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As 2019 starts, most gyms are figuring out how to retain as many new members as possible after the January rush is over. While plenty of people will be signing up for gyms come the New Year, most of them aren’t sticking around. So how can gym managers strive to deliver the best member experience while they can? With customer service.
Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t quit coming to the gym because they aren’t seeing results. No, they actually aren’t coming because of the personal aspect. People want to feel connected — a part of something — and if a gym isn’t giving them what they need, they’re going to look somewhere else.
Here are three ways customer service impacts your gym’s overall success:
- Increase member retention: If you treat people well and deliver the level of service they’re looking for, they’re going to keep coming back. Think about customers who have been there for years. What brings them back day after day? They feel part of something bigger.
- Grow referrals: When your members are happy with your services, they’re going to tell their friends. People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend, and the lifetime value of a new referred member is 16 times higher than a non-referred member.
- Boost industry reputation: While it may seem as though there is a gym popping up on every corner, it’s still a relatively small industry and people talk. If you’re trying to appeal to a local audience, you especially need to be aware of your industry reputation. If you’re known for your stellar customer service and well-regarded in the industry as a whole, it’s a huge win for your entire team.
So what does great customer service look like?
In a gym setting, what does exceptional customer service look like? In most industries, customer service is just one part of a larger operation. But in fitness and health, customer service is the entire job.
Everything from your member applications to managing payments to class scheduling involves some level of service, whether in-person or online. Great customer service also involves these two things:
- Easy support: To ensure you’re delivering the best customer service possible, set up an easy-to-use support system. Additionally, if you’re receiving an unusually high number of questions about a certain process, it might be time to switch to a full service software platform.
- Seamless logistics: When your employees and staff are running around dealing with logistical issues all day, service levels can slip below your benchmarks, and members will definitely notice.
With targeted solutions, a better management strategy and focused operations, your gym can operate smoother, freeing up your employees’ time to focus on the things that matter, like delivering amazing, personalized customer service.
Sally Akiona is the vice president of operations for Paramount Acceptance. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801.272.8623.