NATURE OF BUSINESS

You have been hired as the Assistant Manager of the business (presented below).  The Owner has requested you to prepare a comprehensive report about current services.  He is keen to identify where issues are, and find out different customer service strategies which could be implemented.  It is important to him and the business, that customer services are improved immediately.
 
Your response is to comprise a minimum of 1,000 words

INTRODUCTION

This report looks into the reasons for non-profit of a small leisure centre run by 25 employees comprising of a gym, swimming pool and café.  The business of the leisure centre is steadily declining for the last 2 years and the owner, Mr. Jack Alexander wanted to turn it around. He needed a fresh pair of eyes to relook at the issues and suggest viable options to achieve this goal.  I was hired as an Assistant Manager and was asked to prepare a comprehensive report on the current issues, the reasons of the issues and recommendations to book profit.

 

NATURE OF BUSINESS: LEISURE CENTRE

KEY AREAS:

The key areas of business of leisure centre are-
•    Gym
•    Swimming Pool
•    Café

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CHALLENGES FACED:

The following challenges were identified
a.    No of customers visiting café declining over past two years
b.    Customer complaints  
    (i)   irregular opening hours
    (ii)  poor service
    (iii)  no action or report on poor service
    (iv)  products often out of date or not available
    (v)   Café- poor menu choices and limited selection options  especially with respect to different dietary requirement
    (vi)   Poor reputation of service on social media
c.    Employees Complaints: 
(i)  Roster change regularly
        (ii)  No customer service training received
         (iii) Equipments in the gym not used correctly

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations can use used to resolve some problems and address the customer service issues as well.

A) Customer Service Training for the Employees-

Employees are the backbone of any business.  They make or break a business. Imparting formal training to the employees on customer service would go a long way. Some key areas the employees must remember and practice are-
a) Customer is always Right- The employee must always remember that a  customer is always right, never to argue or challenge. One disgruntled  customer can cause enormous damage to the business.
b) Empowering the employees-Customer service is most effective when the  employees are empowered to make decisions without having to seek approval for every small details.
c) Apologise when you make a mistake- Employees need to own up when they make a mistake as being honest with a customer strengthens the relationship.
d) Adopt Active Listening –When a customer is speaking to a team member, make it a point to clarify, understand and make notes. In addition, inform the   customer of your understanding and get an endorsement for it.
e) Employees must be polite and professional with a positive attitude and smile.
f) Know the customer- especially the regular and loyal ones.

 

B)Keeping the Employees Happy

a)    Keep a proper schedule for employee roster.  Let there be a rotation of shift  after a fixed period of time agreeable to management and employees alike.  No      sudden, unexpected changes, however in case of an emergency, back-up plan  must be created in advance and followed with compensation given to the     employee either as Overtime (remuneration) or Compensatory Day-Off.
b)    Play to the strength of the employees- not all employees are the same.Identification of strengths of each employee is the key.  Assign work according to their strength and likes, they would go an extra mile to do a good job.
c)    Recognition program for the employees- Having a recognition program e.g.     
d)    Employee of the month or Star of the week and displaying it on the notice board can boost the morale of the employees thereby making them strive harder.
f)    Flexibility- Offering some flexibility on working hours such as on weekdays  when foot-falls are low can be another way of improving the employee morale.             
    Based on such flexibility, when need be especially during holiday season or over the weekend, the employees will extend without any complaints

 

C)Ideas to Grow Business- Keep the customer happy and satisfied.

(i)    Gym- 
•    Hire a certified trainer or let the present trainers undergo certification who     know the use and right way of using the gym equipments, this will eliminate any accident or injury cases in the gym.
•    Ensure the bathrooms are clean and well stocked.
•    Have hand-sanitizers in the gym at convenient location and room fresheners sprayed to keep the environment fresh and clean.  Have an employee clean the equipment after use by a member to ensure no cross infection occurs.
•    Proper maintenance and safety checks of equipments with reports displayed.
(ii)      Swimming pool-
•    Regular maintenance, cleaning and chlorination/ ozonisation of water
•    Adequate number of clean towels
•    Having a life-guard when the pool is open to customers.
(iii)       Café- 
•    Have a selection of menu based on different dietary requirement-Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-free (people with Celiac Disease and Guten intolerance), Non-vegetarian, Salad/ Fruits for the diet conscious, Baby food and Soups and Sides. Try having a healthy option against most orders that can be customized per need of the customer.
•    Have a small area cordoned off as children’s play area with a few games to keep toddlers and tweens occupied.
•    Having a small library with books based on fiction and non-fiction can also keep the customer’s happy
•    A Playstation can also be installed, not only will this attract a certain section of the customer, it will add to the revenue of the business.

 

D)    Miscellaneous- Few other recommendations  to help the business grow

•    Fixed Hours of Business- Having a fixed opening and closing hours makes a business more professional and patrons would know exactly what time to visit. Not only would this improve the business, but would also make it convenient for the customers. 
•    Reward & Referral points as “Loyalty” bonus- Use a system to reward loyal customers with points based on their purchase or referring someone.  Once a certain sum is acccumulated, redeem them for service or purchase from the leisure centre.
•    Inventory Management- Having specialized software or an employee track the inventory of the stocks will ensure that the business never runs out of stocks or has piled unaccounted or dead stock.
•    Website- In this digital age, having presence on the internet is crucial. Even a 1 page simple website can help the business grow many fold
•    Easy Registration Process- Online with payment options will help a business grow faster as people no longer need to come to the physical location of the gym to renew or pay subscriptions.
•    Social Media and Blogs- Having a presence on various social media     platforms and answering any questions if raised.
•      Contests- Free Membership/ free use of café or swimming pool for     the winner will generate a lot of enthusiasm, curiosity and potential     customers.

 

Budget Allocation

Studies have shown that customer service is more profitable than marketing. In view of this a portion of the budget must be allocated towards betterment of customer service of leisure centre.  

     

Health and Safety Rights 

WHS or Workplace health and Safety (also known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH& S) involves the assessment and mitigation of risks that might have an impact on the health, safety or welfare of people at workplace. It is especially applicable to small business owners. This includes health and safety of customers, employees, contractors, suppliers, volunteers, etc. Every business owner must ensure that work health and safety obligations are met.  If work health and safety obligations are ignored by a business, the health and lives of people and customers are at risk.  This amounts to the business owner breaking the law which may further lead to penalties and/ or prosecution. 
Benefits of WHS
•    It helps in retaining  staff
•    It helps maximize the employee productivity
•    It helps reduce injury and illness at workplace
•    It helps reduce the cost of injury and worker’s compensation
Obligations of Small Business Owners
•    To provide a safe workplace/ premise
•    To assess risks and implement appropriate measures to control them
•    To ensure all goods and substances are handled in a safe way
•    To provide safe machinery and material 
•    The workplace layout must be assessed and safe systems of work must be provided
•    To provide a suitable working environment and facility
•    To provide insurance and workers’ compensation for all the employees
Note-     WHS regulations vary in different states or territory; hence it is best for small business to check up on the specific state/ territory’s WHS regulations before implementing. 

 

CONCLUSION:

Lesiure business is one the most booming and profitable business models of our time.  Due to the fast paced life led by most people, having a place where one can spend a day relaxing either by the pool, in the café or sweating it out in the gym is a welcome relief.  The leisure centre definitely has a good potential to make loads of profit as it has a gym, a swimming pool and café at one place.  However, due to mismanagement and non-planning, it is currently running a loss.  Based on my analysis of the problem at hand and the recommendations, I am certain, the business will turn around leading to profits and a possible expansion of the chain in the near future.

References 

Australian Government Business (2018) Workplace health & safety. Retrieved from https://www.business.gov.au/Info/Run/Workplace-health-and-safety
Australian Government Business (2018). WHS/OH&S acts, regulations and codes of practice. Retrived from https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/workplace-health-and-safety/whs-oh-and-s-acts-regulations-and-codes-of-practice
Brehm, K. (2014) 7 facts that show that customer service is more profitable than sales. Retirved from https://www.help.com/blog/2014/09/22/7-facts-that-show-that-customer-service-is-more-profitable-than-sales
Business Queensland. (2017) Health and Safety Rights Obligation. Retirved from https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/protecting-business/risk-management/safe/rights-obligations
Keefe, P (2016) 10 customer servive training tips your employees need to learn.  Retrieved from http://connect.edgetrainingsystems.com/blog/10-customer-service-training-tips-your-employees-need-to-learn
New York State Depatement of Health (2012) Retrived from 
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cardiovascular/heart_disease/toolkits/docs/cafeterias_cafes_implementation_guide.pdf


 

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