Are Your Members Satisfied? Part 1

Business |

How do your members perceive your facility? It is likely that their perceptions change depending on circumstances. For example, as John, one of your fitness specialists, makes his rounds, he stops by a member who is riding a stationary cycle to offer suggestions and tochat. The member perceives John as a helpful, friendly employee, and the club’s service as being good. The next day, the same member is back,and Johnstops by to make small talk. This day, however, the member is in a hurry and under a lot of stress. She needs her workout to think through some issues before she gets back to work. She now perceives John as annoying, and has a low opinion of the club’s service.

In this scenario, the same client perceived the identical delivery of service in two different ways. The type of service you offerone day may need to be adapted to the situationfor your members to maintain a good perception of your business’ service level. In The Myth of Excellence, Fred Crawford and Ryan Mathews suggest that service “is a highly subjective attribute, varying not just from person to person, but often from day to day or even hour to hour.”

Basic services are important

The key to offering good serviceis to listen to what your members want. Some clubs package their offerings with “value-added” services to attract members. The problem is,on a scale of importance, these value-added services rank below basic competencies. Consumers are looking for better delivery and fewer gimmicks.

For example, a potential member decided to join your facility because you offered “value-added” services, such as a free personal training session and towel service. In the first month of this membership, the member found that some of your equipment was in need of repair, and that your staff members were not friendly. Surely those added services were great, but the member expected basic services to be great, also. If yourbasicservices are deficient, all the value-added services in the world are not going to help you keep your members.

A different view of customer service

While you may view service as something you offer, consumers often view service as something a business is or embodies. Look at service from your members’ points of view. For example, do you offer a “hassle-free” return policy in your pro shop? It is not enough for you to have this type of policy; it is imperative that you implement it properly. If members have to jump through hoops to return things, their view of your facilitywill be negatively altered.

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