill everyone on the first of the month, but this won't necessarily work well for all of your customers. Some customers may get paid on specific dates, and therefore they may want to have you bill them on a different date. Be flexible and allow customers to change their billing date if needed. Most gym billing software makes this pretty simple.
3. Offer several payment options.
These days, most people prefer to pay for things online. So, using a gym billing system that lets your customers log in and pay on your website is ideal. However, there may be some older or less technologically savvy members who wish to pay with a check or with a credit card in your actual gym. Provide several payment options so you do not alienate a whole demographic.
4. Set up straightforward rules for terminating a contract.
It's common for gym goers to have problems when they decide to leave a gym. You've probably known someone who has left their gym and terminated their contract, only to have the gym continue to bill them for several months afterwards. Do not be that gym! Create airtight contracts for billing and fees, and have your lawyer look over them closely. When a customer wishes to leave, let them go according to the terms in your contract—and make sure that you stop billing them on time.
5. Give prior notice of fee increases.
Over time, the cost of operating your gym may go up, and you might find that you need to charge your customers more. This is completely normal, but you must make sure you go about asking for the increase in the correct manner. Tell customers at least a month in advance, if not more, that their rate will increase—and by how much. Offer them the chance to leave if they cannot afford to pay the increase.
Follow the tips above for simpler gym billing practices that your customers will appreciate. To learn more, talk to your gym billing software provider. They can let you know what other gyms do.