After twelve years in the software and wellness industry, I still struggle to describe to my friends and family what I do every day. “Wait, so you build software for a gym? Didn’t realize that was a thing.” Followed by a puzzled look, a shrug and a change of subject.

Those of you in this industry I’m sure experience similar interactions. However, we all know how critical the right infrastructure for your club is to a successful business.

In a June edition of Club Business International, Delphine Carter and I were referenced on the state of CRM systems today. What is CRM Software for Health Clubs? Exactly! Customer relationship management, constituent relationship management, payments, collections, apps, schedules, and on and on and on. The term CRM is used so much more broadly today than ever before.

After many months of contemplation about “what is a CRM?” I’ve decided that, at the end of the day, your CRM is what you and your staff make it.

Let me give you some examples:

My local gym has a women’s only center where I prefer to get a run in. The most precious lady in the world works at the front desk. Whether it has been 6 months or 2 days since I last came in, she always greets me by name, asks me how the kids are, compliments my weight loss (or doesn’t say anything if I’m in the opposite direction), and truly makes me feel welcomed.

I saw this same experience play out last week in Chicago at the East Bank Club. Ben Ford, Accounts Manager in Member Services was giving us a tour of the club (breathtaking if you’ve never been). While on the roof pool deck, Ben stopped to shake hands with a member. Ten minutes later, Ben emerged from the deck knowing he’d made a member happy by agreeing to address a few minor issues for the member.

Now I know that behind both of these situations there is a CRM system that is driving this type of behavior. Not only in these examples, but all over the club. And I couldn’t be prouder that CSI Spectrum is involved in changing lives every day.

After contemplating the use of a CRM software for health clubs, my tour at East Bank and my own personal club experience I have found a new way to describe what I do:

Friend: “Saranda, what do you do?”

Saranda: “I work at CSI Spectrum, a software provider for health and wellness organizations.”

Friend: “Software?”

Saranda: “You know the sweet lady at the front desk that greets you when you come in? I make sure she knows your name.”

Friend: [Shrug and a change of subject]

It may not have changed the outcome of the conversation, but it is still what I am most proud of. I challenge you to make the most of your CRM tool and implement some new ways to get staff interacting with members.

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