Providing a premium health & wellbeing service stretches well beyond just lobbing a few recipes at your members and ticking the box. If you truly practice a holistic mind, body, soul approach this needs to be evident in your every action and interaction.
It is very easy for the most conscientious and attentive provider to "drop the ball" in what are generally considered routine interactions - many of which are often automated.
Let's start at the very beginning...
You or one or your team invests some quality time with a potential new member, explaining what makes you 'different', how it's all about them, and how you are there for them well beyond the few hours a week that they spend at your facility.
Loving what they've heard, they then either sign-up for a trial or full membership. Great stuff...
Now, driven by the law, common-sense, and sometimes a solicitor who has scared the bejesus out of us, our very next action is to stuff a legalese-laden agreement and waiver form in front of their face. Immediately, their pulse rate rises. Pressures and anxieties set in.
I doubt anyone of sound mind would dispute that you need to have the paperwork completed to protect your business, but could it be done with a more mindful approach?
Whilst not our legal position, there does appear to be an increase in the number of magistrates & judges finding favourably for the average person on-the-street, as it is unlikely that they would have fully understood the depth & breadth of the legal agreement that they were signing.
There is a further argument that, if you genuinely provide a good service to your members, whether you actually want to operate a regime where the member couldn't leave even if they wanted to? Of course, in some instances where there is upfront cost to yourself, a minimum term is not unreasonable.
As part of our SGPT Infinity subscription, part of our Alchemy suite of products & services, Quoox has created a simple, "plain English" membership agreement and liability waiver for our community subscribers to use with their members.
This membership agreement has been written in conjunction with, and approved by, the Plain English Campaign. As such, the document has been awarded the "Crystal Mark" for its clarity.
Whilst our agreement provides a solid "out of the box" boilerplate, some facilities may still require some additional customisation to the agreement. This is something we include as part of the setup process for new Alchemy customers, and tailored documents are sent back to the Plain English Campaign for re-editing, and re-certification.
The upshot is that the documents you present the new member are clear, easy to understand, and fair. This will immediately distinguish you from many of your competitors, as we're an industry with a terrible reputation when it comes to membership contracts.
Let's move further through the membership to another example.
One event that frustrates almost every gym owner is when they see a membership payment declined due to lack of funds. Almost immediately our 'inner chimp' takes over, and we're straight into "they're hurting my livelihood mode".
But now, think it through... If the merchant is telling you that your (relatively) small payment has failed to clear, then that is indication that the member's bank account is really quite empty.
In their life, a gym membership is probably not their highest priority. It is not unreasonable that things such as food for the kids, rent, utility bills et cetera sit further up the list - and are also going unpaid due to "lack of funds".
The key point here is to consider how you address the matter with the member, and the tone that you use. The chances are that they might be having a pretty grim time, and it is now that your extra support and consideration can go a long way. You are not one of the chain gyms that has someone in a call centre ringing up members, threatening them with late payment fees etc. You're better than that!
These are just two simple examples of the many interactions you have with your clients, but that often fail to have due consideration.