There’s no way around it: the customer experience aspect of your gymnastics club is often what separates the good from the great in the industry. Making your clients feel like part of a family will not only keep them in the fold long-term but also bring others to your organization through positive word-of-mouth.
Discover 4 ways you can enhance your gymnastics club’s customer experience:
No one knows the value of a great customer experience more than one of Amilia’s ambassadors, Kyle Shewfelt. An Olympic champion and one of Canada’s most recognized gymnastics personalities, Kyle continues to leave his mark on the sport in a big way. He founded Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics, one of the industry's most cutting-edge gyms, with the goal of bringing this exciting recreation option to the masses. With approximately 2,000 participants partaking in classes or activities at his gym every single week, it's safe to say his customer experience strategy is working well.
We recently sat down with Kyle and asked him about the biggest keys to his success in this crucial area of his business. Here's what he had to say:
Get on a First-Name Basis with Everyone
Getting to know your clients well starts with something as simple as learning their names. It goes both ways too: having kids and their parents become familiar with coach's names makes a business feel way more personal and authentic because it shows how much you care as an organization. Our coaches all wear name tags, making them approachable at all times for everyone who comes through our gym’s doors.
We also have a "Team Member Wall," where each coach has a photo with their name underneath. That way, participants can still get to know who’s who, even if they’re too shy to make that first move conversation-wise. I also ask all coaches to know every kid's name by the third class and write down one characteristic (pink glasses, blond hair, etc.) on their attendance list to help them remember. We also make it a priority to learn parents’ names as much as possible and to get to know all the families a little outside the gym. We even have the parents in our parented classes add their names to their child’s name tag so we can ensure to call them by name as well.
Collect Customer Feedback
When it comes to hearing what our customers have to say, our staff always bring open ears and minds to the table. We read every single item (really) and pay special attention to the constructive feedback. We ask ourselves, “Is there a solution to this problem?” Even if the answer isn’t obvious from the get-go, we work as a team to figure out ways to implement 2-3 actionable items based on the feedback we get about multiple issues.
A perfect example is the viewing/waiting area at our gym. When parents voiced the concern that they were running out of places to sit or stand and watch the training sessions or classes that were in progress, we decided to do something about it. We renovated the area by knocking out large change rooms that were hardly used and really took that feedback to heart. This move really built up trust and improved the customer experience overall. Whether it’s through the surveys we distribute after each session or 1-on-1 phone/email conversations that are had with parents, we ensure that everyone knows their opinion is valued.
Positive Online Experience
These days, if your online storefront isn’t of A1 quality, then you’re operating at a deficit right out of the gate. The reason why is simple: 98% of customers interact for the first time with us online; they even sign up for classes without ever meeting us in person. Be it through search engine results or social media, a poorly executed web presence is a major barrier to consistent customer engagement.
In addition to your website or social media accounts, the online registration experience that you offer to clients must be intuitive and easy to use. No one likes to stand in line for in-person registration either since long lines and filling out physical forms are cumbersome, to say the least, but that doesn’t mean you can sleepwalk through the setup for your online portal either. That’s why we made the decision to go with Amilia; at most, we’ve only ever had a couple of registration phone call questions on public registration night, which is a huge win by itself.
Put the Customer First, No Matter What
This really applies to every facet of your business, yet there are some organizations out there who still don’t get it: you must put the customer first. At all times, no matter how small the detail. To give you an idea of what I mean, all our staff parks in the spaces farthest from the front door, treating the customers as if they were guests in our home. People remember these kinds of gestures and will get that warm, fuzzy feeling before they even get out of their cars.
In the end, it’s never about our employees – it’s always about our clients. Maintaining a friendly demeanour and a clean facility goes a long way towards ensuring that our customer experience is second to none. In fact, our team members are all paid additional time in between classes to chat with parents and kids. As a result, they’re made to feel like they’re a part of something special, which leads to lots of return business and a very healthy organizational image.
As you can see, Kyle’s advice comes from a place where customer experience is always a priority. Whether it’s getting to know both the athletes and their families on a first-name basis, collecting and properly evaluating feedback from all their clients, making sure that their online storefronts and communication channels are of pristine quality or doing something simple like making sure parking spots closest to the building are not being used by staff members, the message couldn’t be clearer. Take care of your customer base by paying attention to the small details and they’ll take care of you by voting with their hard-earned dollars.
Kyle Shewfelt has been a supporter of Amilia’s online platform for several years. Get a glimpse into why he chose our software over other marketplace options below:
Check out Kyle's full-length webinar on this topic by clicking the button below!