I was sitting on a bench chatting with one of my Coaches as two athletes were accomplishing the feat that is 17.5
Suddenly, someone yelled at my Coach from across the gym. Heads turning, it took a moment to comprehend what had happened. But there it was: a barbell had snapped apart as the athlete dropped it on the last thruster in the round.
First, the athlete was fine. In fact, he was probably in such a fog he didn’t know what happened. Second, I’ve never seen people move so quickly to change weights.
But what took place after the fact is where I want to draw your focus. My gym’s owner reached out to the company that made the barbell. The first question they asked: “Was anybody hurt?” Then they went on to replace that barbell, but it didn’t stop there. My Affiliate had four more barbells he had purchased at the same time as the one that broke. The company replaced those as well, shipping five brand new barbells to the gym and asking my owner to send the old five back.
I think several lessons can be learned from this — including what you should look for in customer service when doing business with equipment vendors. But more than that, how do you care for your members? Do you go above and beyond? Or do you only accomplish what’s necessary?
It’s easy when someone complains to get defensive and to take what was said personally. “What do you mean you don’t like Coach Jerry? I trained him myself and he cares for each of you! I know that for a fact!” The barbell company could have blamed my owner and the athlete, said “Sucks to be you” and left it at that. But they probably would never have received my Affiliate’s business again.
Instead of getting defensive in situations like the above, it will be more powerful if you ask what the why is behind the complaint. “You don’t like Coach Jerry? Would you care to tell me some more specifics so I can learn what you need in a Coach?”
Asking questions like the above, questions that show you care and are willing to listen, can have a huge impact. While my Affiliate was pumped he’d be getting five new barbells — I mean, who wouldn’t be pumped about that? — one of the things that stood out about the whole transaction didn’t deal with the equipment. “They asked if anyone got hurt,” he shared with me. “It showed me a caring side to their customer service I haven’t seen before.” From his words, it was apparent he was sold on the company.
I know I’ve talked a lot about listening and caring, but I don’t think I can emphasize it enough, Affiliate. Process how you react in situations of complaint and determine to respond in care the next time something happens. Just because you have members doesn’t mean you stop showing them the best customer service possible. It’s easier to retain a client then find a new one.