Pool Membership Software | 5 Key Swim Club Management Tools
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of summer when I was a kid was going to the local community pool. My sister and I would ride our bikes the three blocks from our house to the pool, where our friends would already be waiting and ready to play in the sun all day.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m in awe of the effort it must have taken that little municipal pool’s staff to keep memberships organized, collect payments, sign kids up for the swim team, and sell ice cream at the snack bar—all with minimal or no technological assistance.
Fortunately, pools these days don’t have to worry about that. Whether you operate a municipal pool, private swim club, or large aquatics center with splash park, pool membership software and swim club management software are popular resources. With software like this, you can register members; monitor facility entry; process payments; market your memberships, events and programs; and report on it all with ease.
With so many options on the market, however, it’s hard to determine what’s best for your community pool. How can you know what features are absolutely crucial, and which ones may not be necessary for your particular organization?
Just keep reading! We’re going to break down the most important swim club management tools by category:
- Membership features.
- Registration and check-in.
- Programming and events.
- Payment processing.
- Consider CommunityPass.
If you’re ready to get started, let’s jump straight in!
1. Diving Into Pool Membership Software Features
Let’s start with membership features, because they’re so important! Without loyal members, your municipal pool staff wouldn’t have kids to coach or teach, adults to fill your aquatics classes, or people coming to swim just for fun.
Let’s start with a fact: individuals become members because they want to access your pool facilities. This means that your pool membership software has to help your members do two things:
- Register and pay for memberships easily.
- Access the pool easily.
In order for those two things to happen, you have to think about what software features will support your staff and your members. Your municipal pool membership software should be 100% web-based and offer a member-facing site where individuals can sign up and pay for memberships online. Your software should also enable your staff to facilitate registrations in person, over the phone, or through the mail.
Moreover, you should have the flexibility to offer various membership tiers and options:
- Individual memberships.
- Family memberships.
- Seasonal and recurring memberships
- Day, guest, and free passes.
- Punch cards.
- Multi-sibling discounts.
- Resident versus non-resident rates.
Your members (and potential members!) will appreciate the different options that they’ll have, and you’ll be able to increase your membership population.
Next, they should have access to a member-facing account profile on a public site where they can see their membership status and update their own information. When your members are able to provide and maintain their own data, you’ll be sure to have the most up-to-date demographic and contact information, including emergency contacts..
And for your staff, your pool membership software should provide reporting about membership trends and facility usage so that you can monitor your pool’s business and make smarter, data-driven decisions for the future.
2. Gone Swimming: Registration and Check-In Software Features
Once your staff has encouraged your members to renew their memberships and become regulars at your pool, it’s time to fill slots in your swimming lessons, fitness classes, and any other programming that your municipal pool offers.
Through your public community site, your swim club management software should allow your community to view your catalog of classes, message center, their account balances and more. From there, your members should be able to sign themselves and their families up online.
Your software should also provide the flexibility to offer discounts for things such as early-bird signups, being a senior citizen, or registering multiple siblings at once.
When recreation registration is a breeze, your staff will see improved class registration rates as well as higher attendance numbers.
After your members are all signed up and ready to go, it’s time to figure out how to manage facility entry. Your software should enable your staff to easily create reusable and scannable membership ID cards and key fobs with photos.
When every member has their own unique card or fob, you never have to worry about fraudulent pool entry, because you’ll always have a record of who is at your municipal pool at any given time. This is also an important tool to have during emergencies. Should anything happen, you’ll know how many people are in the facility and who they are in real-time.
Your pool check-in software should offer your staff two options: they should be able to scan the member’s card which validates their membership status, or they should be able to look up the member by name or other identifying detail.
Online access to your membership base from any entrance point is a valuable tool for your pool staff, because it keeps your lines moving quickly when you have to look members up in the system.
Your check-in toolbox should also include the option to sell day passes or guest passes to visitors who want to get in on the fun of swimming but aren’t ready to commit to a membership yet! Offering ‘trial runs’ to interested community members is a great way to market your membership program.
3. Planning and marketing your programming and events.
In order to effectively communicate with your whole member population, and any other frequent visitors, make sure that your swim club management software offers integrated communication tools. If you can’t easily email or text your community, you should consider different software.
Your communication options should allow you to filter your community in various ways: for example, you should be able to email one family, one swim team, or your whole swim league at once depending on your needs.
Quick communication abilities are an important software feature for any recreation facility, but they are especially important for outdoor community pools and aquatics centers. Here are some examples of how text messaging is a crucial tool for your swim club:
- A summer thunderstorm has just rolled in and you need to alert your team and their parents that the meet has been postponed for three hours to wait out the storm.
- A swim class has been cancelled last minute because the instructor was sick; similarly, you can let parents know ahead of time if a different instructor will take their place.
- You can notify members that the community pool will be closed for cleaning or maintenance on a certain day, but that you’ll reopen by the next day.
Your members will appreciate the outreach, and you won’t have to worry about turning members away because they didn’t know the pool was closed.
Another important reason that you need communication tools is so that you can effectively market your programming, events, and other important dates! Don’t forget to email your community when a new registration season has opened, the starting date of swim team has been set, or when it’s time for a family to renew their membership package.
4. Payment processing abilities.
One more tool that you should look for in community pool management software is the ability to process payments through the software itself. This option offers you the convenience to do all your payment processing through the software provider, and not having to deal with the customer support teams of both the software provider and the payment processor. You also won’t have to worry about a third-party processor’s own standards and procedures.
At a minimum, your payment processing solution should:
- Accept credit/debit cards, check or eCheck, and cash.
- Offer card on file and automatic recurring billing
- Allow you to issue refunds and credits.
- Enable you to view, download, and email monthly statements.
- Maintain PCI compliance.
An integrated payment processor that powers your online registration site makes online membership purchases and paying registration fees a snap for your community. No more waiting for checks to be mailed or having lines outside of your office on registration day!
Membership and registration payments aren’t the only instances of processing that you need to consider. Does your community pool operate a concession stand or sell equipment like goggles and swim team uniforms? If so, you’ll need software with point of sale capabilities, so that you can process transactions onsite, and it should integrate with your community pool’s cash drawers and printers.
Having an integrated software system will help your municipal pool’s financial reporting capabilities. Software that includes POS capabilities and integrates with your financial reporting allows you to track trends in purchases and preferences, without worrying that something has been forgotten.
In addition to all of these processing features, your community pool staff should look for software that enables them to track daily deposits and transfers; reconcile credit card and bank statements; and generate invoices and payment reminders. All of these tools are crucial to ensuring the financial health of your community pool.
5. Make a splash with CommunityPass.
We’ve been supporting communities for a long time with software that helps better manage afterschool programs, recreation departments, park districts, and, yes, municipal pools. We know what features aquatic facilities and community pools need to thrive and provide valuable programs to their members.
In addition to the features that we’ve mentioned above, CommunityPass includes other options that make community pool management even easier.
- Members can choose to keep their cards on file in their accounts so that when they want to renew their pool membership online or register for a swim instruction class, they can do so quickly and easily. They can also sign up for automatic billing for recurring memberships and programs that they participate in regularly.
- Your staff can tag different programs as requiring different documentation, and then track each registrant’s documentation status. With this option, you can ensure that you have every child’s medical record or parental waiver when necessary, and never worry about losing a piece of paper with electronic document tracking options
- With comprehensive reporting features, your staff can access all the data that your software collects from attendance trends to membership renewal numbers in real-time. Even the data from your online forms, such as swim team uniform sizes, get rolled up into reporting. CommunityPass offers over 300 pre-built report templates and an easy-to-use report builder tool so you can customize reports to meet your municipal pool’s unique business needs.
With these features, you can draw the insights you need to help you make better staffing, facility, and programming decisions. These management tools, along with the option to ask for and accept donations, can help your pool generate more revenue and be able to offer more programming that your community will love.
Community pool management software is a valuable resource for your aquatics facility. For more tips to help you make the right pool membership software decisions, check out a few of our favorite resources:
- Sports League Management Software. No matter if you’re running a swim team or a soccer team, every league manager could use some help sometimes. Check out our guide to running a winning team.
- T-Shirt Templates. Every swim team deserves cool t-shirts, but designing them might seem like a Herculean task. Never fear! Bonfire’s t-shirt templates will help you create shirts your team will be excited to wear in no time.
- The Best Center Management Software for Communities. If you’re a community center staffer searching for better software to empower your fellow staffers and better engage your community, check out our guide to choosing the best software for your center.