Feature Article - March 2011
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Focus on Members

In a Tough Market, Customer Relations Is at a Premium

By Brian Summerfield

If you were between 15 and 50 years of age during the 1980s, chances are you remember a little show called Cheers. For the few of you who aren't familiar with it, this long-running sitcom was set in a Boston bar and featured a group of quirky regulars who always found their way into hilarious and embarrassing social situations.

The show's theme song, however, sounded a decidedly more sentimental note with lyrics about a place "Where everybody knows your name/And they're always glad you came." Perhaps without meaning to, the writers touched on the core principles of all great customer relations in that couplet: knowing your consumers on an individual basis, and being genuinely happy that they're frequenting your business.

For people who own and operate health clubs, relating to members on a personal level is more important than ever. "As corny as it sounds, this is the time when you want to know your members' names," said Bill Windscheif, vice president of gym development at national fitness chain World Gym International and founder of the consulting organization WinFit Enterprises in Lantana, Texas. "Don't let them feel like a number."

If you want to find out how to develop a customer relations approach that makes your members to feel appreciated and valued, read on.