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Customer Service Program Leads to 'Magical Moments'

Akron General Lifestyles - North, Stow, Ohio

What better way to make members feel special than through unexpected recognition? That was the goal of the Magical Moments customer service program at Akron General LifeStyles - North, implemented in February 2008. According to Mark Feakes, operations manager, the LifeStyles staff wanted "to create an unexpected moment during members' daily visits to the facility that left them with a positive emotion of the facility and the staff."

Magical Moments was implemented over a period of four months, two of which were during the slower season, and two during the months coinciding with the mailing of the facility's biannual membership satisfaction survey. During those four months, staff members handed out a Magical Moments Card to members while they were working out at various times of operation and at a rate of 10 percent of the membership total per week. Members were then able to redeem their cards at the front desk, fitness desk or childcare areas for that week's "moment." Redeemable items included bottles of water, healthy snacks accompanied by a healthy recipe, a free guest pass or a free visit for childcare services. To make the moment even more magical, staff were challenged to hand out cards to members they may not see or talk to on a regular basis, as well as to engage in conversations with members when handing out the cards.

"Creating a successful customer service program is always a challenge in our industry, so, with Magical Moments, our goal was to make sure that it always remains unexpected, which gives it that 'new' feeling every time it is implemented," says Feakes. "The members who received the Magical Moments Cards were thrilled and excited. It created a buzz around the facility, initiating conversations between members and staff about 'what's going on.'"

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