Choosing reliable and up-to-date camp software for your summer day camp isn’t easy. Today, there are over one hundred different registration management systems competing for your business. Each of them are considerably different, so obtaining a few references and seeing a demo would be a good idea before settling on the right company for your day camp. Touch base with the customer support team before making your choice. Asking the support team for a small demo can quickly identify how helpful the support team seems to be.
Here are some of the most Important Factors to consider before choosing a camp online registration service.
- A Proven Track Record
Has the online camp registration and payment software been in business for a significant period of time? Good services have a loyal customer base, and increase in popularity by constantly improving their products and by introducing new features suggested by their customers. Website registration isn’t as easy as it looks. Read the blogs posted on the vendor’s website. This can suggest whether or not the vendor published useful and accurate information. Are there new features being discussed and are there new feature releases on a regular basis.
- PCI Compliant
The camp registration software must be PCI compliant. Compliance is required by your credit card acquirer, i.e. VISA/MC & AMEX provider. The PCI standard governs the way payments and personal account information, is stored and managed. Be sure to ask to see the vendor’s latest certificate of compliance.
- Web Design
Your new camp online registration service should have the look and feel of your existing website. Your customers are comfortable with you and your reputation, so morphing the registration pages into your current website only makes sense. For example: http://campboulevard.com/ (press the Register Today! button)
- Great Pricing
- The pricing for a summer camp registration service varies dramatically. Look for an unlimited service with respect to the number of events and registrants. Here are the main price drivers you need to consider
- the VISA/MC/AMEX merchant discount rate; this is the fee the credit card companies charge per transaction. Look for a rate somewhere near 2.5% or within the range 2% – 3% of the dollar amount of the transaction. Ask the software vendor if there is anyway to limit these fees somewhat? For example, does WALLET functionality exist?
- a flat fee per transaction. This is usually somewhere between 0.12 – 0.32 cents, and represents the cost of moving money through cyberspace. Sometimes there is also a monthly fee which you want to avoid if possible.
- the software fee for the ASP service. This fee is all over the map, so look for a fee that is uncomplicated and easy to understand.
Pricing varies dramatically among the 100-200 event registration software vendors. Be sure to ask if you’re locked into to a specific term. Avoid being locked in either to the software vendor or the merchant acquirer. There are lots of former and latter that don’t lock you in. Each year ask the visa/mc/amex merchant provider for a review of your rates. There is so much competition in payment processing that you can easily switch merchant card providers at the drop of a hat.
Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a summer camp registration service which offers great support. But how can you tell before you commit to a service what their support is going to be like? One way is to agree to a gotoMeeting (or equivalent) demonstration of the service before making your final decision. The good companies with excellent customer service will no doubt go out of their way to put on a spectacular personalized demonstration for you. Then, assess whether or not the demonstration was impressive and meaningful to your needs. If you’re not somewhat blown away, move on and keep looking at other systems.
Summer Camp Registration System
- the software will let you use your own existing ‘VISA/MC/AMEX’ merchant account; this will save you “big bucks”!
- the reports are all downloadable to excel and include
– an enrollment report
– attendance lists
– payment reports (summary, detailed)
– custom reports (allow you to make your own reports)
- a management editor for editing
– the registration form questions
– event definitions
– promotions and coupons
– performing cancelations and making changes to a camper’s program
- email confirmations (with PDF attachments)
– an email sender for reaching customers from previous years
– ability to email or print receipts
- cashier mode
– for handling registrations in person or for those sent in by mail or fax
- data exchange
– import capabilities to your existing camp’s GL accounting package
- historical tracking / marketing tools
– a database of campers from previous years
– ability to track and contact these campers
If the newly hired website registration company will go ahead and setup the camps for you, take that option. It’s going to be easier for the camp software company to understand your registration process, than it will be for you to figure out the ins and outs of a new software package. Finally, it is important to ensure that your staff find the registration package easy to use when adding, changing or deleting new camps and campers.