The Lehigh Valley Flames Youth Hockey league was tired of facing off with mounds of registration papers. Lehigh Valley lit the lamp when teaming up with ACTIVE Network. In this interview with ACTIVE, Registration Director Kristin Buehl discusses how their use of the online registration and league management system has saved time, money and improved communications between the league and its parents.
Kristin Buehl on Lehigh's switch to Active's Online Registration
How were you handling your registration prior to Active? What were you motivators in switching?
Prior to working with ACTIVE, we handled all of our registration on paper. Everything was submitted and filed manually. The process was extremely time consuming. We lost a lot of information amongst the bustle of registration papers. We decided to make the switch to online registration with ACTIVE so we could stay organized and save time.
How much time would you estimate you save per season?
Switching to online registration has saved more time than I ever imagined. In the past, I would spend 20-25 hours per week working on hockey related tasks. With the addition of online registration, my time spent on hockey administration has been cut in half, if not more.
What has online registration done for your ability to collect payments?
Moving online has made our payment process much easier. I am able to quickly scan through the system and make sure everything is working smoothly. In the past, I had a very difficult time sifting through papers and deciphering handwritten email addresses to communicate with the parents. Paying online clears the confusion of what payments are being applied to each account and leaves the responsibilities to the parents. If there is an issue, I can simply send an email, which has resulted in solving our problems much more quickly. Moving online has made registration easier and saved time on both ends.
How have parents reacted to the online payment option?
Our parents are all happy to use their credit card online. I haven’t received one complaint. Parents create accounts for themselves and can see where they stand as far as payments. Everyone enjoys having the payment information at their fingertips.
Do you offer payment plans? How has that helped you improve your revenue?
We offer payment plans and incentives to pay in full. We also have special discounts for families that need it and goalies. We offer to break up registration fees into 4 payments and work with those who want more payment installations. Having payment plans and discounts definitely helps our bottom line. The use of ACTIVE’s software helps make the process less confusing and gives our parents the ability to log in to see their personal accounts. That function has really helped open up the lines of communication between the league and the parents.
What are your favorite features of the system?
While I like it all, the report generation is my favorite feature. Being able to use all the data and generating a report has proved to be useful in many situations. For example, if managers need medical information, I can pull all the information for them. I love that I can customize the reports and that all of the data is in the system without having to input it myself.
Do you use the e-mail communication tools?
We constantly use the email tool. We use the email system for everything from notifications of a special event, to scheduling changes to information on clinics to payment updates.
Have you been able to save any money from using this technology?
I am sure that using the online registration system has saved us money. The product is very fairly priced. The charges for the credit card processing are similar or better than the rates we used to manually input the information ourselves in the past. With those factors as well as the time saved, it has definitely been a savings for our league.
If you could add a feature to the software, what would it be?
I’m so in love with this system, it has made my life. If ACTIVE were to add anything, I am sure I would love it! I cannot think of a single feature that is missing.
How would you rate Active's customer service?
My experience with ACTIVE’s customer service is somewhat limited simply because I have not needed to call them. However, the times I have called, everyone has been friendly, helpful and resolved all of my issues.
Do you feel Active understands your needs as a member of USA Hockey?
The people at ACTIVE are very in tune with our specific needs. The representative that helped us build our site was very knowledgeable about USA Hockey and the software works extremely well for us.
What originally made you choose Active Network for your online registration needs?
My son’s baseball league used ACTIVE’s software. I thought - if they can do it, so can we!
Would you recommend Active's software to other Hockey Associations?
Yes, ACTIVE’s software can be applied to so many different sports and activities. It is a huge time saver for all league volunteers and parents. Everyone I’ve dealt with, from sales to customer service to pricing, has exceeded my expectations.