One rarely hears the words “health club membership” without associating the word “contract” with it. From the consumer’s perspective, it’s often expected, but can also bring along negative connotations. Health club owners know that contracts are a necessity to their business, but also face the challenge of losing out of potential clients because of the contract terms. There’s always the possibility of a customer having a negative experience when attempting to break the contract. How exactly does a health club owner keep a positive relationship with their clients beyond the contract?
An important, yet vastly unrepresented, aspect of good business in today’s world is quality client service with the perspective that the client comes first. To help ensure the best possible ending of a business relationship is to begin it on the best possible terms. Developing a contract that puts the client’s best interest first is ideal practice. This includes utilizing terms that are reasonable, prices that are fair and cancellation policies that are realistic. Using a contract that makes a client feel “locked in” for an extended period of time with no fair and reasonable way to exit the agreement can scare many prospects away.
A good way to ensure you offer fair terms to your prospects and clients is to develop several contract options. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all; therefore, you need to offer more options. For example, you could include contracts based on various levels of pricing and commitment levels. A 13- month commitment may be a great fit for one individual or family, but a month-to-month may be a better option for another. Consider the different family lifestyles out there today that you need to appeal to. A single parent with young children will not likely be able to financially commit to a year, and we must understand that little ones will often change their minds.
Once you do enter an agreement with a client, it’s important to be a business owner, but also be a person. People will buy from and refer to people they like. If you offer terms of cancellation that take into consideration real-life obstacles that come up then you will have a far better chance of getting that customer to return and refer others to your business. It’s key to remember that in today’s world, word of mouth spreads faster than ever. People are able to give online reviews, post on their Facebook and directly link to your business website or Facebook page. It’s imperative for creating and maintaining a positive reputation that you focus on quality relationships and positive experiences beyond the terms of your contract.