Behind the Scenes
Customer service can offer a competitive edge. Photo by Bojan89 / Getty Images.
Equipment is a natural starting point when it comes to customer service, webinar presenter Justin Tillinghast said. If you don't appear to care about your equipment, members will come to believe you don't care about them as well.

Savvy Customer Service Can Give Your Health Club an Edge Over Bigger Competitors

You might not have the biggest health club with the most amenities, but a savvy customer service strategy can always give you an edge over encroaching competition, according to SportArt's Justin Tillinghast, the presenter behind Club Industry's latest webinar.

"How do I set my gym apart from the competition?"

This is the first question on many health club operators' minds, making it a fitting lead question for Club Industry's latest webinar, "The 7 Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask," sponsored by SportsArt.

Attempting to compete in the high-volume, low-priced world is typically a recipe for failure, according to presenter Justin Tillinghast, eastern regional sales manager for SportsArt. Instead, Tillinghast implored club operators to focus on offering quality customer service, a weakness for many clubs.

"How you treat your members is the most important factor when it comes to that quality service being given," Tillinghast said in his presentation. "You have to do something different in your facility. ... How are you setting yourself apart if you're buying the same exact equipment that everyone else is buying?"

Equipment is a natural starting point when it comes to customer service, Tillinghast said. If you don't appear to care about your equipment, members will come to believe you don't care about them as well.

Beyond upkeep, Tillinghast encouraged club operators to share stories about their equipment. Don't take equipment for granted, he said. In explaining why a piece of equipment was purchased, members will come to better understand how the equipment will serve their needs. 

Tillinghast also encouraged club operators to organize member appreciation nights.

Don't just put a box of doughnuts on a table, he said. Use this kind of opportunity to really get to know your member, their families, and what they want and need.

To learn more about the other six questions in Tillinghast's presentation, check out the free, on-demand version of the webinar. Tillinghast's presentation ends with a 30-minute question-and-answer session that may address more of your club-operating concerns.

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