Why Does Customer Service Matter for Your Gym?
As we near the end of the year, it’s time to start planning ahead for 2019. And, for most gyms, that means 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 like they’re a part of something, and if a gym isn’t giving them what they need, they’re going to look somewhere else. While results are connected to training, equipment, and the physical side of the business, member satisfaction comes from customer service.
Here are three ways customer service impacts your gym’s overall success:
- Increase member retention: If you treat people well and give deliver the level of service they’re looking for, they’re going to keep coming back. Think about your customers who have been there for years. What brings them back day after day? Talk to your customers, run surveys, and gather data to make data-driven decisions on how to provide better customer service to members.
- Grow referrals: When your members are happy with your services, they’re going to tell their friends. People are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend, and the lifetime value of a new referred member is 16x higher than a non-referred member. Trust us, there’s a difference between hearing ‘I lost so much weight’ and ‘You will love the people there’. It’s all about making your gym a personal place.
- 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. Especially if you’re trying to appeal to a local audience, you 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. People will want to work with you.
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:
Personal relationships: At the risk of repeating ourselves, we’ll say it again: people join gyms to join a community. This means your trainers and staff should be open, welcoming, and accepting of everyone who walks through your door. Try to remember as many names (or at least faces) as possible and act as though everyone is your best friend. The best part is that when there is a strong sense of community with trainers and staff it’s easier for members to establish relationships with each other. Without realizing, you’ll have built a tight-knit group of like-minded members who actually want to spend time at the gym, because it’s time spent with each other.
Easy support: As today’s gym management processes move online, there has been an added level of tech involvement required from both gym management and members. To ensure you’re delivering the best customer service possible, set up an easy-to-use support system. Always have someone at the ready to answer any questions about billing cycles or scheduling platforms. Additionally, if you’re receiving an unusually high number of questions about a certain process, it might be time to make it a little easier for your members.
Seamless logistics: When your employees and staff are running around dealing with logistics issues all day, service levels can slip below your benchmarks, and members will definitely notice. With targeted solutions, 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.