Are you making it easy to register for your programs? How technology can help your bottom line

Nearly all of us (tennis programs) have pretty decent-looking websites. But most tennis programs still do not give their students the convenience to register for their classes online. These clubs still only offer registrations forms on PDFs or word documents, where parents often may have to fill out the same information multiple times for multiple kids, print it, and mail it with their payments. Sometimes, parents may have to write their credit card information on a piece of paper, a practice that’s not very secure. On a lot of tennis websites, it’s not even clear how to register for programs. Some clubs simply ask to call for program information and registration, making it hard for parents to easily find the information they need.

Meanwhile, parents are super busy and they are also online more often than ever. They shop online, bank online, pay bills online; yet, they have to print a sheet of paper to register their kids for tennis. They would really appreciate the convenience of enrolling their kids for different activities online.

In the years to come, providing online registration is not going to be just an option: it will become the only way to go; very much like online banking. If you haven’t jumped on this wagon yet, here are some reasons why online registrations are good for your business:

1-It provides extra convenience for your students: Nowadays, parents are super busy and they appreciate the convenience of enrolling their kids for different activities online. Tennis is a repeat business where students often re-enroll for new sessions. Why would they have to fill out the same form over and over?

For the Winter session, Jen, Little Johnny’s mom, had to fill out a registration form and sign waivers to enroll him for a tennis program. She had to either mail in that form with her payment, or had to drive to the club’s location to drop it off.

In the Spring, her information has not changed, yet, she still has to fill the same registration form and either mail it or drop it off. At 10 pm on a Tuesday night, when Little Johnny is finally asleep, Jen would have really liked to just go on the club’s website and enroll him for his classes. This would have saved her so much time, and would have provided her with an incredible convenience, thus improving her customer experience. As a tennis director, you want to do all that you can to improve your client’s experience when interacting with you on or off the court.

In addition to great programs and wonderful instruction, accepting online registrations can help get new clients faster and increase your revenues. Accepting online registrations is not only great for your clients, but it is even better for you and your business. Here are some reasons why:

2- Your club is always open! Enjoy the convenience of accepting registrations and money while you sleep. Who wouldn’t want that? It has been proven that more people register for things when they are allowed to register online. Imagine there are two equally good programs for which a parent is trying to decide . Prices  and times are the same. Club 1 allows the parent to register online and secure their spot immediately. Club 2 wants the parent to print a PDFs form, fill out the information, write a check, fold the registration form, put in an envelope, add a stamp, take it to the mailbox, wait for a few days to find out if the club has received it, call to check on the registration, just to find out it was lost in the mail, then may have start over. Given the options, which club do you think the parent is going to register for? This can translate into thousands of dollars in lost revenue for the club that’s not chosen.  

3- It increases your cash collection time: Waiting for checks to come in the mail is no fun. Plus you have to take them to the bank and wait a few days to collect your money. Or if parents pay by credit card, you have to enter those numbers on your credit card processing system and hope it goes through. If the parent was off on a digit, you have to contact them to take another form of payment. This takes you unnecessary time. With online payments, the system automatically checks for bad credit cards and puts the money in your bank account almost immediately, giving you the cash needed to pay yourself and your staff.

4- Faster communication with parents: When you allow registrations online, it is so much easier for you to confirm everything via email. You do not have to read and type information from a paper registration.  Everything is at your fingertips.  Most online registration systems will actually have automatic email confirmations so you no longer have to type emails to each parent. This again, frees up your valuable time while allowing you to manage your programs more efficiently and effectively.

Thanks for reading! There are more insightful reasons to share with you. I will publish them soon. Please watch for them!