After opening your CrossFit box it’s often pretty easy to manage your bookings with the help of Facebook, e-mails or WhatsApp.
But once you hit a specific number of members a lot of boxes switch to an online booking system to be able to manage and meet all the different needs of their members. Some want to sign up early in the mornings, others late at night or during noon – depending on their own schedule.
10 booking slots, 80 members – who is allowed to book?
Statistics about your members, their booking behaviour and the box in general can turn out to be very useful for a box owner. The automation and the online sale of contracts, passes or trial trainings is usually appreciated by most box owners who start with an online booking system. However, the most important reason to start with it is the flexibility the members gain when it comes to booking their training. Sign up and cancellation works on it’s own which saves the trainers a lot of time.
Offering classes and trainings starts by defining the maximum amount of allowed participants. Is this enough though?
Question: There are 10 sign-ups for your workout class that starts in around 2 hours. How many of those sign-ups actually show up?
Answer: 2 – 15 😉
Both cases would be inconvenient for you as a trainer or box owner as well as for your members.
If only 2 members show up there are 8 members who missed their chance to participate, because there were no more slots available. And your class would be too empty. If 15 members show up they probably thought that there are usually enough slots available anyways. In the past not all of the sign-ups used to show up. As a result your class is too packed.
7 Booking rules to organize your classes!
The following 7 booking rules will help you take control over the above described situations in the best way possible. This way you will save a lot of time and increase your customer satisfaction!
- Booking start
- Booking stop
- Cancelation possible until
- Bookings per week/month
- Classes per day
- Max. future bookings
- Member/Class grouping
The 3 most important rules for each class
With booking rules for your classes you manage the participation of all your members for that class.
1) “Booking starts” 7 days in advance
With the “booking start” time you determine when your members are allowed to book each available class.
If you decide to allow bookings 7 days before the class starts your member has plenty of time to sign up for his class he wants to participates in. For example if he visits every Wednesday at 6pm he is able to sign up every week as well.
At the same time the planning of your classes can stay flexible. This way your member doesn’t have the option to book a class 2 months in advance just to make sure he secures a spot. This prevents the blocking of your classes.
Especially for CrossFit this works great if you choose a timeframe between 4 and 10 days!
2) “Booking stops” 60 minutes in advance
With the “booking stop” setting you determine until when your members are allowed to book a class.
One rule could be “until 0 minutes vin advance”. This means: If there is a slot available simply sign up and drop by. Should you also allow your members to cancel their participation shortly before classes start this can cause difficulties once the classes are fully booked and there are waiting lists.
Do you want your members to show more discipline? Then you should increase the amount of time. This will also give you a better overview of your future classes. Do you want to give your members a lot of freedom and flexibility? Then you should decrease the amount of time.
Times between 0 to 30 minutes usually work well for classes that are not fully booked. For fully booked classes this might not be enough time. Do members cancel right before the class starts members on the waiting list might not read their notifications on such short notice.
60 minutes would work better in this case and give your participants, waiting list members as well as your trainers a more reasonable trade-off.
3) Cancelation possible until 120 minutes in advance
With “cancelation possible until” you determine until when your members are allowed to cancel their participation of a class. Is cancelation not possible anymore this class counts towards their limit, no matter is the member shows up or not. So if the member booked 4 classes in a week and doesn’t cancel 2 of them in time those 4 bookings are still counted.
Is the time set very high here you will of course not lose many numbers. However, this usually only works if your members book with class passes or weekly limitations. And unfortunately your customers will lose a lot of flexibility in their own daily schedule. If you have a lot of flat rate customers they will most likely not care much about the “cancelation possible until” rule.
The lower the timeframe is set the more flexibility you allow your members. However, as discussed before this can lead to lower class attendance due to possible short notice cancelations and unaware waiting list members.
Tip: Cancelation with penalty system can be used in addition to your regular settings. This way your members tend to cancel in time because they do not want to waste their bookings. Your members on the waiting list will be happy as they get notified in time and they have the option to sign up for the class after all.
The 3 most important rules for your members
Opposite to the class booking rules that apply to all your members you also have the option to determine specific rules for each one of your customers.
4) 2-3 bookings per week or flat rate with limitations
This is usually determined by the customer’s contract.
If your customer has a booking limitation of 2 or 3 classes each week rule 3 (cancelation possible until) can help you to make sure your customer is very disciplined, because his booking will count should he not cancel in time.
If you have a lot of flat rate customers rule 5 and 6 might be more appealing to discipline your customers.
5) 1-2 classes a day
With this limitation your customer is only allowed to book 1 class per day. This helps you to make sure that your flat rate customers will not block a lot of different classes each day.
Most of your customers will abide by the rules. But there are some who might not. To avoid lengthy discussions with your customers you can just add a limitation to the customers contract.
Most of the time it wouldn’t make sense to allow your customers to attend 2 workouts a day. Exception are Open Gyms for example. For exceptions you can add a combination of class grouping limitations (rule 7).
6) Up to 3 future bookings allowed
This is a great rule for your flat rate customers who might not be as disciplined as others. Is this customer booking 10 classes in one week because he wants to secure a spot in a specific class? Then you will be able to use this rule to make sure this doesn’t happen.
If you decide to only allow up to 3 future bookings for your customer he has to attend at least one of the classes to be able to book another upcoming class.
Limitations for Open Gym and Advanced Classes
7) With class groupings you allow attendance for only this group
In a lot of CrossFit boxes it is common for beginners to only attend specific classes that are suitable for beginners and they are only allowed to attend advanced classes once they reached the needed fitness level. Or in some cases the open gym is only allowed for flat rate members.
To make sure that the members only participate in classes they are allowed to it is helpful to categorize your members into different groups. The groups will have specific rules to make sure they can only book for example beginner or advanced classes.
The listed booking rules are our best practices we recommend our appointman customers on a daily basis.
It’s definitely allowed and wanted to use your own booking time slots. You need to keep your own box and the different situations for your box in mind. It is also important to know which is the most booked contract by your members. Another thing might be useful for your members. Combining the term contract with class passes will give them the opportunity to train even more whenever they want.
You would like to discuss the booking rules for your own box with us?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as soon as possible 😉
You want to use all the booking rules but don’t use appointman at the moment?