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Make A Difference With the Basics

Here are some quick tips on how to increase the "wow" factor in your facility.

Great results! Wow! See for yourself! These are terms we often hear in reference to promotions, advertisements and programming. When it comes to the four walls of your facility, your members and guests can also experience the "wow" factor (like well-kept mahogany and marble), or experience nothing (as in clean, uncluttered space, which is a good thing). You may not have the budget to get the "wow" of mahogany and marble, but you can certainly strive for "nothing." I'm talking about focusing on simple things that may make a big difference to your members and guests. All too often your member feedback box is full of complaints. About one out of every 10 comments is positive. Wouldn't it be great to cut that ratio down by getting less negative feedback and maybe an extra compliment or two? Here are some tips on some little things that can go a long way toward member satisfaction.

Shower curtains

This is an easy one that is often overlooked: Look at the inside of your shower curtains. If they're torn or scummy, toss them. That's one of the last things your members will see before they leave your facility. Have them leave with the right impression. One thing you can do to increase the longevity of shower curtains and cut down on buildup is to draw them closed during your regular checklist walk-throughs and at the end of the day.

Move cardio equipment around

Members tend to use the treadmill, cycle or elliptical trainer that is directly in front of a television. Most cardio pieces come equipped to keep track of usage (miles, hours, etc.). Check your usage trackers and you'll find a trend. Move your equipment around to even out the usage and minimize the potential for breakdowns.
Facility users may not report all that is wrong with your facility or the equipment.

Use your facility

The far left bench press at a fitness center I frequent is the perfect example of employees not taking in their facility from a member's perspective. When I lay down on that bench and look at the underside of the bar rack, I see a big wad of gum stuck there. Not exactly the "wow" moment you want members to have. Facility members may not report all that is wrong with your facility or the equipment. If you and your staff are using your facility and taking it in from a different point of view, you can correct an issue before it becomes one. By the way, I haven't put a complaint in the feedback box yet about the gum. I'm going to wait until they pry that prehistoric wad off of the bench and then write a kind thank you note for taking care of it.

Make a great last impression

When members and guests enter your facility (depending on front desk layout and design), they should be greeted by a well-kept, neat, uncluttered front desk. And what about when they leave? They may be approaching the front desk from the back. Does it look as good leaving as it does entering? The front desk is your gateway in and out. Send the same message both ways. Clean your equipment (go by the manufacturers' guidelines - often soapy water is recommended and disinfectant cleansers are noted to be harmful). Everyone loves clean, shiny equipment. This is just a short list of some simple things that you can do that can really make an impact by going unnoticed. The operational "wow" factor is like camouflage - if members don't see it, you're doing a good job.
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