Encountering Leadership Moments at the Gym

By Jaime Ortiz, Global Channel Partners Manager

This past week I personally had the opportunity to see a leadership moment come to life.  Allow me to explain…

I’ve lived in Singapore for over 8 years now.  My home is here and with that comes all the things required for day-to-day living.  One of those being a gym membership. 

We recently moved to a new office location.  Good right?  Well…my old gym location was perfect as it was literally a few blocks from the old office.  Once I found out about our impending move, I did my research and I was very happy to find that my gym had another location equally close to our new office.  Simple…I told them I was relocating to a new office and wanted to talk to one of the gym representatives about transferring my membership.  That was three months ago! 

We finally moved to our new office space and still no one had called to tell me what I needed to do.  After several very frustrating attempts on my end, I finally received a call from one of the reps.  She then informed me that I would have to re-sign at the new location and pay all the New Member fees as if I was starting from scratch.  Needless to say…I was very surprised given the fact that I was a member for one year already with the chain.  I expressed my surprise and she said she would get back to me the next day.  Radio silence for over a week. 

I gave up and decided to simply bite the bullet and move on to another gym since our new office space is surrounded by several gyms.  One of my colleagues is also a member of the gym and I told her my story and she gave me the contact information for the rep she deals with.  So I decided…let me give it one last try. 

That same day I called and he immediately picked up.  I explained my situation and my frustration over how it had been handled.  He showed empathy and assured me he would look into it and get back to me within 24 hours so he could adequately assess what options I had at the new location.  (Leadership Moment #1)

The next day I received an email from him.  (Now keep in mind, I was aware there would be a transfer charge and an increase in the monthly fee which I was more than happy to pay.  I just did not understand why the other rep wanted to treat it as a net new membership with all the extra charges.)

So back to the email…he said he arranged for my membership transfer and there would be no transfer fee or new membership fees.  All I had to pay was the difference on the monthly fee (which was minimal).  I was pleasantly surprised.  So I immediately picked up the phone and called him to thank him. His response was amazing…he said that regardless of it being his gym location or not he felt it was important to respect loyal members to ensure Brand Loyalty.  This was Leadership Moment #2.

This guy took a bad situation that he could have easily passed on to another rep at the new location but no…he took ownership and lead the process to resolution to ensure I was satisfied and stayed a member of the club.  This to me exemplifies how anyone (with the right mind-set) can turn a negative situation into a positive one by simply taking a few extra steps to ensure customer satisfaction.  That…is a leadership moment.

BTW…he gets no credit for this from a monetary standpoint but I made sure to write his boss and the club headquarters highlighting his excellent leadership abilities in a troublesome situation that had no impact on him whatsoever.  It is important to recognize those leadership moments as well…

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