John Carew Swim School is a family-run business with over 40 years of experience teaching children in Brisbane to swim.
The founder's passion for swimming inspired him to open a school where he could share his knowledge and inspire kids to take up the sport.
A natural progression
Having been in business since the 1960s, the team at John Carew used to manage their admin by hand.
"We started off with everything in paper," says David Carew, Owner/Director of John Carew Swim School. "It's just evolved over time; the business grew and it became more and more difficult to manage the administration side of it."
The main solution David had was looking for was an online payment system that could integrate with his booking system.
"We operate in terms," explains David, "and at the end of each term, we'd get line-ups of people at reception waiting to make their payments, which created angst among the customers and was very slow."
David realised that this was creating a negative customer experience for everyone waiting in line and wanted to introduce a system that could both alleviate this challenge for his customers and ease the burden on his reception staff.
Finding a flexible solution that benefited the business and customers
David wanted a system with flexibility so that his customers could choose to either pay online or at the counter depending on their preference.
"I don't want to force them to pay online," says David. "If they want the face-to-face interaction and they want to pay in cash or talk to someone then that option is there. If they don't want to queue then they can avoid that as well."
David also didn't want to lock his customers into a direct debit arrangement, which was a limitation he found with other systems he researched. "I wanted the flexibility of operating in terms or monthly and for the customers to have their flexibility in how they wanted to pay as well."
Discovering some happy surprises along the way
When David and his team opted to implement Udio into the business, the main attraction was the ability to offer online payments. However, they soon realised that Udio offered a number of other tools that would benefit their business. One of the main surprises centred around Udio's cloud-based capabilities which meant David no longer had to be 'The Computer Security Guy'.
"Instead of having the system on an individual computer at work where I always had to make sure there were backups so we didn't lose the information, we moved everything online which was great; it's always available and I can link into it anywhere."
The second Udio tool that surprised David was the customer portal.
"We needed better communication with our customers," says David, "and [the customer portal] offered another way, other than face-to-face or handouts, of communicating all the messages we needed to get through to customers."
Prior to Udio, David was contemplating getting separate achievement software so that the team could communicate a pupil's progress to their parents/guardians. Turns out he didn't need to look any further than Udio which has achievements located within the customer portal.
"It's fantastic that it's integrated into the one unit; that was a problem - there are all these programs that do great things but it's the integration that saves time."
David can't emphasise enough how much Udio Support has helped him in times of need.
"Having someone that I can call and talk to that I know is huge. They know what errors I'll probably make and what I want to achieve. It's a big plus and it's personal, which is very important for a small business."
A new way of doing things
David says he would recommend Udio to other businesses. "It's a new way of doing things and it makes you examine how you operate which is not a bad thing," says David when referring to the setup process.