Word-Of-Mouth is so important…
Running a successful CF gym is not easy. Many aspiring gym owners walk into a box, look around, and think to themselves, “this looks easy”. Man are they mistaken. Most of what makes a Crossfit affiliate successful is not viewable from the outside looking in. This is one of the insider concepts to running a gym: Investing in your clients.
The best businesses in the world do everything they can to make a customer happy because they understand the power of word of mouth and how it can be exponentially awesome or terrible.
When someone has a good experience they tell people about it thus creating more revenue opportunity for you. This can spread like like wildfire (a beneficial one)
When someone has a bad experience, or even an average one that turns bad by unforeseen circumstance, business is lost from this client as well as anyone this customer tells about his bad experience. This usually spreads like the plague…
This concept is so freaking powerful that it can, and should be, the root of all your customer dealings. Think of your business as a service business regardless of the industry you are in. You sell something, make something, complete something, or build something. You are providing a service to a need or a solution to a problem.
Start thinking: “How can I better serve you”
The World Wide Web..Literally
Why is word-of-mouth the new marketing? One word: Social Media (two I guess). The Internet connects people and information from all over the world.
Do something awesome and lots and lots of people will likely hear about it.
Do something crappy and lots and lots of people will VERY LIKELY hear about it.
I hear all this talk about the recession (2009-2012) and businesses closing and I always think of Darwin and Survival of the fittest. The stronger businesses are absolutely killing it right now and growing to kill it even more in the future. The weaker businesses that relied on an extreme over-priced and abundant economy are unable to sustain their business models now that reality has set in and people aren’t spending like it’s going out of style. Be the best you can in what you do and how you treat your customers and you will be the stronger businesses that not only survives but also thrives.
Think ‘Investing’ in your customers
How do you help spread positive word of mouth and reduce negative word of mouth?
Start investing in your customers every chance you get.
Invest more time and money whenever it can add value to the relationship. The up-front expense will usually be repaid over the life of the customer.
It is similar to the effect of compound interest and investing. By making small investments in your customers you will build a large account that will eventually repay you with compound interest.
What are some ways to invest in your customer and your business? Invest in:
Clients or Customers: Over deliver to clients with perks, special attention, and anything you think will be appreciated by the customer,
Your Employees: employee perks, employee training, listen to them, ask for their feedback, talk to them respectfully, treat them as an equal
Your Product: improving your product: anything that is required to make product as smooth and awesome as possible, professional quality branding, a professional website, better customer service or support procedures
Is it an Investment or an Expense?
Evaluate your next expense or purchase and determine if it falls within one of these categories: investment or expense.
Try to save on expenses and try to spend on investments (smartly). Any item that has long term use and adds value to your business should be considered an investment and you should feel more comfortable spending the coin.
Hint: Customers add long term value use and value.
Consumables that deplete, or other expenses that do not add inherent value to your business need a stricter evaluation and make sure to always always shop around for the cheapest options. Often times you can save a ton of money by making a few phone calls or emails and finding the best price.
It doesn’t always cost $
Often times these investments can be an investment of time or very cheap personal touches (postcards, personal emails, etc). Get creative and get investing. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to impress and WOW clients. Especially in a box gym.
Our businesses are usually in a warehouse with sweat, blood, bodies, and weights tosses around on a regular basis. Small touches used to ‘invest’ in your customers will go a long way. You will stand out from your competition. Other gyms will ride the status quo and you will rise above it.