The fitness industry is ALL about service first. While your facilities may boast the latest in advanced technology or the best in equipment, it’s your people and their interactions with your members that matter most. Today’s post looks at 12 key ingredients that must be included when creating your perfect formula for successful customer service.
1. Be friendly first. Service starts with a familiar person with a warm smile who offers welcoming words. Make sure the team members manning your front desk are service obsessed. Each member should be greeted (preferably by name) when they enter your club. This level of interaction should trickle down to every employee. It takes little effort to smile and say hello, and it makes a huge impact.
2. Attitude precedes service. Your team’s positive mental attitude is the basis for the way they act and treat members. Your team should carry a member first mentality into the club every day. “You become what you think.”
3. Your team’s first words set the tone. All encounters with members are theirs to control. Even a seemingly negative contact, like a service or billing complaint, can be turned positive by the way it’s handled. First words can either disarm or aggravate. If your team learns to see each interaction as an opportunity to win a member for life, it shifts the approach dramatically.
4. Know how to service in terms of the member. They don’t care what your situation is; they only care about their situation. So your billing system made a blunder, and they were billed twice, or the new janitor assigned by your cleaning service isn’t up to snuff, that’s not the member’s concern. What can YOU do to ensure they’re happy and your day-to-day business hiccups don’t impact them?
5. The member has lots of problems besides you, and may just be using you as a frustration vent. Don’t take it too personally if a member flies off the handle. Behind every seemingly minor complaint, there is real stress. Your team’s job is to serve as a stress reducer. After all, that’s why many people come to your club! Offer solutions, not excuses.
6. The member doesn’t want to hear why you can’t. Don’t tell them when or why you can’t; tell them when and why you can—enthusiastically! In every situation, there is something that can be done for the member, make that your team’s focus.
7. Recognize members for what they are, the lifeblood of your business and your team’s paycheck! You don’t pay your team’s salaries, your members do.
8. Don’t confuse company policy with customer service. Don’t quote policy or hide behind it. Policy is there as a guide, not a prescription for member success. Listen first, and then determine where the request fits into your standard procedure. If you adhere to your contract rules 100% of the time, you miss tremendous opportunities to win with your members. You may win the battle, but you’ll lose the war.
9. When a member walks away angry, it’s twelve-to-one they’ll leave forever or at least be leery. It takes 12 positive impressions to overcome a single negative one. In this day and age of social media, every interaction counts and has the possibility to impact far more than one member’s opinion of your business.
10. YOU are responsible, or it won’t get done. Individual responsibility leads to a happy member. No one likes to be passed off for help.
11. Take your job seriously, but don’t take their complaints personally. If you take it seriously, it’s you with them. If you take it personally, it’s you against them.
12. Teams are made up of individuals who work together and get their own jobs done. Never underestimate the impact of a single team member. If each link is strong, your entire chain will be secure.
If you embed these 12 values into your club’s culture, how can you lose? Would you be happy supporting a business with this outlook and attitude toward customers? Would you encourage friends and family to join you in your support? At its core, excellent customer service starts with the golden rule. Treat your members the way you would want to be treated.
Need help with member services? GYM HQ offers solutions designed specifically for fitness businesses. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with member requests and all of your back-office needs. Click on the “contact us” link, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 404-921-2269 today!