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Time to ASSIST

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Are you eager to help your staff engage members? Looking for a tool to help them take initiative and engage members? Teach them to “ASSIST” members. I was taught this simple acronym years ago. It empowers staff to take the lead in introducing themselves and engaging members in conversation. If we can make it a meaningful conversation, we can have a positive influence on their membership lifespan.

ASSIST:

Approach

Smile

State name

Introduce

State name back

Teach/thank 

Here is how it works:

We have to “approach” the member or guest. It is important to remind staff it’s their workplace and members are our guests, so we approach them. As we approach, we make good eye contact. Acknowledge them with a greeting statement such as “good afternoon,” making for a warm welcome.

We want to be intentional with a friendly “smile” as we approach the member, greeting them with energy and enthusiasm. We have open body language matching our friendly smile.

We “state” our name. It is always a great habit for team members to wear a name tag.     

As we are stating our name we are “introducing” ourselves to the member, letting them know our name as well as what we do and how we can help them. Introducing ourselves gives us the opportunity to receive their names as well, and leads us to the last “S” in ASSIST. 

“Stating” their name back to them in the conversation will help us remember it better and acknowledges the member as an individual. It validates a member as being valuable.

The T in ASSIST stands for “teach them or thank them.” With every staff interaction we want to either be teaching a member something that adds value to their experience or simply thank them for coming in. 

I hope this acronym will help you with engaging members who use the facility and can create a positive impact on retention efforts. 

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Andrew Barranco

Andrew Barranco is the regional operations and aquatics manager for Merritt Clubs. He can be reached at abarranco@merrittclubs.com.

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