I was just reading a blog post on the subject of recent health and fitness club closures. The blog stated that most of the time, if the health club had a surety bond, the members would receive a refund for the unused portion of their membership term. If the club did not have a surety bond, then the member was out of luck and it appeared there was no recourse to be reimbursed.
The blog post did bring up a solution that I thought was a brilliant customer service move – Sometimes another gym may offer to accept defunct club memberships in hopes of getting consumers’ renewal business down the line.
When we fix the problems that consumers are having with our competitors, then we become the hero in their eyes. If other gyms in the area honor the now-defunct memberships, it is a marketing opportunity that should be considered a gift. Provided that the equipment is at least on par with the closed gym, the classes and pricing comparable, the customer service they provide will be the deciding factor.
By providing excellent customer service and showing gym members that they are valued and appreciated, the new gym is not only providing the opportunity to sell themselves to the transitioning member, they are building a relationship which will pay off in increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, referrals, and profits.
So, when there is a problem in the eyes of your potential customers, fix it if at all possible. If it wasn’t your fault, you’ll create the customer centric reputations all smart businesses strive to be known for.