The new operators of the leisure centre in my home town are having a bit of a hard time recently. It’s a council owned facility and they changed service provider earlier this year. As well as teething troubles in the changeover of membership systems, the delay in getting the gym refurbished and a general lack of communication in the transition, the biggest complaint has been about the continuing level of cleanliness in the changing rooms. Both the local town Facebook page and that of the centre are full of complaint after complaint about how dirty the swimming pool changing rooms are, and the apparent lack of an effective response.
Members are leaving because of it.
I think everyone understands that keeping an area like a swimming pool changing room clean all the time is difficult, and the layout of the changing rooms isn’t great, but it is done elsewhere, and there surely has to be a way to solve the issues, and to make sure that the promised deep cleaning happens when it should.
There are simple but crucial issues like this in businesses everywhere – basic things that if not managed or resourced well, will cost you customers.
What are these issues for you, and are you avoiding the pitfalls that my local leisure centre seems paralysed by:
- Are you committing enough budget to solving it? A few extra hours of salary and cleaning material that prevents a loss of loyal (and particularly membership) custom is money well spent.
- Are you leading the people responsible for performing these functions well, and managing their time and priorities sufficiently?
- Have you created enough of a sense of mission and purpose for your team, especially when it involves lower paid staff in functions like cleaning, reception and anything customer facing?
I don’t know enough about the position at my local centre to say for sure what the issue is, but I wouldn’t mind guessing that each of the above are strong factors. With a change of ownership, establishing a positive culture, creating the impression that you care about staff and instilling a strong sense of pride in the mission (giving every member and visitor a positive experience) are key.
Whatever it is, I hope they cotton on soon. With a 30 year contract, it’s going to be a rough ride if they don’t, for the service providers – and whatever members they can keep.
CSR is a key factor in helping to create a sense of purpose and mission for your team – giving you a vehicle to inspire, motivate and lead your team, which has huge knock on effects for the business and the customer experience. Contact me now to find out how I can help.