8 Tips For Creating Great Front Desk Rapport
Rule 101 for any Fitness & Leisure facility is to ‘engage’ with your ‘members’& visitors/guests.
The job of ALL staff members is to foster an environment of friendliness and interest in the people in your facility, whether they are casual visitors or “full-membership” clients. This environment is created as soon as someone walks through the front doors.
It’s important to remember that the most important conversation clients will have is with the staff members they meet first (usually that’s Reception). This sets the mood for their visit and will play a major role in their take away thoughts about your venue.
Additionally, the rapport building that is created in the conversations between your staff and members will be the main driver to whether the client/customer decides to keep returning. It is therefore imperative that you teach your staff to be engaging conservationists.
Below are the easiest ways for your ‘Directors of First Impressions’ to create an engaging conversation every time.
- Smile as you greet them – look at the person’s eyes for approximately 60% of the time of the conversation
- Use the other person’s name(if you know it) early in the conversation
- Ask great open questions –(these can’t be answered with a Yes or No); preferably ask about their visit to the facility today(what they are going to do, what they are doing it for, etc)
- Give them your full attention – actively listen and nod and make encouraging sounds and gestures
- Have a sense of humour(the best way to make another person feel comfortable. Use self-depreciating humour or around an interesting take on the situation/environment, but never about the person in front of you)
- Have open body language – never cross your arms or legs or put your hands on your hips; do lean forward slightly towards them
- Find common ground – talk about things that refer back to what the other person has said.
- Thanking them – finish off the (usually) brief conversation with a thank you for coming to visit today
If your staff are already doing this, then you will be setting a very good platform for engaged clients/customers. A happy experience that includes connection with your staff is more than likely to lead to the ‘lifeblood of your business’ returning.
Is there any other rapport building tips that your team practice that work well? Let us know.
Thanks goes to the following authors for contributing to this article.
- Skills You Need – Building Rapport
- Vicki Tuchtan in Sage Fitness’ blog – 7 ways to build rapport with your personal training clients
- Kris Tynan in Australian Fitness Network’s blog – Build rapport fast!
- Jonathan Goodman in The PTDC’s blog – 6 ways to establish rapport with your clients
Written and compiled by Peter Kamper for Links Modular Solutions