Members we are told are a family. We grow up with the membership and as we stay at a club longer and longer, we become part of that family as we watch the juniors grow into legacy memberships. That’s partly true, but it’s important to keep a fine line between service to the membership and becoming too ingratiated and familiar with the members.
This being said, we often get waylaid by the minutae of a department – the day-to-day banality of billing or inventory. The day to day business of running a tennis or fitness department can become mind-boggling at times, but it is important that we continue to see through the weeds to our final destination or goal: a happy membership which participates and funds the club or facility at growing levevls.
Maintaining transparency with the members goes a long way in keeping and retaining key staff. Staff stays motivated for a Director who is in touch with his or her membership and sees the relationship between members and staff as rewarding for both sides.
Communication is often the key. Solid and timely communication, ranging in everything from a text database for quick memos about court conditions, upcoming lessons or sudden changes, to email newsletters well-crafted and organized. Add to the above possible “thank you” cards to a member for doing something special. And what do most directors misunderstand? That these communications should not only come from themselves, but from all their staff. Make staff part of your communcations team, and relationships between members and colleagues will flourish.
- Email – Emails are more formal and leave room for marketing and promotional content to be detailed and clear. Email can also be used to aid in the set up to an event or item on the schedule.
- Text – Texts are fantastic for short bursts directly to the person or people involved. Examples like a change in lesson time or a booking in the spa is best by text to the member’s cell number.
- Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – Social media is the newest form of communication that clubs are using. Twitter can be quite personal – tweet a member directly. But we believe that social media is a more general method to sell and promote the club as a whole rather than a department or an event.
What we should understand best is to make such communication using the appropriate technology and aim at making it as personal as we can given the type of media.
Tennis and fitness departments lead to member/member communication as well as member/staff communications at clubs. This all adds to the relationships which are the mainstay of any club. Through personal communications and events, tennis and fitness departments can really add reason for members to retain their membership status.