Why Involuntary Attrition Is Killing Your Member Retention

"Why Involuntary Attrition Is Killing Your Member Retention." Woman training with ropes at gym.

When you’re losing the battle for member retention, it’s impossible to ignore. Complaints, poor attendance, and painful cancellations show a clear problem. But what about when content members disappear without notice?

While on the surface it seems like your member retention is rock solid, a silent killer may be lurking. Due to failed, expired, or delinquent credit cards, you may lose members without knowing to a phenomenon called involuntary attrition.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at involuntary attrition, its impact on your business, and how you can prevent these needless cancellations.

What is involuntary attrition?

Involuntary attrition occurs when memberships are automatically cancelled due to failed payments. On average, 15% of recurring credit card payments decline. Some industries experience more than a 30% decline rate. When these payments fail, they are rarely retried. The delinquency goes unnoticed and ultimately results in a lost customer.

Causes of involuntary attrition

To fight involuntary attrition, you must understand and address each of its underlying causes.

Credit card expiration

Credit cards expire about every three years. That means that about one-third of your members will need updated payment information every year. If you don’t have a system for keeping credit card data up-to-date, you risk losing a significant amount of revenue and members.

Credit card declines

Credit cards can decline for over 130 reasons. The most common reasons for credit card decline include credit limits, suspected fraud, late payments, and deactivation. Even when consumers are notified of declines, they may not remember to update their payment information with your business. Relying on members alone to troubleshoot declines will result in missed payments and unwanted cancellations.

Delinquency

While most membership management software platforms offer robust and reliable recurring billing, many still lack the features to handle delinquent accounts properly. Most software will not automatically retry a payment after it is declined. Likewise, automatic payment reminders via email and text message can help to prevent missed payments—but they do little to correct the situation once an account is delinquent.

If ignored, delinquent accounts can turn into lost members. Software helps streamline membership payments. However, solving delinquency requires you to employ staff to review accounts and work with customers to resolve issues.

How involuntary member cancellations impact your business

Although other business challenges often overshadow involuntary attrition, it can do significant damage to your finances and member relationships.

Lost revenue

The most obvious result of involuntary attrition is lost revenue. With each needless cancellation, you lose money not only in the current month but every subsequent month that the member would have stayed.

Losing money in the first month stings, but losing money every month afterward crushes your bottom line. This long-term multiplier effect means you must replace the lost member with a new one if you want to make up for the missing income. This puts additional strain on your business because it requires more time and resources to obtain a new member than keep an existing one.

Damaged relationships

Generally, cancellations come from your least engaged and lowest-quality members. Involuntary attrition, on the other hand, can impact any member. For example, a member who attends regularly may come back from vacation to find that his or her membership was cancelled due to an expired credit card. In some cases, this member is locked out of the facility and unable to access their workout history and progress.

Of course, involuntary attrition may not be permanent. Your best members are more likely to notice the error and return to your facility. However, the experience is unpleasant and may damage your relationships. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to safeguard your relationships with members—especially your financial interactions with them.

A shrinking community

In some industries, involuntary attrition accounts for 20-40% of total attrition. This means that one out of every five cancellations is unnecessary and avoidable.

The loss of members has a compounding effect on your business. The smaller your community becomes, the less likely you are to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and referrals.

Limited growth

If you’re constantly fighting attrition, it’s difficult to grow your net profit. The combined challenges of lost revenue, damaged relationships, and a shrinking community will limit your potential for growth in the short and long term.

How to stop involuntary attrition

Despite its devastating impact, involuntary attrition is relatively easy to fix. Because these members (generally) want to stay a part of your community, you don’t have to change your service, facility, or staff.

To end involuntary cancellations, you need to make the billing process seamless and keep members’ payment methods up-to-date. Below are some of the strategies that we include in our managed billing service to reduce involuntary cancellations:

1) Update credit card information

Keep payment information current to avoid losing members to expired cards. Our team follows up immediately to get updated credit card information and to collect outstanding payments.

2) Communicate with members about missed payments

Catching overdue payments before they lead to involuntary attrition requires speed, skill, and determination. You need to follow up immediately, give customers multiple chances to resolve the issue, and phrase your request in the right way to make members act. At Member Solutions, we handle the scripts as well as reach out to your customers to resolve payment issues quickly and effectively.

3) Offer convenient payment methods

Often, members will proactively manage payments if given the opportunity. Our system allows members to make a payment or update payment methods 24/7 through an online payment portal or by phone.

4) Provide customer service for members’ billing needs

Your members’ needs are not limited to learning good fitness habits and training techniques. Maintaining a healthy financial relationship with members requires effort, too.

The customer service team at Member Solutions is trained to respond to the unique financial needs of your members. They practice responding to members’ concerns about contracts, personal financial challenges, and data security. The additional support strengthens relationships and makes members less likely to be lost to involuntary attrition.

5) Track overdue payments closely

Stay ahead of involuntary attrition by constantly tracking a list of delinquent accounts and past-due invoices. To make things easy, we track missing payments for you. All you need to do is check reports on collected payments, accounts receivable, and active members periodically.

Winning the war for member retention

Member retention is the key to your increased profitability and long-term growth. You can stop needless cancellation and build a strong community by learning to recognize the causes and signs of involuntary attrition. Through a payment recovery system and superior customer service, you can boost revenue and provide a better member experience.

Want to eliminate the threat of involuntary attrition? Get a demo of our managed billing services.

7 Ways to Handle Late Member Payments

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Asking your students for money is never easy. When a member of your martial arts school doesn’t pay on time, it’s tempting to let the delinquency slide to avoid confrontation. But you run a business. You deserve to be paid for the valuable services you provide. Still, how can you ask for late payments without sounding cold or impersonal? These seven tips will help you navigate how to collect and prevent late member payments:

1. Automate member payments

Automating credit card and ACH payments through your member management system is an easy way to prevent late payments. Talk to your members about switching to one of these methods if you notice them struggling to pay on time. Be sure to highlight the added convenience of auto-payments and address any concerns about data security.

2. Set expectations with new students

Review key points of your membership contracts with new students and families. Make sure students or parents sign off on payment amounts, due dates, and the membership duration. Be honest and open about your expectations for on-time payments. Just like your members expect consistent, high-quality martial arts instruction from you, you will expect prompt, full payments from them.

3. Charge fees for late payments

If late payments are a chronic problem for your martial arts school, you might decide to add late fees to your contract. Some gyms and martial arts schools charge late fees of $5 to $25 per overdue payment. For some individuals, the extra incentive will motivate them to stay on top of payments.

Before deciding to use late fees at your school, consider how this will impact your relationships. Ask yourself how new members will react to hearing about late fees before they’re even a part of your community. In the end, you’ll have to determine the best balance to protect your business without harming your relationships.

4. Send email reminders

You probably already use your martial arts software to automatically remind your members about upcoming payments and due dates. Hopefully, these reminders help prevent late payments before they occur.

Once invoices become past-due, you can use another type of email reminder to collect late payments. Create a short series email scripts to ask for late payments. Be polite but direct. Make sure to clarify any consequences of late payments, including interest fees or deactivation of the membership.

5. Make a phone call

Because phone calls are more difficult to ignore than emails, they’re particularly effective for collecting late payments. Be friendly but firm on the phone. Clearly and calmly explain the details of the past-due invoice and ask for the payment in full. While on the phone, you may uncover new information about your member’s situation that reveals the true reason for late payment. Use these insights to find a long-term solution to help you and your member avoid future missed payments.

6. Be kind, not argumentative

Your students are only human. They make mistakes. They forget to update expired credit card information or to check their bank account before payments are due. There are hundreds of reasons students miss payments. Avoiding financial disputes is crucial to maintaining a strong, long-lasting relationship. Before jumping to conclusions, see if a friendly reminder is all that is needed.

In some cases, your student may be dealing with a difficult or complex situation that has impacted their finances. Use good judgement to come to an agreement that’s fair and mutually beneficial to you and your member. It may make sense to be flexible or forgiving in order to preserve your relationship and retain your member.

7. Call in an expert

Collecting late payments is complex and challenging. To truly be successful, you’ll need to dedicate resources to make sure someone is responsible for follow up and collections. If you handle this follow up in-house, make sure to incorporate this task into one of your job roles so it does not become an afterthought for one of your busy employees. You can also outsource payment collection to a team of managed billing professionals to bypass the awkward conversations and eliminate the complicated follow up process.

If you follow the steps above, you’ll see your overdue invoices decrease while your relationships with your students improve. In the long run, the combination of these two factors is what will keep your martial arts school financially stable and successful.

Have you tried these tips? How do you encourage students to pay on time? Tell us your thoughts below.

How to Avoid Financial Disputes with Your Gym Members

Member-owner relationships are a bit like marriages. You work hard to cultivate strong, long-lasting bonds. You do all you can to show you care and provide what your member needs. Despite that effort, you can still find yourself dealing with absences, arguments, and painful breakups caused by disagreements about money. Among married couples, financial disputes are the second leading cause of divorce. Likewise, uncomfortable conversations about missed payments can make members feel like your gym is not the right place for them. To avoid losing members, put a plan in place to prevent financial disputes and strengthen your relationships.

What can you do to avoid financial disputes with your members?

At Member Solutions, we have over 25 years of experience providing billing services and collecting member payments. Think of us as a financial counselor who wants to help alleviate some the strains money puts on your member relationships.

Follow these 5 tips to avoid financial disputes and keep your billing practices running smoothly:

1) Talk about your billing policies

Clear billing policies allow you and your members to stay on the same page. Put yourself in your members’ shoes. Would you enjoy surprise charges to your credit card? While surprises can be fun, financial surprises can damage your relationships.

Create a membership welcome packet that clearly details what your members can expect financially. Address the when and how of payment processing, late fees, cancellation policies, payments dates, and how members will be notified if fees change.

2) Be flexible when members have money problems

Eventually, one of your members will show up to your gym after months of racking up an unpaid balance and overdue fees. They’ll say they had no idea it was happening. They’ll ask you why you didn’t remind them and possibly tell you they can’t afford to pay.

While it’s important to enforce your policies, sometimes it’s important to find a middle ground. Ask yourself, “What’s best for my long term relationship with this member?”

Sometimes it’s in your best interest to give a member a break. You may decide to waive fees or set up a payment plan to get a member caught up. When you make an exception, let them know that you’re doing it because they are a valued, long-term member. Explain that your policies are in place because newer members—who don’t have strong relationships like yours—might try to avoid paying.

This method has a variety of benefits:

  1. You were likely going to receive no payment. Now that you have made an exception, you are likely to receive some compensation.
  2. You increase the odds that this member pays on time going forward.
  3. If this member is leaving, it’s more likely that he or she will return to your gym.
  4. The likelihood that member talks highly of your gym will increase.

Every gym owner is unique and has different opinions on this situation. All we recommend is that you consider the value of each customer on an individual basis.

3) Automate member payments and billing

Automated billing services virtually take you out of the dues collection process at your gym. All you have to do is set up client accounts, due dates, and payment amounts. Voilà! Your clients’ accounts will be billed automatically.

What does this mean for you? It means that you no longer have to directly collect member payments. This saves time on administrative tasks and reduces strain on relationships with your members.

4) Offer secure online payment processing

The convenience of online payments has obvious appeal for both businesses and members. However, when it comes to online payments, choosing a service with maximum security is critical. The last thing you want is for your or your members’ financial information to be compromised.

Choose a Level 1 PCI compliant provider to protect your business. Providers that follow these data security standards offer the highest level of protection against credit card fraud.

5) Enlist a professional team to bill your members

In addition to damaging relationships, tracking down member payments is confusing and time-consuming. Pursuing missing payments can take up to 10 hours every week. That’s time you could spend with your members, growing your business, or relaxing with friends and family.

Outsourcing to an affordable managed billing service that specializes in tracking down delinquent accounts can reduce stress and help preserve relationships. Billing professionals have an in-depth understanding of the payment processing business and are better able to troubleshoot issues with failed credit card payments or delinquency. In fact, members are more likely to settle monetary issues with a billing company than a gym owner.

If you decide to collaborate with a third-party billing provider, choose a team that will uphold your policies while still offering flexibility to your members. A good billing company will be able to advise you on when to make exceptions for members who are having trouble paying.

Overcome financial disputes to strengthen relationships with your members

Financial disputes are one of the main reasons relationships end—whether it’s between spouses, business partners, or band members who pursue disappointing solo careers. To beat the odds, you need to be proactive. Talk to your members about your expectations regarding payments. Be open to a financial partnership with your members. If you decide to partner with a billing company, choose a team with the same commitment to customer service and fairness that you do.

How do you manage the financial aspects of your member relationships? Share your comments below.

11 Martial Arts Marketing Tips for Community Events

Looking for a great way to market your martial arts school to a new audience? Break free of your marketing routine by setting up booths at local community events. Festivals, fairs, picnics, and other celebrations are opportunities to share the values you teach on the mat with people who’ve never heard of your services. Sitting in your martial arts school, hoping new members will walk in is a recipe for disappointment. Instead, explore these 11 tips to market your business and attract new members at community events in your area.

11 Tips for Success at Community Events
1. Create an Event Calendar

Create a calendar that includes every community event in your area. Research events to secure invitations or reserve booths at each of them. Don’t be afraid to try new events. When you share what you love about martial arts with a new audience, who knows who you might inspire.

2. Network with the Host

Anytime I’m a guest at an event, I aim to delight my host and be invited back next year. To do this, I make sure my message fits the goals of the event. I promote literacy and reading when at a library sponsored event. I promote health and wellness when manning a booth at a health fair. Before you leave, ask the host if they received any feedback on your booth. If that feedback is positive, ask to come back next year.

3. Dress Appropriately for the Event

Plan to dress similarly to the other vendors and attendees at the event. If you’re attending a business expo, a dry cleaned pair of slacks and a dress shirt might be perfect. If you have a booth at a local summer festival, appearing in uniform might help attract attention. If you’re not sure, ask the event host how most people dressed last year.

4. Bring a Team

Having the right team at community events can help make attendees feel more comfortable visiting your booth. Try to include team members that your audience can identify with. If you are attending a festival aimed at children, consider having a junior team of 3-6 do a 1-minute demo once an hour to draw families and kids to your booth.

5. Stand & Be Seen

Booths are not for sitting! As often as possible, you should be out in front of your booth ready to engage those who walk by. Bring comfortable shoes and prepare for long days by assigning shifts to team members to make the most of your investment.

6. Teach at Your Booth

What do you really want to be known for in your community? The guy who can split a watermelon with a Kitana? Not me! I want everyone to know I’m the best teacher in town.

I find every opportunity to teach the same techniques, skills, and values we practice on the mat. Sometimes we teach how to kick or punch. Other times, when interacting with kids, we demonstrate the importance of making eye contact when speaking with an adult or how to scan their environment when in a place for the first time.

7. Bring Fun Martial Arts Gear

I always bring bag gloves and a water-filled punching bag to community events. If things get slow at my booth, I recruit a passersby to put on the gloves and give the bag a piece of their mind. I’ve met very few people in my life that don’t smile after hitting a bag.

Similarly, blocker bats are great for little ones. I let them hit me first and only reverse roles with parental approval and careful observation of the child’s demeanor. Take care not to make a timid child uncomfortable. If done properly, the experience opens the child’s eyes to a new experience and gets them excited about martial arts classes.

8. Draw a Prize Winner

Pick a prize everyone likes and can use. (I use VISA gift cards.) A $50 gift card or prize is a small investment to ensure that you get maximum participation.

In addition to the first prize, choose winners who will receive free services from your martial arts school, which as: free week or free month programs, self-defense class for an entire office, or martial arts birthday party.

Be sure to follow up with prize winners right away if you won’t be handing out prizes at your booth during the event.

9. Bring Memorable Giveaways

Flyers, business cards, and other marketing materials are required, but these don’t often leave a lasting impression. With your other promotional giveaways, aim to create a moment or experience that people will remember.

What do I mean? When I attend a women’s empowerment summit, everyone visits my booth is invited to learn a beginner escape. While they perform the escape, my staff takes a picture with a Polaroid instant camera (I found this camera on Amazon). The photo is placed in a cardboard picture frame with my logo and contact info printed on it. Our visitor now has a keepsake to show others or hang on a bulletin board. These photos have a way longer shelf life than our flyers and they only cost about $1 each with film and frame.

10. Be Who You Say You Are

Earlier, I encouraged you to try new events to find new potential members for your martial arts school. This recommendation comes with one condition: you should attend events that are a good fit for the services you offer, the values you hold, and the culture of your school.

While you shouldn’t be afraid to break the mold, you have to stay true to yourself. Make sure your values align with those of the community events you plan to attend. For instance, if your main priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then health and fitness events are perfect for you. If, on the other hand, you focus on teaching life skills to children and young adults, family-oriented events may be best for you.

11. The Fortune is in the Follow Up

If you invest in promoting your martial arts school at community events, you should have a plan that provides return on your investment. Before you step foot in your booth, decide who will make follow-up calls, write phone scripts, and prepare emails to send. To ensure you follow this process, try setting up an automated lead follow-up process in your martial arts software.

What’s helped you market your martial arts school successfully at community events? Which community events work best for your business? Share your experience in the comments below.

Rick Ellis has 25+ years of experience in martial arts school ownership and consulting. His passion is helping school owners grow and increase retention through targeted staff training and systems integration.

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[Webinar] 5 Ways to Boost Member Retention with a Mobile App

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT)

The more engaged your members are, the more likely they are to stick to their fitness routine and with your business. Unfortunately, many fitness clubs struggle to maximize member retention. So how do you build stronger relationships that drive loyalty, member retention, and results? Our partner, MiGym, has worked with hundreds of fitness clubs to create personalized member app experiences. Clubs with mobile apps benefit from increased class attendance, strengthened relationships, lower attrition, and increased revenue. After reviewing results from clients, MiGym identified five ways that any fitness business—large or small—can use a mobile app to grow profits and improve member retention. In this webinar, you’ll learn the five ways fitness clubs can engage their member base through a custom mobile app. You’ll see a live demonstration of how you can use these techniques to cultivate stronger bonds with your members. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use push notifications and announcements during the holiday season and the New Year’s fitness rush
  • Increase member convenience through a simplified check-in and booking process
  • Gain a competitive advantage in 2018 by adding a mobile app to your business plan and marketing campaigns
  • And more!

Bonus: Attend the live webinar to get a sample holiday push notification and announcement to drive member retention, engagement, and revenue.

Meet Our Presenter

Hugh McEvoy, General Manager, MiGym

Hugh McEvoy has over nine years of experience providing software solutions to the fitness industry for member retention, marketing, and business management. As the General Manager at MiGym, Hugh partners with businesses of all sizes to conquer challenges and to achieve results.

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[Webinar] Sell Out Every Time: The Expert Event Guide for Martial Arts Schools

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 | 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT)

Are you tired of stress-filled planning and disappointing attendance numbers at your martial arts events?

The best martial arts events set themselves apart by combining precise planning, compelling marketing, and unique attendee experiences. In this workshop, three industry experts will provide a start-to-finish guide for event success.

We’ll cover:

  • How to overcome top challenges martial arts schools face when hosting events
  • How to sell out every event in under 5 days
  • Steps to create unique experiences to boost attendance
WORKSHOP AGENDA: MARTIAL ARTS EVENTS MADE EASY

Event Strategy: Jason Morgan, Co-Founder, Hyper Martial Arts

  • Top challenges martial arts schools face when hosting events
  • Success tips for filling martial arts camps and events
  • Create the unfair advantage over other activities in your community

Event Planning: Adam Kifer, President of Level Up Music & Level Up Action Kits

  • The perfect martial arts event planning system
  • Turn each event into an experience
  • How to sell out every event in under 5 days using scarcity and urgency

Event Registration: Sarah McGeehan, Sales Manager, Member Solutions

  • Create excitement and urgency with your registration page
  • Optimize forms to increase registrations for martial arts events
  • Boost attendance by personalizing the experience
MEET OUR PRESENTERS

Jason Morgan, Co-Founder, Hyper Martial Arts

Jason is the co-founder of Hyper Martial Arts, an action-lifestyle brand that supports curriculum and media for the top martial arts schools and athletes worldwide. Starting his first martial arts school at 17 years-old, Jason quickly became recognized as one of the most successful and innovative instructors in the American Taekwondo Association. He is committed to elevating the level of recognition for martial arts athletes and developing high-level marketing and media campaigns to support the industry.

Adam Kifer, President of Level Up Music & Level Up Action Kits

Level Up Music and Level Up Action Kits are leaders in providing essential services to help martial arts school owners save time and to add a new layer of professionalism to their schools. A martial artist since age three, Adam has worked his way through the industry as an instructor, program director, and chief instructor. His experience led to the development of Level Up Action Kits, an innovative service that has helped more than 1000 martial arts schools improve how they run a Parents Night Out. Adam’s expertise in audio production, sound design, and the music business led to the launching of Level Up Music, a service that streams clean music mixes to martial arts schools and fitness centers across the country. Adam continues to innovate to make a positive impact in the martial arts industry.

Sarah McGeehan, Sales Manager, Member Solutions

With extensive experience in customer service, support, and sales, Sarah is a true jack-of-all-trades. She is highly knowledgeable about connecting businesses with their ideal solution. Sarah draws from her own experience planning community fundraisers to help event planners, business owners, and camp directors create optimized online registration forms that drive attendance for their events.

WEBINAR PARTNERS
Hyper Martial Arts Level Up Logo

Hyper Martial Arts

Hyper Martial Arts is an action-lifestyle brand that supports curriculum and media for the top martial arts schools and athletes worldwide.

Level Up Action Kits & Level Up Music

Level Up Action Kits is an innovative service that has helped
over 1000 martial arts schools improve how they run a Parents
Night Out. Level Up Music is a clean music streaming service
for martial arts schools and fitness centers.

Member Solutions

Member Solutions provides the complete software solution for martial arts and fitness businesses. The product suite includes membership software, managed billing services, and event registration.

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Webinar: How to Sell Out Your Summer Camps Using Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are an easy and effective way to attract new campers. Facebook’s advertising tools allow you to target specific audiences, making it possible to reach your ideal attendee. Tailored ads easily convert prospective attendees into new registrants.

In this webinar, you’ll discover three Facebook Advertising insights that will result in increased sign-ups and revenue for your summer camp. You’ll learn how to:

* Ensure your ad is being seen by people who are interested in your camp
* Get people to click on your ads by creating a sense of urgency
* Avoid losing campers due to overwhelming event registration forms

Presented by Sarah McGeehan, Client Success Expert

Through her extensive experience in customer service, support, and sales, Sarah has helped many camp directors create effective event registration forms. Outside the office, she uses the same techniques to create online forms for community fundraising events.

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Webinar: Why Your Fitness Business Needs a Mobile App

Mobile apps can dramatically increase member retention and revenue for fitness businesses. By strengthening member loyalty, you reduce attrition and differentiate your facility from competitors. Apps provide additional marketing tools to help you promote events and special offers. Integration with your fitness center software enables cardless check-in and mobile schedules.

In this webinar, you’ll get a practical overview of the benefits of having your own mobile app. You’ll learn:

  • How mobile apps increase member retention
  • How to promote your facility and products using mobile technology
  • An affordable way to create and manage your own custom mobile app

Presented by Hugh McEvoy, General Manager at MiGym

Member Solutions partners with MiGym to provide a turnkey solution for gyms and fitness studios who want engage members through their own custom mobile app. Learn more about our MemberAssist mobile app and integrated fitness software.

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The DOs and DON’Ts of Business Ethics

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Merriam-Webster defines ethics as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation.” In laymen’s terms, ethics are about doing the right thing when you know nobody is watching.

While all the staff employed at your business should demonstrate ethical behavior, it is most critical for your front-desk and finance personnel. These employees must be trustworthy and held accountable to the high standards that you set for them. They have access to your business management software, which contains your members’ names, social security numbers, addresses, signatures, and credit card numbers. In making an unethical choice, they could cause significant damage to a member’s financial situation that also damages your reputation and business. Ethics need to be high on the list of desirable traits demonstrated by your staff.

An ethics-based workplace all starts with you. As an owner or manager, your staff looks up to you as the mentor. Your behavior is what will be repeated by all. But it’s not just your personal conduct that’s important. You need to instill an ethical environment at your workplace. Here are suggested dos and don’ts.

Do:

  • Have staff meetings on a regular basis. Talk about desirable behavior and give examples of unethical behavior. Allow the staff to discuss hypothetical situations in which they must make an ethical choice.
  • Have an open-door policy and seriously consider all comments and complaints from the staff.
  • Mentor your staff on accepting responsibility and not deflecting blame.
  • Make sure there are adequate checks and balances within your finance department.
  • Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all staff members.
  • Treat your staff in the same ethical way that you expect them to treat your members.
  • Trust your member’s personal information with Member Solutions. We have been certified as a Level One Service Provider under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Level One is the highest ranking and carries the most stringent requirements. We set high ethical standards for our employees.

Don’t:

  • Put undue pressure on the staff. They may bend under the pressure and turn toward unethical behavior to get the results you are demanding.
  • Have a culture of fear or silence.
  • Allow anyone to “pass the buck” or deflect blame for things that are within their responsibility.

Displaying ethical behavior will bring your business to new levels. Your staff will be proud to work in such an environment and such pride will be reflected on your members. The respect that your staff has for each other and for the members will be contagious and you will see careers and lives flourish.

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What Everyone Ought to Know About Marketing Summer Camps

The start of your Summer camp may be months away, but promoting camp needs to happen now when families are planning their Summer activities. So what’s the quickest, most effective way to get the word out and bring in sign-ups?

Get with the (Software) Program

Today’s consumers are accustomed to making purchases online. Registration for your camp (or any event you hold) shouldn’t be treated any differently. You need to make being your customer easy. Online event registration software does that.

Using a program like Event Managerenables parents to sign their child up for camp and pay online using their tablet, laptop, desktop or phone — at any time they choose. If they want to register at 3 pm or 3 am, they can — quickly and easily. There are no paper registration forms to fill out. No checks to write. No stamps to buy. No envelopes to mail.

Parents click on your registration link, fill in their contact information and credit card information, click the “Register” button and they’re done.

Breaking Free

Registrants aren’t the only ones that benefit. Taking your sign-up process online will save you — and your staff — tons of time. Imagine no longer having to:

  • Create and print registration flyers and brochures
  • Open envelopes with handwritten forms and checks
  • Mail out brochures and pay for postage
  • Re-enter registration info into a spreadsheet
  • Decipher illegible handwriting on paper registration forms
  • Collect payments in person
  • Make trips to the bank to deposit cash and checks
  • Manage and store stacks of paper registration forms, permission slips and rosters

Sounds good, right?

Mere Minutes is All It Takes

Setting up a registration page in Event Manager can be done in 20 minutes or less. Even better, you can accept payments online immediately that very same day. No merchant account is required to use Event Manager.

Payments are processed through the Member Solutions’ Level One PCI-compliant payment processing platform. Level One is the most rigorous industry-recognized payment card security standard available. Knowing this you can rest assured all payment data entered in Event Manager is secure.

Once in the Event Manager program, you simply enter your camp name, beginning and end date, start and end times, and your camp fee.

You’ll also add an event description for your camp that appears above the form section of your registration page. Keep the description brief but benefit-rich. Answer the question on parents’ minds:

“What’s in it for me or for my child? Will extended child care be offered for those of us that work 9-5? What will my child learn? Will he or she master new Martial Arts skills? Partake in activities like crafts and games? Make new friends?”

Spread the Word

Each online registration page created in Event Manager has its own unique link. All you need to do is copy and paste the registration link into online marketing outlets to get the word out and you’ll begin to see registrations come in.

Post your link on Facebook, in emails, on your website, in Google Ads, in online directories. Post repeatedly on each channel up until the event date. Remember the more you promote your camp, the more impressions you make, the greater your event sign-ups and revenue.

Quick, Easy Tips to Boost Sign-Ups

It’s common practice in event marketing to offer special incentives that add value and encourage prospects to sign-up. Tools like Event Manager give you controls to easily manage incentives. For instance, you can:

1. Offer a payment plan. Since most camp registration fees can be substantial (anywhere from $199 to $600 per week), you may want to offer the option of paying in installments. This could be particularly attractive to cash-strapped families and help set your camp apart from others.

Event Manager gives you controls to set the number of payments, the required down payment and the last acceptable collection date.

2. Set an early-bird discount. People love getting in on a bargain. In Event Manager, you simply plug in the early-bird registration fee and the date you want to have it expire. The software will automatically update the registration page with your new price when the expiration date passes.

3. Offer a sibling/friend discount. Chances are good that parents will be signing up more than one child or they know someone who would be interested in attending camp with their child. You can encourage parents to register a family member or friend by offering a discount on multiple registrations. A common offer: “Register One Camper, Get Half Off the Second Registration”.

Again, Event Manager gives you controls to set discounts for multiple registrations. No matter which incentive(s) you employ, make sure you promote the options in your marketing so parents know about it.

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