Unfortunately, customer complaints do happen, no matter how organised your business is or how dedicated your staff are. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for negative feedback and learn how to manage it effectively. After all, a well-handled complaint will boost customer happiness and improve your gym member retention.

The initial complaint

So you’ve received a complaint from one of your valued guests. Perhaps they are unsatisfied with their membership, maybe they weren’t happy with their personal training session, or maybe they simply don’t like the music you play. Feedback will come in all shapes and sizes – all you can do is be ready.

Manage the complaint

The first thing to do is listen. Sometimes all your member wants is to feel heard. Find out all the details before you offer any solutions, and when you do offer to resolve the situation make sure to discuss a few options with them. This shows them that you are prepared to help however you can, which will establish a level of trust.

Jump into action once you’ve agreed upon a solution with your customer and deliver on what you have said you will do. Nothing will shake a customer’s loyalty like broken promises! When it’s all done and dusted and you have delivered the solution for your customer, be sure to follow up a week or so later with a phone call to check that they were happy with the resolution.

Train your employees

Think about what’s working when you manage negative feedback, and once you’re happy with your methods make sure that you communicate it clearly with your staff and train them to manage complaints of all sizes. Your customers will appreciate a consistent experience with your employees. It’s all part of building solid customer loyalty.

Catch customers before they go

Not all customers will tell you when there is an issue. Sometimes they will simply leave before you even realise they’re gone without giving you a chance to fix their problem. Keep the lines of communication with your customers open to avoid unexplained walkouts.

With Gladstone’s fitness club software you can schedule communications to target the members you have identified as being at risk. Gladstone collects valuable data that can help you pin-point the customers that are visiting less frequently. From here, send them an SMS or email with a friendly check-up, or provide a manger’s direct contact details if they’d like to talk through their decision to leave.

Jonas Leisure have also recently introduced a customer feedback system called getsmart that will interface with your software to help you collect valuable customer opinions, as well as insight into their expectations and experiences. Catching customers before they leave will do wonders for your business and gym member retention.

These are just some of the useful tips we have to offer at Gladstone Health & Leisure. For friendly advice and information on how we can help you, please feel free to contact us directly.