Why You Need to Get Rid of Paper and Go Digital
By Joe Fait
For many businesses, the front desk check-in process or registering members still involves paper. A new client approaches the counter, and a staff member hands them a clipboard with forms to fill out and sign. Afterward, the staff member spends time inputting information into the system. Again and again, the process repeats—new customer checks in, the staff member hands them papers, and then they manually enter data. Even if you don’t use much—or any—paper, you may spend considerable time asking customers to dictate their basic information for entry into the system.
The problem with paper
Paper or manual data enrollment presents several problems. For clients, paper processes are synonymous with an out-of-date and non-engaging customer experience. It is negative marketing plain and simple—and may also create bottlenecks within your business as clients line up to hand forms to a staff member who is busy keying in data. For businesses, there are increased costs associated with printing paper and hiring staff to manually enter information.
Moreover, poorly filled out forms, as well as staff data entry errors, can lead to incomplete client profiles. In turn, this may hinder future marketing efforts or expose your company to liability or chargebacks when forms such as waivers or contracts go missing or turn up without a proper signature.
The benefits of going digital
With a paperless solution, customers can self-serve via a tablet onsite and/or enter their information online. All data seamlessly syncs with MINDBODY. Basic fields such as name, email, phone, emergency contact, etc., all sync directly with the associated fields within your fitness software, salon software, or spa software, while all documents are converted to PDF and stored in the documents tab. This improves the client entry flow and reduces staff time devoted to managing client registration. This also improves data capture, including email, phone, and address—which are critical for marketing purposes. Arguably most importantly, a tech-forward approach to guest registration engages the customer and signals a well-run business.
The elegance of a tailored registration experience
Fitness studios, spas, wellness centers, medical offices, and more all face the same paper conundrum in their own way. For fitness studios, liability waivers are nearly universally required for all guests and health questionnaires are common, not to mention the need for enrolling members to sign contracts. In the case of spas and medspas, oftentimes these businesses have numerous treatment options (e.g., massage, facial), each requiring a separate waiver. For wellness and medical centers, guest registration may involve answering a unique set of questions.
No matter the requirements, going digital helps tailor the guest registration user experience and interface to your unique needs. For a fitness studio, there may be two buttons on a tablet’s home screen—one for guest enrollment and the other for member enrollment. For a spa, a staff member may check each relevant treatment form on the home screen, which will populate the relevant digital forms for the client to fill out. This makes for an incredibly elegant, fast, and accurate onboarding process.
When a new client, whether guest or member, is onboarding or registering at your business, this is a key moment of truth. Today, this process too frequently involves paper forms and/or manual data entry by staff members. By digitizing the process via tablet or online, this offers a much more engaging and hassle-free experience.