Many people recently have been complaining about the experience they’re having at our fitness club – Equinox Fitness. This is a fantastic facility with top notch equipment, classes and personnel. However, recently two people I know and myself have had membership cost issues with the club including signed contracts that the club said were no longer valid, misquotes and mischarges to credit cards, etc. If it’s happening to us, then it has to be happening to other people.
How does one of the most respected fitness club chains in the world have such poor skills when it comes to the most important aspect of the experience – getting members to re-up for another year? This is the bread and butter of the club’s financial picture and they’re screwing it up – big time.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Admit it. Retailing today is tough. Too much competition and too many big guys who can roll over you by offering cheaper prices and more goods are a big part of the present retail equation.
But we have a weapon. It’s called customer service. And good customer service means the customer is always king (or queen). And that involves doing whatever it takes to make them happy. From accepting merchandise past the return policy date to offering them a little freebie here or there. It’s one of the easiest ways we can differentiate ourselves.
So many people forget that it’s easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Loyal customers are easy to market to, spend more and shop more often. The old 80/20 rule applies to most small retailers – the top 20% of your customers are indeed providing 80% of your revenue.
So cut your customers some slack and treat them like the royalty they are. If you do, they’ll pay you back again and again.