Getting families to register for the activities your business offers can be hard work! Whether you take bookings by phone or already use a children’s activity registration software, finding the perfect way to take registrations for your business needs is important. Registration software can streamline your business by making it simple for parents to book activities and for your business to take payments. Luckily, there are many software solutions to help set your business up for success.
When choosing registration software, you should carefully consider what will work best for your company. Consider the following when deciding to switch or start using registration software.
1. Analyze what your business needs
If you’re reading this — you've probably given some thought as to why you need registration software. Now it's time to narrow down the scope of your search by figuring out what your business needs. Here are some guiding questions to help you, for example, do you need to free up your team’s time to focus on connecting with students? Do you want to appear more professional to your customers? Are you looking to process payments or dive deep into business analytics? Thinking about your business needs will help you shop for software tools. To help you get started, we've listed some common business needs below.
Common needs for children’s activity businesses:
- Parent registration
- Payment processors
- Schedule builders
- Activity libraries
- Student rosters
- The ability to support activity types like private lessons, semester classes,drop-ins, camps, parties, and free trials
- Gift cards
- Staff management
- Content management and client communication
- Reporting and analytics
- Goal setting
- Integrations with marketing automation tools
- User acquisition tools
This list isn't exhaustive. We suggest using it as a baseline to kickstart your research.
2. Do your research and check reviews
When you begin to research software tools, begin by researching what tools your competitors and connections in your industry are using. Take note of what you like about other businesses’ registration tools and what you dislike. You’ll want to consult this later while investigating software for yourself.
If you don’t know of competitors or peers who use registration software, look for reviews! You can also use websites like Capterra to check on software reviews if you don’t know where to start. Create a spreadsheet of options and make sure to connect with Sales representatives from each software that you’re interested in.
3. Look for great customer service — you’ll need help at some point
Great customer service goes a long way when it comes to software. Everyone needs help at some point. Having support you can count on means that whenever you run into trouble someone will be there to help.
When looking for software with great customer service, prioritize the following:
- Onboarding: Does the software you’re partnering with have a dedicated onboarding team to teach your team about the registration software you’re buying? Working with an onboarding specialist one-on-one can be helpful for business owners who want guidance on when and how to use software from the beginning.
- Continuing education: From training videos to ongoing webinars, make sure the registration software company you use offers opportunities to learn.
- Detailed documentation: Step-by-step documentation on features and products is key to setting you up for success. When you’re researching registration software, look for detailed help center guides and blog posts.
4. Find a company that will grow with you
As educators, you’re guided by curiosity. The software you partner with should grow as the world changes around us. The software you choose to pay for should empower you to develop your business and get the support you need to manage the changing landscape of learning from online classes, support for pods, and more.
When shopping for potential registration software, see if you can find how they respond and react to client feedback. Some questions you can ask are: Do they work with users to improve the tools that they offer? What changes and releases have they made to grow in the last year? How do they prioritize the user when designing new products?
5. Overcommunicate your business needs
Partnering with registration software will usually involve a conversation with an account manager or sales representative. When you connect, make sure to communicate your needs and that the representative you speak to has a solution for each of your major challenges. Overcommunicating your business needs sets you up for success in the long term — so you don’t run into any roadblocks on features or needs once you’re up and running.
Now that you know how to find the right software for your business, see why thousands of educators use Sawyer Tools to manage registration, take payments, and reach parents on‑the‑go.