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Customer Service: First Impressions Matter

first impressions

According to industry consultant Art Curtis, who spoke recently at the 2016 IHRSA Convention and Trade Show, “the industry has never been more competitive.” In fact, he explained more health clubs are popping up than there are customers who are willing to buy health club memberships. As a result, it’s more important than ever to differentiate your club from the competition. And according to Curtis, first impressions play a huge role in this. “You better bring your A game,” he said. “And unfortunately, many clubs have no idea how their clubs are being perceived.”

As an example, Curtis referenced a number of small things, that when overlooked, can make a big impact on customers — and not in a good way. Bad landscaping, clutter at the front desk and overflowing trash cans are just a few examples of things that can leave customers with a bad taste in their mouths.

So, what can you do to ensure your club is making a positive first impression?

  1. Make customer service a priorityfirst impressions

    And make sure it touches every aspect of your club, from the front desk to the janitorial staff. Every interaction a customer has with your club should be stellar — whether they’re calling to inquire about a new program, or asking to speak with a manager to file a complaint. Treat your customers like you would want to be treated.

  2. Clean, clean, clean
    first impressions
    How would you feel if you walked into a grocery store and saw spider webs all over the fruit display case? You probably wouldn’t buy anything in the case, right? The same goes for your club. If you don’t take care of your facility by keeping it clean and organized, customers won’t be interested in your product.
  3. Always keep an “outside looking in” perspective
    first impressions
    When you work in a health club every single day, you can become blind to things that bother others. As a result, stay diligent in viewing things from a different, outside perspective. Ask second opinions. Find out what bothers existing and new customers, and fix those issues immediately.

“How many prospects are lost before they even walk through the front door?” asked Curtis.

Find out the answer. Fix it, and you may find more sales and better retention headed your way.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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