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Work it Out!

Work out What does Customer-Centric sound like?

I was listening to an interview today.  The person being interviewed was a small business owner discussing how he stayed in business through the pandemic shutdown of 2020.  He owns his own gym in South Florida.

The simple message that I took away from this interview was that his focus was on what his customers needed and how could he continue to serve them.  At no time in the interview did he say anything like, “How am I going to make money to stay in business?”  Certainly, that is and was a justifiable concern, but he appears to have recognized that revenue and survival needed to start first with making sure his customers’ needs were met.

I’m sure there were other things.  Two things he did.  First, he rented out his equipment, some of which costs thousands of dollars, to his customers.  There was certainly a risk that some of that equipment would never be returned, but he felt the value far outweighed the risk.  This gave his customers access to the tools they needed to continue to exercise, and the rental payments helped some with cash flow.

A second example was that he created virtual training and coaching sessions.  Many of us have figured out that we had to operate virtually and Zoom has become our friend.  What I liked about his story was that he had good intent in his approach.  Often, people go to gyms for the support system and/or for socialization.  Just having the equipment at home does not mean it will get used, so he worked to create an environment that would keep them engaged and continuing to exercise.

I belonged to a gym during the pandemic.  I never heard from them and my exercise routine failed miserably.  When I did hear from my gym, their message was a “woe is me”; they encouraged us to come back despite local bans so they could start generating revenue again.

How did you treat your customer during the pandemic shut down?  Did you put their needs first or yours?  Did you think about how taking care of your customers in creative ways could also meet your needs?

Mandy Dietz



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