1. Greet the customer and create a relationship. A happy, courteous staff is important. Staff members need to make a conscious effort to remember customer names, faces, likes, hobbies, etc. That is what will set your gym apart from the competition. Creating relationships with your current customers is internal marketing in its purest form.
2. Answering the phones. If possible by the second ring. Don’t make a potential customer wait on you. They’ll hang up and call your competitor! What does your staff say when they answer the phone? Do you know?
3. Checking company email. Now days, everyone emails… at least almost everyone. Don’t make them wait. Have a planned time each hour to check email for questions that need to be answered and if you have online registration, check for enrollments.
4. Give tours to new or inquiring customers.Turn walk-ins into long-term customers. Make sure you have a tour script and your office staff is familiar with it. Have staff practice at a staff meeting. Have a mock tour and everyone follows along with scripts.
5. Daily cleaning. We hear this so often…”Your gym is so clean” or “Your gym smells better than my daughter’s old gym”. Cleanliness is so important to parents. Do you have cleaning checklists for the office, gym, lobby, bathroom, etc…? When a potential customer walks through your doors you do not want their first impression to be a bad smell or a cluttered office. You want them to feel confident about their choice to check out your gym and all it has to offer.
6. Keeping schedules and office forms in stock and up-to-date. Office staff must be prepared. Nothing looks worse to a customer than a customer service representative not supplying them with right form or information. Who have you placed in charge of restocking the office on a regular basis?
7. Schedule make-ups. Have a solid system in place and make sure everyone follows it. Parents should not have to worry about a lost make-up date or have to wait on the phone too long when calling off their sick child.
8. Sell apparel to customers. Always offer to sell the needed apparel to customers the day they sign up. Advertise sales in your e-newsletters and fliers as well as in your pro-shop. If they buy a new pair of gymnastics shoes… ask them if they need a bag for those shoes. Do a mock sale with staff at the next office meeting.
9. Nurture peer relationships. Everyone wants to be liked and appreciated. Encourage professional staff relationships. Have your office manager make it a point to personally thank at least two staff members per week. Your office manager should be the lead example. How is your office manager’s attitude?
10. Collecting tuition. A key to collecting tuition is a great database. Make sure your system can handle all your different tuition amounts, coupons, discounts, etc. Your office staff needs to be well-trained in entering data correctly in your system to minimize any errors. At staff meetings go over how to handle sticky financial situations such as late payments, declined credit cards, etc.
Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.
Patti’s other company, Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears, YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com.