The importance of hiring the ideal staff member in a club

How many times have you dealt with a clerk that doesn't smile, a receptionist that says goodbye by raising his eyes from his mobile phone, or an employee that responds in an unfriendly manner? You have probably met such people over and over again in different circumstances and not as rarely as you might have hoped.
From personal experience each of us is well aware of the importance of qualified staff. Quality in the relationship between staff and customers is one of the fundamental characteristics of any business that involves direct communication with the public.

For better or worse, the reason why very often you remember an experience in a company or shop is precisely the approach you took with the worker who welcomed you and made the experience different from what you had expected.

And yet, when a club is designed, club owners and managers do their best to make the environments pleasant and offer state-of-the-art equipment, without ever taking the time to select and train staff properly.

Obviously, we cannot fail to offer a well-kept context in which to propose the pursuit of wellness and body care. However, like in every service, fitness is closely linked to the experience offered to the customer, an experience that a 4 walls structure can hardly propose by itself every day.

How do I select my staff?

A friend of a friend who is looking for a job, a customer who has been recently unemployed, that person who has become so empathetic with us... Making such choices inevitably leads in the end to having and coordinating staff without the necessary requirements to offer users a top level experience.

Each choice leads us in a different direction and the lack of knowledge leads us easily into error.

It is an error that is easy to fall into, because we often do not know precisely what characteristics to look for in a person and what procedures to put in place to carry out a successful selection.

If clubs today are distinguishable from one another because of the people who work within it, the choice of the staff is extremely decisive, because it will influence in a preponderant way the image of the club itself as well as the experience of the users, who in turn affect the popularity of the club through their word of mouth and their loyalty.

Different staff for different clubs

Differences in club size can significantly change the internal organization of club duties and staff. Smaller clubs have a limited working space, thus allowing front desk staff to take care of the reception, sales consulting and membership management.

By concentrating all phases of your work into one team, you can manage all the different moments in a member's life in your club just by paying attention to the attitude and work of one single group.

The situation becomes slightly more complicated in the larger centres, where the presence of more services and a greater number of members make it require a clear division of tasks.

Each staff team must now specialise in their role. For example, a receptionist, in order to welcome a new prospect in the best possible way, must develop their front desk skills, as well as be ready and willing to offer a dedicated reception process. Furthermore, receiving incoming phone calls, acting as a collector for different parts of the club and handling complaints are some of the many other tasks often assigned to the reception.

This first personnel group is joined by commercial consultants in the management of partners and prospect users. Consultants are those people trained and prepared to achieve sales objectives, providing advice related to the pursuit of well-being, aesthetic beauty or physical performance.

Furthermore, this team has the task of following the member who has just joined during the entire duration of the subscription, making sure to build and maintain a relationship of trust and a channel of communication to retain them, increasing the likelihood of renewal.

In both cases, it is always important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal discussed so far is to provide the end user with a positive and decisive experience during their stay in the club

In these complex centres, in terms of the number of users and collaborators, the attention paid to all the aspects in the offer must be consistent, in order to guarantee a quality product.

Since new members, once registered, come into contact with numerous club staff members throughout their stay - from reception staff to equipment room instructors, from pool operators to assistants - it is essential to share and clarify the procedures of the various staff members, in order to be able to offer the best assistance to the user.

Collaboration between reception and sales

In this synergic route between staff members, the relationship between reception and sales is of particular importance, whose work is facilitated by a close collaboration. Starting from their first moments in the club, a prospect that is welcomed and introduced to the commercial team in a friendly and kind way is certainly going to be more eager to listen to the consultant and continue their stay in the club with good intentions.

Managing waiting times when the sales department operators are busy is another crucial task, for which a good time schedule between the two departments is required. Complaints management is another activity that requires strong collaboration between the two groups. Both tasks are easily pointed out by remarks from users, which can sometimes be positive, but are often comments on possible improvements or even severe criticism.

Through good communication between these two areas, the dissatisfied member is managed in collaboration between club's operators, who are ideally able to intervene and contain the problem swiftly. In turn, the member perceives that they are being understood and followed from the moment they join the club, thus translating into increased member retention and loyalty.
The collaboration between these two areas is generally characterized by two very important elements: harmony between the two areas and selection (and training) of staff members. The staff must be chosen on the basis of the ability of each member to group up and bring stability among colleagues, in order to foster a climate of synergy and harmony.

This does not mean that, despite all the best efforts, tensions may arise between the two sectors. These are sometimes determined by the different conditions of each job; while the salesman has to reach targets every day, which are usually connected to a change in salary at the end of the month, wage-earners at the reception area instead have to perform many tasks, while managing in the best way many people at the same time.

In conclusion, though it is extremely important to evaluate the different aspects of each individual's personality before they are placed in the staff, it is equally important that the procedures of each staff member are presented clearly and shared by all. Coordinating people, moods and actions of all staff to achieve the best result is an extremely complex task and requires constant training, monitoring and attention.

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