Coffman Offers Service with a Smile

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State-of-the-art equipment, top-notch facilities and a diverse schedule of programs may help draw customers to a health club, but there's one thing that keeps them coming back, according to Sandy Coffman: the atmosphere.

Don't let the lighthearted title of her Wednesday session, “10 Secrets to Making Fitness Fun,” fool you – Coffman means business.

“Money can't buy happiness,” Coffman told attendees at her session today. “But people will spend money for a happy experience.”

Coffman, president of Programming for Profit and a regular presenter at Club Industry shows, pointed out that if they simply wanted to get in shape, your members could buy a treadmill or stationary bike to use at home. What they're paying you money for is the club experience. And, she explained, that experience starts with your club's staff.

Coffman shared her five steps to a professional greeting, which she believes all owners and managers should make sure their staff know and use. They are:

1. Smile. If you don't feel like it, it's alright to fake it, according to Coffman. “The more you fake it, the more sincere you will become,” she said.

2. Make eye contact. “A smile isn't any good if you don't aim it at anyone,” Coffman said.

3. Introduce yourself first. The key to making your members and guests feel welcome isn't being more approachable, according to Coffman. It's being more approaching.

4. Shake hands as though you mean it.

5. Give them a compliment based on appearance or performance.

Try it out at your club and you'll be well on your way to giving your members the happy experience they're paying you for.

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