One day a countryman going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been played on him. But he took it home on second thought, and soon found that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same thing occurred, and he grew rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.
What does this story represent? This is a great analogy of how we can neglect the people who get us the results we desire in exchange for more and more. Below is the general business model, followed by how it relates to our industry.
Farmer = Decision Makers
Goose = Production Capability
Egg = Product
Production model as it relates to Clubs:
Farmer = You!
Goose = The Front Line Staff
Egg = Gain and Retain Members
Perception is Reality:
Customer service will not be superior unless the customer perceives the service to be superior. This statement is true regardless of reality. For example, if a member perceives the bathrooms to be dirty, the bathrooms are dirty, at least in the mind of that particular member. It is important to remember perception is reality, especially to the individual perceiving it.
There are four keys we can control to help shape the customer’s perception of your club as a positive place to be.
1. Look at the facility through the customer’s eyes
2. Keep the members informed
3. Communicate the goods
4. Take advantage of problems (complaints) to prove our center’s service
If the community perceives your club as a positive place to be, then it becomes a positive place to be.
I. Look through the customer’s eyes
• “Moments of Truth” — Be aware of every encounter you have with an individual. After every interaction, the individual will either feel better, the same, or worse about you. Build up a bank of positive interactions.
• Make the customer feel like someone special during every visit.
• Correct the “sloppy spots” around the facility (i.e. torn up signs, outdated information, towels/pencils, etc.)
II. Keep the members informed
• Keep employees informed of special events so they may communicate this information to the members.
• Explain the “whys” for policies that are necessary.
III. Communicate the goods
• Reinforce positive comments given by members and guests.
• Ask questions that you know will yield positive answers.
IV. Problems (complaints) are opportunities
• Demonstrate superior service by responding to problems.
• Respond quickly and treat every complaint seriously.
• Do not reveal breakdowns.
Shawn Stewart is the Operations Manager at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org