While I have worked in the health club, gym, and fitness studio business for many years, the truth is ultimately we are all really in the people business. The human heart is a powerful thing, people want to feel cared about, and in the fitness industry passionately taking care of people is what we do.
If you’ve read a few of my recent articles A Simple Secret Behind Business Success - Give Members What They Really Want and Why The Customer Always Matters Most you know in my bones I think it is all about your customer and your member. At ABC Financial it is all about our fitness business owner clients!I’ve been thinking a lot about being thankful, being grateful, and showing gratitude. You see, like some of my other recent articles touched on, if you really have a passion for people and love what you do, then naturally you are going to be grateful and show it. Surprisingly sometimes I think we might forget about that. In the end sharing that gratitude with your members, your staff, and your colleagues don’t only make you feel better inside, it makes other feel better and in the end, as an extra bonus, it is just smart business.
If you don’t believe me let me share a few reasons that showing gratitude is wise. I will also share some suggestions on what you should make sure you or your staff are doing regularly to show gratitude and thanks to your members. It surprises me sometimes how some business owners and professionals forget these basic and most important things to build loyalty, to make customers feel great and as I said to make you feel great too.
Showing Thanks To Your Members
This is a no-brainer. Members and clients are the heart of what fitness professionals do every day. Without them, you’d have no business. Maybe they’ve been your member for years or maybe they’re brand new. Maybe they bought a personal training package when you really needed it the most, or they let you know when your Facebook post had a typo. Or, maybe you just feel like giving your whole customer base a pat on the back for being at your facility. Whatever the cause, there’s no time like now to show some gratitude. Here are a few things to consider:
1) Send a handwritten thank you card. In today’s digital world, a paper thank you card is extra thoughtful. Try purchasing these in bulk from a site like Moo for a design with a unique, handmade feel that really captures your personality.
2) Offer something special for your longtime members. Whether it’s a free smoothie, a session with a trainer, or a t-shirt, recognize your long-term members. Tweet the word out to your followers about them. Doing so can be a form of social media and content marketing, especially if your followers share the news. Who knows? You might just gain some new followers, expanding your social reach while solidifying your current customer base. That’s a great reason to say “thanks.”
3) Recognize members during special events. When it's a birthday event, an anniversary, a holiday, recognize and thank your customers.
Industry And Business Colleagues
In the world of small business, networking and referrals can make all the difference between moderate success and really thriving. If a colleague has sent you many referrals or even any at all, that merits a huge, hearty thank you, both at the time of the referral and during this grateful time of year. Doing so will increase goodwill, as well as the likelihood of receiving more referrals down the line.
Ways to Say Thank You
1) Give a referral. The single best way to thank someone who sent a referral your way is to send one back. Or, at the very least, connect your colleague with someone who can help their business, whether that’s a marketing expert to give your contact’s social media feed a boost or an interior designer to help with that new look they’ve been talking about. Your recipient will be grateful for the aid, and the person who provides the services you’re gifting will, in turn, be likely to refer business to you in the future.
2) Treat them to coffee or a lunch. Salad, soup, burgers, a smoothie; whatever your recipient’s preferred lunchtime destination, treating them to a meal is a great way to increase goodwill. And if you have a passionate discussion about business issues over those greens, you’ll only confirm your colleagues view of you as an expert and trusted referral source.
3) Give them a shout-out on social media. Not only will this technique thank your referrer publicly, but you’ll be exposing them to your engaged social media audience, potentially boosting their followers. In this way, you’ll be helping them with their presence and platform, growing their own business along the way.
The bottom line is that showing gratitude and thanks is powerful both personally and professionally. If you haven’t been showing it enough I guarantee you will enjoy doing it and it will be helpful for everyone in your fitness business and community.
Paul Schaller is CEO of ABC Financial Services, the industry’s leading fitness club management software that strengthens gym performance by reducing delinquencies, improving collections, and creating a better member experience. Paul is a business leader who believes everything in business begins and ends with the customer! His mission is to make sure every employee of ABC Financial Services is a maniac on a mission to make raving fans of our customers! You can learn more by following Paul on Linkedin andFacebook.