The Importance of Communication – Yes, It Can Make a Difference – A Big Difference!

You may have noticed in my past articles that I like sharing my ideas and experience with you, so pay close attention to the following information and learn how your staff can become better communicators with your members.

It all starts with communication and follow-up. Effective follow-up begins immediately after the sale when you call or write to say, "thank you." Beyond this, there are several effective ways for you and your staff to ensure that your fitness facility or business is always on the customer's mind.

  Let members know what you are doing for them. This can be in the form of a newsletter mailed to existing customers, or it can be more informal, such as a phone call. Whatever method you use, the key is to dramatically point out to customers the excellent service you are giving them. If you never mention all the things you are doing for them, members may not notice. Just make a phone call and check up on them from time to time.

  Write former customers' personal, handwritten notes frequently. "I was just sitting at my desk and your name popped into my head.” “How is your exercise program going?” “Is there anything I can do for you?” Or if you run into a former customer around town, follow up with a note: "It was great seeing you the other day. Hope to see you back at the club soon.”

  Keep it personal. Voice mail and e-mail make it easy to communicate, but the personal touch is often lost. Conversations and letters keep it personal. 

  Remember special occasions. Send regular customers birthday cards, anniversary cards, and holiday cards.

  Share information. If you read a fitness article or hear about a new book a customer might be interested in, drop a note or make a quick call to let them know.

  Use follow-up calls to build your business. When you talk to existing customers, you'll often find they have referrals to give you, which can lead to new business. With everything your existing customers can do for you, there's simply no reason not to stay in regular contact with them, so follow up.

  Focus on retaining members and customers, not just making sales. Salespeople, especially those who get paid on commission, sometimes focus on the volume instead of the quality of the service. Remember, keeping a member’s business is more important than merely closing a sale. Research shows it costs six times more to attract a new member than it does to keep an existing one. 

The strategies you learn and share now will have a definite impact on your business moving forward.

Take my word for it, and never forget to communicate and follow up with your members. Communication is the answer!