With an online booking system, you can automate all of this and more, allowing you to spend more time on the pitch coaching your players. We’ll explain how to grow your sports club with an online booking system.
- Accept bookings 24/7
- Reduce admin time
- Develop a marketing strategy
- Take deposits
- Secure payments
- Increase club awareness
1. Accept bookings 24/7
To grow your sports club, you need to take more bookings. And to take more bookings, you need to make the process as easy as possible for customers. Using the traditional method of answering phone and email enquiries means that you’re restricted to opening hours. Many families are busy during the daytime and may wish to make a booking at their leisure in the evening.
With leisure management software, you won’t miss any opportunities as the booking page is open 24/7. This allows customers to browse your offering, view your prices and any extra information before making their purchase.
You can also improve your customers booking software journey by including FAQs. For a football club, you may answer questions about what kit is provided by the club and the age range of the team. For a swimming club, you may include FAQs about gala days and competitions. This level of detail is hard to convey on the phone and customers may realise they have these questions after sending their email. An online booking system has everything covered.
2. Reduce admin time
Answering the phone and emails, recording attendance, confirming which players want to enter a tournament, taking new membership sign-ups and processing payments. These are just some of the many admin tasks involved when running a sports club.
Sports clubs are often run by a handful of people and the coaches get stuck into all areas, when really their heart lies on the pitch. Using an online booking system means that coaches can spend time doing the things they love, whilst the admin is automated for them.
When someone makes a booking using BookingLive, the calendar and available slots are updated in real-time. This avoids awkward double bookings and ensures that data is accurate. Customers will also receive automated email confirmations and session reminders. This saves coaches from chasing up players who are running late - the reminders are proven to reduce no-shows.
Reducing admin time means that coaches can put more resources into planning fun sessions and entering tournaments. As the sports club grows as a result of the online booking system, you can also invest in upgraded equipment.
Learn more about how online booking systems save time here.
3. Develop a marketing strategy
Without a booking system, you may have scattered spreadsheets of information with no idea what to do with the data. Online booking systems analyse the data for you and produce reports on booking habits. For example, you may find that teenagers prefer to book sessions in the evening. Or a penalty taking masterclass quickly becomes fully booked every time.
You can use this data to your advantage to boost marketing efforts and sales. Put on more evening sessions or multiple slots for that popular activity, for example.
Once you have understood your audience's preferences, make sure to communicate your offering to them! BookingLive’s online booking system has over 3,000 integrations, including marketing and social media integrations such as Facebook, Instagram and MailChimp. These integrations allow you to automate and manage your marketing campaigns all in one place.
Use MailChimp to send aesthetic emails to your contact list. You may wish to send monthly newsletters that include upcoming fixtures, fundraising events and player of the month. Make sure to promote your other services too - you could offer a discount code in the emails to attract more subscribers.
It’s easy to optimise the online up-sell with an online booking system. You can tempt customers to add-ons during the booking journey and sell packages at competitive rates. For a sports club, you could sell an add-on of a one-to-one coaching session. Or perhaps you could offer the 10th training session for free when customers pay for 10 weeks in advance.
These subtle upsells are likely to be more effective online. If you suggested these add-ons over the phone, you could risk it sounding like a sales pitch. Using an online booking system will increase your revenue and customers will be happy as they feel that they have taken their time to make an informed choice about spending more money.
5. Take deposits
Something that can hinder the growth of sports clubs is no-shows. A space for the session has been taken by a player that has failed to attend and pay. Unfortunately, this can happen more often than coaches would like. Fear not. An online booking system can prevent your bank balance from suffering by taking deposits. Customers will be asked to make the payment at the end of their booking journey using a payment gateway of their choice.
You can decide whether to take a partial or full deposit. With a full deposit, you’re more likely to attract players that are motivated to improve their athleticism and attend. Deposits can help you manage last-minute appointment cancellations too, as no one wants to lose out.
6. Secure payments
Typically, sports clubs take payments on the day, on the door. Loose cash isn’t the most secure way to manage your finances, and as your club grows with more members it can be hard to keep track of who has and hasn’t paid.
BookingLive is a cloud booking system that uses AWS. This means that it’s highly secure and reliable - both customer data and payment data are safe. Users can pay for their sessions using payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, WorldPay and more.
7. Increase club awareness
There can be many sports clubs fighting for more members in communities, and having a strong online presence is just as important as a physical presence. As people new to the sport weigh up the pros and cons of each club, they will turn to the internet for information.
Just the fact that you have an online booking system could be the deciding factor for whether a customer chooses you or a competitor. People love convenience, and offering a smooth, simple booking journey is now expected as standard.
Whilst prospects are browsing your website or social media profile, spotting the option to book online could seal the deal. BookingLive allows you to embed a booking link on your website and social media, so it’s never been easier for a customer to start booking. Reducing the steps in the booking process is likely to lead to more sales as customers are satisfied with the experience.
As a booking system gives you a competitive advantage, your club will grow and you’ll gain more members through other methods such as word of mouth marketing. Remember to keep your activity offering fresh to retain and attract players.
Get started with BookingLive
If you want to test out BookingLive for yourself, book a demo today. With our Enterprise level system, you can benefit from all the features mentioned in this blog, including the ability to manage club memberships and add FAQs to the booking journey. You can work with our experts to build a custom booking system to meet the needs of your sports club.
If you have any questions about our booking system, contact us today. Head over to our blog to read tips for small businesses as well as the latest on booking systems.