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Operations: What Your Gym Could Learn from my Recent Hospital Visit

Club Solutions Leadership Summit

At the 2018 Club Solutions Leadership Summit, one of the roundtables tackled by attendees and sponsors was “Five-Star Member Experience,” which discussed the importance of ensuring members experience no unpleasant surprises and plenty of pleasant ones.

According to roundtable moderator Blair McHaney, getting your touch points right can go a long way toward creating a Five-Star Member Experience. And those touch points begin the second a member begins looking into joining your club to the moment they leave.

With the Club Solutions Leadership Summit only a week in the rearview mirror, this topic has been fresh on my mind. As a result, I’ve found myself evaluating the touch points I’ve had with a myriad of organizations and businesses, including the healthcare industry.

Recently, my fiancé required an ankle surgery and due to some last-minute shuffling, the surgeon who was supposed to do his surgery (let’s call him Dr. John) was unable to — and as a result, he was scheduled for surgery with a new surgeon (let’s call him Dr. Smith) in the same practice. We were scheduled to meet with Dr. Smith the day before the scheduled surgery, and I expected we’d just do a quick meet and greet and that would be it.

Imagine my surprise when Dr. John walked in with the new surgeon and personally introduced us, explaining that he’d briefed Dr. Smith on our case and that we were in great hands. I’ll be honest, I was floored (in a good way). Our prior experiences with the healthcare industry have been lacking in the customer service department, and I was just so amazed that Dr. John took time out of his day to make sure we were comfortable with the new surgeon and ease some of our fears.

To me, this practice could easily be applied to the fitness industry — in particular personal training. Imagine how wowed your members would be if every time they worked with a new personal trainer, their old trainer or a GM personally introduced them to the new trainer and explained they were in good hands. If your members are like me, this would be an extremely pleasant surprise that would go a long way toward fostering positive feelings toward your business.

In fact, I was so wowed by Dr. John and the medical practice’s customer service, that even though it takes 3.5 hours for my fiancé and I to see this doctor, we can’t imagine going anywhere else. They’ve earned patients (customers) for life.

And what’s great is this “wow” factor didn’t require investment in new technology or a renovation. The doctor just showed that he cared, and for us, that meant the world. How can you do the same?

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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