During the past 24 hours, two current gym members asked if the gym I own – X Fitness – is shutting down. Here are the problems with that question:
- The question has a dual meaning: (i) is the government shutting us down again? (ii) are you going broke and going out of business?
- Either way, that question poses a risk to customer retention. Answer it wrong and you loses customers.
- We answered both questions regardless of which question was asked – we are not going out of business and we are not shut down by the government.
- Then, we had to answer their next question, about the “Orange Level Restrictions” that our region entered into a couple of days ago.
- Personally, I have no idea what Orange Level Restrictions are because I am on a News Detox for a number of reasons.
- Our staff had to Google ‘Orange Level Restrictions’ and read newspaper articles to determine what the restrictions were.
- Having to Google newspapers to find out how your business will operate the next day is one of the top 51 definitions of insanity
- I’m still confused about what exactly Orange Restrictions mean and how to implement them because they are abstract concepts open to wide-ranging interpretations.
- Adding to customer confusion – our neighbouring regions are in Red Level Restrictions.
- It’s humanly impossible to run a business effectively when the government controls and changes your business operations with bare minimum notice and even less communication.
- I found out about the Orange Level Restrictions 2 hours before they came in effect during a phone call with an ex-staff member who worked at our gym. He couldn’t fully explain the Orange Level Restrictions. I couldn’t understand his explanation. If he had not told me, I would have been unaware that our entire business operations would dramatically alter in less than 2 hours.
- The threat of government shutdown has not gone away because of Orange Level Restrictions. Imposing “restrictions” has the exact same effect as circumstantial evidence in court – it can lead to wide-ranging conclusions. No consensus. That means our current and potential customers logically assume we are shutting down soon.
- The fact that customers ask if we are shutting down suggests that there are more customers who think we are shutting down. Those 2 customers are the only ones who actually asked. There’s a presumption of widespread customer confusion about our short-term operation – will gyms be open or closed by the end of the week?
- Its humanly impossible to measure the full damage done to businesses because of customer suspicion of an imminent shutdown.
- Customer “mere suspicion” of shutdown is an oxymoron. It may actually mean they have a “reasonable grounds” belief that we will be shutdown, a belief that will dramatically influence their decision to join our gym.
- The only solution is call the next play today. Not the next play tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Call the next play today.
- But calling plays today is never, ever easy. I learned as a police officer and football coach that split second decisions requires the high-level skill of rapid-fire evidence interpretation and decision-making that has inherent flaws.
- Evaluating evidence during pressure-packed moments limited by a time-clock, is a skill that takes hardcore training & years of real life&death experience. Making the call without the benefit of limitless time & thorough study of the evidence includes the high-risk of making a bad call.
- Bad calls are deadly.
- Bad calls will never be fully eliminated as a consequence of split-second decisions. Never.
- Pandemic Business Operation has re-defined the concepts of opposition and competition. We are fighting forces that were never imaginable pre-Pandemic.
- Conclusion – its humanly impossible to fully communicate to every customer about whether our business will be open or closed or ‘restricted.’ The word and concept of ‘restrictions’ creates the unnatural struggle – the unbalanced playing field that cannot be balanced by one simple call. One wrong call and your business dies. You go broke.
New #podcast compliments of X Fitness:
Blessings & all good things