Why Customer Service is Number One

Customer service is number one.You want to know the easiest way to stick out as a business in today’s hyper-competitive environment?

Customer Service.

That’s all you need to know. If you can establish outstanding customer service, your business will flourish and you will reap great rewards.

Okay, well you may have to do a little selling and some high-quality training, but customer service should be number one — all else will fall into place.

One thing I’ve preached since the recession has been a lack in customer service. And it doesn’t just begin with major corporations: there has been a lack of customer service from the Fortune 50 all the way down to your local diner.

Most times I can’t tell if it’s just an adjustment in how we interact as people, or if the recession put so much stress on the individual job that people are too tense to treat each other properly. Regardless, it gives people a great opportunity if they can present high-end customer service.

In my opinion a lot of gyms see customer service more as the member experience. As soon as it’s brought up they see the expenditure of dollar signs and fatigue of employees. What I’m considering as customer service costs no money and only a little bit of effort.

I know each day it’s hard to put on a smile and say “hi” to all your members that walk through the door. I know you may not even like all your members, but they probably look up to you and they certainly pay you, so bite your lip and say “hello.” Actually, don’t stop there: keep moving forward, ask how their day is and actually show that you care. Listen when they ask questions and don’t pretend they aren’t there.

Have you ever been in a semi-open conversation in the gym and another person walks up and joins the group. You may have been talking with one or two other people, but if it’s not serious enough to take it into an office or other room, engage that person. This isn’t middle school, this isn’t the Cool Kid’s Club, this is life and your business. Turn your head, make eye contact and engage them into your conversation.

One of the biggest struggles most people have in possessing a gym membership is feeling part of the community. CrossFit, although supposedly factors community into its business plan, doesn’t always have the greatest customer service. Sure, you’ll have your regular athletes say you have great community, but what about the person that started two weeks ago? Do they feel the same way? Have you engaged them when they walk in the gym, or do you just sit around and talk to the same regular members you always do?

The other struggle in owning a gym is feeling like an owner and not just another person at the gym. You probably exercise at your gym and you may even pop in on WODs from time to time, but it’s vital that you disengage yourself as just a part of the gym and actually form yourself as the professional owner of the gym.

Each day do the following to improve your customer service, and I guarantee you’ll see drastic improvements in your member experience:

  1. Say hello to each individual member. If they don’t approach you, take the time to approach them.
  2. Ask a new member about their experience thus far. Really care and make eye contact.
  3. Talk to one member you haven’t had a conversation with lately.
  4. Engage members in group discussions. Not just the normal members you talk with, but other members.
  5. Finally, after every class, thank everyone for coming and tell them if they have any questions about post stretching or anything else to discuss with you after they recover.

Do these five things and I guarantee you’ll set yourself apart from your competition.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.