How Not to Appreciate Customers.

April 19, 2012

I have been going to the same gym for two years.  The gym is privately-owned and not part of a national chain. When I first moved into my condo over eight years ago, I walked into the gym and looked into joining. I felt very pressured to join by the salesperson and quickly walked out.  I joined several gyms after that, but ended up back there simply because it was close to my home and I knew that proximity meant a greater chance of me actually going. 

I soon discovered a cardo-boxing class that I love.  The trainer is wonderful and I met life-changing friends there.  This is the only reason that I continue to go to this particular gym.  There is no management there at all.  Some of the front desk staff is great and others are simply clueless. The trainers are friendly and they really add value; for that I am grateful.

The gym owners, who are rarely onsite, just opened a new state-of-the-art facility and have been focusing all of their efforts on the new gym. It’s further away and even if it’s nice, I won’t travel that far to go.

Today I received this email.






Wow.  I am blown away by this act of appreciation. I can give them my money ahead of time and save 10% (which is about $36). Sure, the savings is great, but this is NOT an act of appreciation. This appears to be a need to get some cash flow fast.  This is a sales tactic, not a gesture of appreciation.  If they offered me a free, no-strings-attached, personal training session or even a free protein shake at the health bar, that would have seemed to be an act of appreciation.

I might feel differently if the gym had a record of customer service.  I might feel differently if I haven’t received emails in the past that were barely comprehensible, let along grammatically correct. I might feel differently if the equipment always worked and the restrooms had hand towels.

I am not writing this post to bash the gym.  This email just struck me as a good lesson about the importance of relationship building and how it is important to be authentic.   There are so many factors that go into building relationships and positioning yourself as a partner to your customers. The way that you greet people, your digital communication, your appearance, your willingness to help your clients. These are all ingredients for relationship building.

Your assignment for today

Take a look at one aspect of your business and decide if you can tweak it just a little (or maybe a lot) to act more as a partner for the customers that you value. It might be as simple as sending a note that says, “I Appreciate You.”

Thanks for reading. I honestly appreciate it.