General Managers and Fitness Managers have important responsibilities many of which revolve around member interaction and satisfaction.
A key performance indicator (KPI) is retention. The retention KPI measures how many members stay each month and is an essential factor that correlates to the quality of service provided.
One well-researched service that is designed to maximise retention is the induction or new member ‘journey’. In general, a new member will join, be given an induction/programme which may include a health and safety tour and health check, then book in again in 4 weeks for a check up/reprogram. This usually continues, in the system 2-3 times after which the member has no more ‘scheduled’ gym time but instead would ask for advice on an ad-hoc basis.
The system has a few drawbacks including monitoring and logistics such as who, when, how; with most gyms having their own unique method. The purpose of this article is not to propose a new method for the member ‘journey’ but offer some ideas on how to monitor the quality of service given.
Methods of assessing quality:
How can Managers measure and monitor the quality of service provided during an induction?
The answer would be to choose a selection of assessment tools that can be easily used group wide, allowing for variations on processes and still allow for a system that is objective and logical.
Below are a few examples of such assessment methods:
Visual inspection of how the induction is done while a member is being shown around.
Assessor can see and hear the content, structure and delivery of session
Staff will be on best behaviour and is therefore unlikely to show common style
Assessor acts as virtual member
Allows for a closer view that will highlight eye contact, behaviour and confidence
Nervousness can cause mistakes
(There are also professional mystery shopper companies that provide this service)
Pre-warn a member or experienced gym practitioner to keep track of key criteria during induction.
Staff will not be aware they’re being assessed and will be more likely to act as normal
Quality of mystery shopper evaluation. Will they be objective? Are they trained to know what to look for?
Arranging suitable candidates and times
Anti – ‘Big brother’ attitude
A checklist can help staff to know by rote what to do and when even allowing for varying member types.
Empowers staff to make own judgments on performance
Honest self evaluation is not easy.
Staff might emphasise good points and downplay bad points
A written or oral test or to ensure all aspects of induction process are understood.
Easy to assess
Doesn’t mean that they’re knowledge is being used during the induction.
Need to change questions each time
1 staff to induct, 1 staff to be the inductee, 1 staff to be the assessor
Group work can highlight the differences in approaches.
Staff can control their progress
Takes up extra time for 3 staff.
Likelihood of subjectivity and favourable assessment is high.
Record the session and playback
Useful to see one’s own style from another perspective
The fitness staff would ask a member to help with putting together the ideal induction which is then performed in full to a manager
Allows staff to take control and practice their style to a flexible process.
Training/practice makes perfect
When will there be time to practice? Who would want to go through many inductions?
‘Staged’ and therefore useful to make things right, but will they be consistent day in day out?
Member fills in sheet immediately after induction
Simple to administer
Members see we care and their feedback is important
Relying on information from non-professional for feedback.
Consideration for timing of quality control is also important. Which day, which time, how often?
Working on a bi-monthly model a framework for quality control could be based around the following questions:
1. Were they on time?
2. Did they meet and greet?
3. Did they explain the induction procedure?
4. Were they suitably dressed and clean?
5. Were they friendly and communicative?
6. Did they provide a tailor made tour and introduction that was appropriate to your needs/wants?
7. Were H&S aspects explained?
8. Was the health check informative and accurate?
9. Was their knowledge and advice accurate?
10. Did they do a demo on the Power Plate and ask for contraindications?
11. Did they book you in for a further appointment and give an appointment card?
To learn about effective Fitness Management visit ISRM Fitness Management
Simon Bubb © 2010
Source by Simon Bubb