Do You Really Care?


I recently needed someone to come out and repair our oven. So, I made three phone calls to different service providers to get quotes. All three were referred to us. Of the three I called, only one answered their phone. And the other two never called me back.

Just think how much that misstep cost them. Not only will I never use them, but I will never refer them. The one provider who answered their phone was kind, attentive and able to send a technician that same day. Now that’s good business.

I needed something right then, and only one was able to deliver. They got the business.

When someone reaches out to you to inquire about your gym, they are ready in that moment to make a decision. That decision may have been brewing for weeks, months or even years, but they finally reached a breaking point and decided they needed your help.

It’s a moment of vulnerability. A moment of need. And they are hoping you will show up.

Here’s what I’ve found. Many gym owners are so busy they don’t realize how important it is to pick up the phone when someone calls, or answer an email when someone reaches out.

The bottom line is this costs you every time you fail to respond or respond too slowly.

And the reason? They will move on because they want/need an answer. They admitted they need help, and the longer the time it takes to hear back from you, the less your chance of getting their business. Because more than likely they have a few options. The one that reaches back typically gets the business.

Here are a few thoughts about providing best in class customer service:

  1. Auto-responder: Turn off your email auto-responder, unless you’re on vacation. To me, this is a useless tool because it’s not at all personal. They think they are getting an email back from you and it’s just a waste of their time to have to delete your canned auto response.
  2. How quickly to respond: In my opinion, to the best of your ability if you get an email or voicemail by noon of one day, you should reach back out to them in some way that same day. If you can’t give them a full response, tell them you will get back to them first thing the next morning. But no more than 24 hours should go by before they hear back from you or someone from your organization.
  3. Be friendly: In your tone, both on the phone and email and text, talk/type as though you are smiling and happy to hear from them. It’s amazing how much this gets overlooked.
  4. Boomerang: If you use Gmail, this is a must have tool. If you send an email and don’t hear back, this tool boomerangs the email back into your inbox a couple days later so it doesn’t slip your mind and you can follow up with them.
  5. Voicemail message: I called a guy and got his voicemail. Here’s what he said on it:“I’ll call you back when I can.” That certainly didn’t make my call feel important. How much better would it have been if he made it about the caller, rather than about his own timeline? Maybe something like, “Your call is important to me, and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.”

You say you want to add members. Are your actions backing up your words? A person calling your organization is a self-qualified lead. A fish on the hook.

If you want to grow, answering your phone and responding quickly to emails should absolutely be priority No. 1. No exceptions.

Julie Weldon is on the leadership team of 321GoProject and is the creator and host of GSD Entrepreneur podcast. Her diverse background includes being a cake designer, coaching basketball, traveling to 13 different developing countries to do volunteer work on a year long trip, working in the not-for-profit world for 10 years, starting two businesses, working as a People & Change consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, taking a product to market (and “failing”, only to get back up and do it a second time), and working as a business coach/consultant to small businesses with her company, A Salty Rim. Her core belief is that it’s always about the people no matter if the company is large or small. Contact her at