Great “services” don’t mean the same as offering great “service.” All businesses offer services and serve their customers in some way. Too often, staff members confuse the services they offer with the quality of service that is provided. Understanding the difference, and focusing on improving each, could be an important step to both attracting new members and retaining your current ones.
A new piece of fitness equipment, specialty programming, indoor parking, towel service, personal training and massage are examples of services provided to members. Simply put, services are the “what fitness clubs offer their members.”
Creating more value in your services can become a competitive advantage for your Fitness Club. Here are three things to consider that will help elevate the quality of services you offer.
- Take an inventory of your services (quality, quantity, variety) and compare to industry standards and local competition.
- Understand your members needs (ask their opinion, survey them and know your market)
- What are you able to offer better than anyone else; how can you distinguish your services so that your members perceive your added value over your competition?
However, just because you offer great “stuff” does not mean you deliver excellent service!
High-quality service requires the enthusiastic participation of every staff member in every aspect of your service effort. Regardless of how impressive your “stuff” is, relying predominantly on your facilities, equipment, and amenities can be risky.
Service is how we deliver the “stuff.” Service is a people dimension, paying close attention to how we care for our customers. It is the enthusiasm with which we respond to our members’ needs, the commitment to doing it reliably, and the expertise that our staff brings to their jobs in the delivery of the “stuff” for which they are responsible.
Excellent service is not merely someone who smiles and says, “Hello,” or “thank you.” Nor is it a series of scripted steps that are to be performed with every member. Service is an attitude and belief shared by every employee that the member is important. Improved service comes from a commitment to make the service experience exceed member expectations.
To improve the member experience, you must strive to exceed your members’ expectations and impress them in ways which ensure that they see the difference in how they are treated at your facility. Here are some simple ways that you can improve your Service.
- Invest time to learn about each member: ask questions, show interest, and pay them a compliment, make their day, encourage them to try something new, and invite them back!
- Be inquisitive – Ask how you can better serve them, inquire through member surveys, suggestion boxes or an open door policy. Then be responsive and take the time to respond to members complaints and suggestions either directly (face to face, email) or publicly (social media, newsletters)
- Don’t expect great service to happen by chance. Implement systems to ensure it will be provided consistently by all staff.
Offering excellent services may initially impress and attract clientele, but it is exceptional service that will make them want to come back, tell their friends and stay loyal to your facility.
Health Systems Group has won the International Service Excellence Award. We know what it takes; we strive to achieve exceptional service every day, and we enjoy assisting other organizations to implement winning Customer Service practices. Contact Us