Many older, legacy, member management systems tightly tie together the allocation of credits with the corresponding payment. For many modern facilities this presents limitations and inflexibility in the manner in which they are able to charge for memberships, and often leads to situations where members cannot book future sessions as they’ve not yet paid for the credits covering that period.
Quoox separates the payment and credit allocation scheduled within memberships. This, combined with the concept of our “grace credits”, provides an enormous level of flexibility for facility owners.
For those who have been used to working with the more traditional systems, the Quoox approach might seem a bit disorientating at first. However, once understood, the process makes a lot of sense and is really quite straightforward.
The separation of the credit allocation and payment schedules
One of the most important concepts to grasp when configuring Quoox is that (whilst related), within a given membership, the credit allocation and payment schedules are two separate things. It is this separation that allows you to easily sell, for example, monthly rolling memberships with payment taken every 2-weeks; every month; every quarter; or every year.
Whilst, for many facilities, the credit and payment schedule for a membership might coincide, this is not always the case. Invariably, it is this aspect that causes some facility owners initial confusion.
“Grace Credits” are used by Quoox to solve the ridiculous situation that exists in many membership solutions whereby the member cannot book into a forthcoming period, as those credits haven’t yet been paid for (and thus, allocated).
By default, Quoox will issue Grace Credits for the period beyond the current one. So, typically a member will have a set of “paid for” credits available and valid for the current period, and a set of “grace credits” available and valid for the next period. At each recurring credit issue point, existing grace credits are transferred to be “paid for” credits, and a new set of “grace credits” is issued for the next period.
Grace credits are optional, and they may be turned-off at the time of allocation of a membership to a member. In this instance, grace credits are not issued, and the member may experience the familiar frustration of not being able to book into future periods.
A common rolling monthly membership scenario
Most facilities operate their memberships on a monthly rolling basis.
Typically, in this instance, you would configure the credits thus:
This tells Quoox that the credit allocation period is 1 month (period length x period) and that, for this membership, it is repeated 12 times (i.e. 12 months). If the membership is on-going, the “auto-renew” box is ticked further down the page.
The credits allocated every “period” are defined on the “deliverables tab” of the membership.
The payment schedule, for a typical monthly payment might be:
The above dictates that the member is charged every 1 month on the monthly anniversary of the membership commencement date (or as close to as possible). So, a member starting their membership on 15th, would be charged on 15th of every month.
A common mistake
Some facilities run their memberships such that they receive their dues on the same day every month. Quoox can amply handle this, but it is this scenario in which it is easy to make a simple mistake. Don’t feel bad if you make this error – it is a natural result of the way the human brain works!
As humans, our brains are designed to think in easily digestible time-spans, such as month blocks. So let’s look at two distinct examples that explain where the error is often made, and how it is easily remedied.
The basic setup for a monthly membership (payment on fixed day)
You setup your credits to be allocated on a monthly basis, the same as above:
Again, as above, you can optionally set the membership to roll by selecting “auto-renew”.
You setup your payment to recur on, say, 1st of every month:
This tells Quoox to take payment every 1 month, on day 1 (1st) of every month. This is all correct.
It is with the setup of the credit packs that it is easy to make a simple mistake.
Example 1: Membership starts on 1st of month
With the above setup, if you setup a membership to start on 1st of a given month:
- Payment will be taken on that date (i.e. 1st)
- Credits and, if appropriate, grace credits will be allocated to start that date and run until the expiry date set on the credits
If the expiry date is set to “end of month”, then it all works fine.
If the expiry period is set to 31 days, then it still all works fine.
This is the scenario, we as humans, expect. It all works fine. But now consider the following…
Example 2: Membership starts mid-month
So, you have a new member come in and they want to start immediately. You allocate them your membership rolling monthly, and for payment on 1st month:
- A pro-rata payment will be taken for the time between the sign-up point and the next payment point.
E.g. if signing up on 15th and payment is monthly on 1st, the first payment will be roughly 50% of the monthly fees.
- The first credits and grace credits are allocated.
These run from immediately until the expiry date set on the credits. The next set then runs from the credit renewal point.
If you have your credits set with an expiry of 31 days, this works fine.
The common error is if you have your credits set to expire “end of month”.
In the above scenario, if you had your credits set to expire the “end of the month”, and someone signed up on 15th month:
- They would be allocated “paid credits” valid from 15th to the end of the month. This would short-change them, as they expire early.
- Grace credits would be set to be valid from 15th of the next month, to the end of that month. This would not only short-change them, but would leave them without credits between the end of the month, and the 15th of that month.
The simple solution: Set your credit expiry to be “31 days”, unless you only ever have members start on the 1st of the month.
Payment for period-1 of a membership
The first charge for a given membership will typically be a pro-rated payment, calculated for the period between the membership start date and the next payment date.
So, for example, if you always take payment on 1st of the month, and someone starts their membership on 15th, the first period’s payment would be roughly 50% of the membership fee. Their next payment, on 1st, would then be the full payment.
The exception to this is when you have your membership payment set as “monthly anniversary”. In that case, the first and recurring membership fees will both be the full month’s membership fee.
The most common type of membership
Most members of training facilities are looking for a monthly rolling membership, with monthly credit allocation.
As a facility owner it makes no difference to you whether Quoox allocates credits on 1st, 5th or 27th of month – they are all valid for the same duration, so it makes no practical difference. All members have the same allocation across the same period of time, regardless of the point at which they are allocated.
A typical membership would have credits allocated on a monthly basis; Payment taken on the monthly anniversary; and credits set to have a 31 day expiry date. This is easily understandable and logical for members. They get their credits every month, on the anniversary of sign-up, and they pay their monthly dues at that point. Nice and easy.
Designed to fit your business
The Quoox membership system has been designed such that, within reason, you can run your business and memberships how you wish.
It also makes it incredibly easy to setup different payment plans for different memberships, without needing to setup a stack of different memberships (all pretty much the same).
Furthermore, upon allocating a membership to a member you can override pricing etc. This is particularly handy if you have preferential rates for long term members etc. Another benefit is that it is another technique for charging one member of the family for the entire family’s memberships (E.g. Mum pays for herself and 2x kids; kids pay zero. Net result: Mum pays for the herself and the kids).
The initial setup of memberships and credits is, without doubt, the trickiest point of the system setup. The good news is that, once you have your head around it, it’s really not that complex. Also, for many facilities, once they’re setup they rarely need to be changed – they “just work!”