After I got out of the service in the early nineties (1990's, not 1890's wise guy) I got a job as an assistant manager at a Domino's Pizza.
Back then Dominos had a very specific brand promise - Deliver your pizza in 30 minutes or you get $3 off (it used to be 30 minutes or free, but that only lasted a couple years, as it turned out to be a very unprofitable strategy).
This was a huge differentiator in the marketplace. Instead of waiting for what seemed like forever, you could ring up Dominos and you knew you were going to be chowing in 30 minutes. And if they didn't, you could tip the Pizza Driver $3 more, right you cheapskate?
So what's that got to do with your fitness business?
Well you have a brand promise too, even if you don't formally call it that. People seek your services based on your advertising, or even better, word-of-mouth because of all your raving fans. There is an expectation every customer has when purchasing your service, based on what they have seen or heard about you.
Need #4 on the Sales Level of the BHN is Delivering on Commitments, and the question we ask is;
"Do you fully deliver on your commitment to your clients?"
The quickest way to lose business reviews and get a poor reputation is to let your customers down - to not fully deliver on your commitment to them.
There are subtle ways this can happen. If you advertise high energy, high intensity group fitness classes and play polka music, not only are you going to let people down, you are probably going to have someone suggest counseling.
Seriously though, this is part of the sales cycle we don't tend to think about as much, and we tend to be "either/or" rather than "both/and".
As in, either I am focusing on sales or I am focusing on service, rather than having the systems in place to make sure both are being done, all the time.
One way you can identify if you have a problem delivering on your commitments is by measuring your churn rate. If you have as many people going out the door as you do coming in, you have a problem that you need to hone in on. Customer acquisition is a huge time and money suck when this is happening, and it can be pretty emotionally draining as well.
As an aside, we were always pretty pleased with ourselves that our retention rate was about 97%, until we realized that even at that, we were losing over 35% of our clients a year. Ugh.
Delivering on your commitments means doing what you say you will do, every time. and if for some reason you can't, you need to communicate why, every time.
Are you delivering on your commitments? Do you have the feedback system in place to prove it? Do you have systems to make sure sales and service are not mutually exclusive?
Make It Happen!