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As a sports organization, your season officially starts with registration, but there is a lot that goes into it from start to finish. So how do you make sure you spark joy for players, parents and club admins every step of the way?
Here are six ways to create an enjoyable experience for all involved:
1) Make it easy to find your club and register
With over 50,000 youth sports clubs in North America, standing out and attracting players can be a challenge.
Whether parents and players find out about your club through Google, a community event or word-of-mouth, it is imperative to start each relationship with a positive experience. Make sure you have a clean, reliable website that allows players and parents to easily find information, learn more about your sports organization and what you stand for, and get started by registering for your upcoming season in just a few steps.
2) Treat registration like an online checkout
How many times have you been shopping online and left without completing the transaction? I assume it happens quite often. “Abandoning the cart” is becoming common as consumer expectations increase, and you can bet it’s happening in your organization’s registration experience.
Registrants expect to easily sign up from either desktop or mobile, and they’ll want to be able to pay with a method they’re comfortable with—such as a credit card, ACH, Apple Pay, or installments. Most want to avoid the hassle of re-inputting information and may expect discounts for early registration or multiple participants.
A seamless registration experience will help you avoid form abandonment.
3) Communicate clearly and often
Each season comes with its own set of complications and in-season adjustments, and a lack of communication can be the difference between a happy participant and an angry, frustrated one.
Make sure you are clearly communicating what the season’s schedule looks like; what is needed from parents, players and volunteers; and any last-minute changes or requests. Use the communication channels that work best for your team managers and members, whether that be email, SMS, in-app messages or a mix of each.
Clear communication leaves less room for error.
4) Create a consistent experience
Imagine having to register through one solution, pay from another, manage your teams and schedules with something else, and use different apps to receive communications. Not only is this an extremely poor experience for parents and players, but it can also be chaotic for sports organizers to manage.
Aim to create a single, consistent experience across members and channels. It’ll save you a lot of time and questions — and likely make for happier parents and players.
5) Remove unnecessary manual work
We live in a busy world, and the more unnecessary work we can cut out, the better. Take a look at your sports organization and evaluate what you have been doing in the past, and where you can find opportunities to add automation.
For example, with registration, do you automatically roster players to specific divisions and teams to save time? Once players have registered, are you going person by person to make sure you collect money on time, or is this something you can consolidate into a single communication? What about automating or importing the schedule for the season—how much time would that save you? And with communication needing to be clear and frequent, how much time is currently being spent managing different lists, importing to various communication systems and dealing with bounce backs?
As you can see, there are many opportunities to simplify processes once you take a closer look. How much time could you save?
6) Ensure you have visibility and tracking
Tracking and visibility are key to a successful season. Make sure you are set up to easily monitor who is registering for the season, what programs they are signing up for and whether they have confirmed their registration with a payment. If registrants are on a payment plan, make sure you can pinpoint participants who have missed payments and have a plan for how you want to handle those situations.
With every new season comes more valuable data, but that means nothing unless you have full visibility and control. It is your data, after all, so make sure you have access to analyze and grow your sports organization, and move the data to wherever you need.
Start your season right
We make life easier for club and league commissioners, administrators, coaches and volunteers. And we do it by bringing everything into one integrated solution. From setting up registration or invoicing, to getting the word out about your club or last-minute field changes, we get you up and running fast, put you in control and help everyone get in the game.
Learn more about TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues.
Anand Patel is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at TeamSnap.