In a nutshell, all the little things you need to do to keep your clients happy, your business running, and your schedule organised comes under the client management umbrella. The list is long, but to name a few: sending/reading messages, emails, making calls, booking and cancelling sessions, sending reminders, delivering online programs if you have a hybrid or online personal training service and the list could go on.
You may not realise how much of your time it takes to keep on top of your client care as each task tends to last between a few seconds to 5 mins so while they don't feel much, cumulatively they take a fair chunk of your time. The busier you are, the more time it takes if you don't have a system to take care of as much of it as possible.
If you only have a few clients then a simple diary and mobile phone do the job easily. As you grow your client numbers and fill up all your appointment times it can be useful to set up systems that help you keep organised and stress free.
Let's take a look at what your options are if you decide you'd like to make your client management easier.
3 Client Management Solutions for Personal Trainers
Solution #1: DIY – Spreadsheets
This is the most cost-effective solution. However, you will need to have an excellent working knowledge of the software (Excel or Numbers) to be time-efficient, and it'll still require you to send out messages, emails, reminders or payment requests manually. The point is to become organised and will have all the data you ever need in one place.
Solution #2. Semi-Automated Software
PT Minder Trainers use PT Minder for managing all their clients within an account that they can use for booking sessions, purchasing packages and receiving reminders. It is suitable for 1:1 personal training, small group PT and group classes too.
You can try it for free for 14 days before you commit and the lowest package costs £25/month and allows up to 50 clients. As your business grows, you can upgrade to a higher package.
Team Up Team Up is very popular among group fitness and Bootcamp companies as they can manage memberships and class schedule as well as packages and waivers.
You can try the system for 30 days for free; packages start at £49 per month for up to 50 clients.
PocketSuite PocketSuite is a business app that's not industry-specific but can be very handy to help you out with scheduling, invoicing, payments, direct messages on their free basic package and a lot more if you want to upgrade.
Their paid package starts at $18 per month, but you can try all their tiers for 7 days with no charge so you can understand which one you need.
17hats 17hats also isn't fitness industry-specific, it is however, a very efficient Client and Workflow management system, it will help you with payments, bookkeeping, scheduling, time tracking and more.
They have a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee if you don't like it. Depending on the payment plan you choose, you can access it from $17 per month. I would recommend this for medium to big fitness business owners who need to be able to manage many campaigns and workflows.
PT Distinction If you are an online trainer or run hybrid packages and are looking to integrate Client Management and online workout plan delivery, PT Distinction is an excellent choice for you. It has integrations with PayPal, FitBit, MyFitnessPal and MyZone and is kitted with a robust messaging centre and automated notifications.
You get a month free trial with all our packages, and the entry-level subscription will cost you $19 per month that includes 3 online training client accounts. As your business grows, you can upgrade, so you only pay for what you need.
Solution #3: Outsourcing
If you're running a fitness facility, delivering sessions either on your own or employing other trainers, the day will come when you may feel you need to take some weight off your shoulders.
The key to delegating client management tasks is finding a real people person who knows what makes others tick and can find the right tone with anybody. You can attempt involving your trainers in client management, but chances are they may not feel comfortable doing it as well as training them.
If you decide to hire someone, whether a Virtual Assistant or a PA, you'd like them to - have attention to detail - eagerness to help people and make people happy - have project management skills - be into health and fitness - get on well with you and your team.
There are many ways to find the right person, and it may take a few attempts, but remember this: skills can be learnt and improved, attitude is on the person. You can teach someone with no experience or all the knowledge to learn, so long they are eager, humble and are interested in the job role.