Customer Service: Front Desk Management

Managing the front desk of your club is one of the most important aspects of the business. The front desk is the club’s first impression, last impression, informational hub and switchboard, all at the same time. Front desk attendants are the only employees who touch every member and guest every time they visit the club. Here are four tips to help manage your front desk.

1. Coaching M.O.T.’s — In Michael LeBoeuf’s book, “How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life,” a Moment of Truth (MOT) is defined as any interaction a customer has with the company. A Moment of Truth can be positive, neutral or negative. These experiences are stored in a person’s Emotional Bank Account (EBA). For every negative MOT, it takes at least ten positive MOTs to make up. To coach your team, start by compiling a list of the 10 most difficult situations or commonly asked questions a front desk attendant may deal with. Then, script the perfect response. Role play each situation with your staff until they have mastered the response. Make this fun by creating a game or by using flashcards and rewards. Making every MOT a positive experience will keep your member’s EBA in the black.

2. Priority #1 — Use the acronym WE FISH to remember the six most important customer service rules for the front desk. Always be Warm and friendly, Escort people to their destination, learn and use everyone’s First name, Introduce, Smile and say Hello and goodbye, with a specific emphasis on goodbye. Saying “hello” to someone who walks in is obvious and would be awkward if you didn’t, but making sure that you say some form of “goodbye” to every single person that walks out your door is much more difficult, but much more important. Saying goodbye acknowledges their presence in your club and really says “Thanks for being here. We appreciate you.”

3. The “10 Second Experience” — People before paperwork! Working the desk can require a lot of systems and multi-tasking. It is very easy for the receptionist to put paperwork before people. A great way to overcome this is the “10 Second Experience.” The first 10 seconds of every interaction should be used to “wow” the customer. This is not scripted or planned. Give the receptionist these 10 seconds to be themselves, tell a joke, make them smile, laugh, etc. After 10 seconds, they can go into the systems mode of checking in, filling out the register, asking the pre-qualifying questions and the other routine functions of the desk.

4. Create a Unit Mission for the desk — Most gyms have a mission for the company, but do you have a mission for the desk? This is more than a task-oriented job description. This is results oriented and keeps all receptionists working towards the same goal. Here is an example:

We sincerely welcome people into the club and make them feel good about having been in our facility. We will provide solutions with the knowledge of where and how to access information so no question goes unanswered.
We accomplish this mission by:

• Greeting every member and guest while creating a positive and welcoming first impression.
• Inform all members and guests of current club activities.
• Maintaining the highest levels of knowledge and access to resources to readily answer questions.
• Saying goodbye to everyone by name.

Remember, when managing the front desk, excellent service isn’t the result of doing any one thing 1,000 percent better. It’s the result of doing thousands of things 1 percent better.

 

Amanda Purser is the Front Desk Manager at Gainesville Health & Fitness. She can be reached at APurser@ghfc.com.

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