5 ***** - star service communication as an emotional unique selling point 


Thursday evening 9:37 pm  Sales Manager Paul Sales comes out of his office. He has decided to start fitness training at last. Today he finally wants to fix it and sign a contract. With the studio manager of the local gym, he has made out a consultation appointment with initial analysis for today ... but already for 7.00 pm and thinks: "Well there will probably be no more for me today!" Paul S. picks up his phone: "Good evening and welcome to the gym 5 * service. My name is Mike, I'm a trainer at 5 * service. What can I do for you today? ... Oh, yes Mr. Sales, ... yes of course you can come now. I will wait for you and we have all the time in the world for your questions and analysis. I'm looking forward to see you soon! " Paul is in the studio at 21.50. At 11.04 pm, he is satisfied with a first analysis and a 12-month contract home.  Is that already "too much of a good thing" in terms of service or just right?  The management guru Tom Peters describes in his book the WOW effect (Part 2) how an agent once flown 3,000 miles for a 5-minute new customer conversation, the outcome of which he was unable to predict in advance.  The other day I get an SMS from my dentist: "Hello Mr. Schinko, we remind you of your appointment on 23.4. at 15.30. We look forward to seeing you - your practice team of Dr. med. Friendly.  A well-known fashion label for handbags and other accessories wrote me a handwritten thank you postcard after Christmas shopping in January and invited my wife and me to a glass of sparkling wine the next visit.


Also, my travel agent came by postcard when we were back from vacation back with warm and handwritten greetings.


Standard - too much or a special surprise?

This is probably in the eye of the beholder and right here is the crux!


What is "too much of a good thing" and what exactly meets the expectations of the customer?


How does customer satisfaction arise?

In various analyzes (INNOFACT AG: "Basic Report Customer Satisfaction Analysis", 2008, analysis of studio UniFIT in Cologne by P. Weiland), the criteria and drivers for customer satisfaction in the gym have been empirically investigated:

A mix of hard factors such as equipment status and variety, size of the studio, offer of additional services, pricing models, additional offers (sauna, courses, etc.), opening times, hygiene, showers and changing rooms to the parking lot and the accessibility.

On the other hand, the softer factors: friendliness of the staff, offer trial training, competence of the staff, image of the studio, special contract conditions (interruption in case of illness etc.), offer of parties and events.


Exciting here is v.a. the fact that 1/3 of all members barely perceive changes in the hard facts (here studio renovation and equipment renewal).


On the other hand, the recommendation by friends and acquaintances of up to 57% of the members was mentioned as a decisive service driver.


Ultimately, customer satisfaction arises from the match between the customer's expectations and the subjectively perceived benefits and services.


Exceed expectations:

"If these expectations are even exceeded, the customer becomes a fan." - (Jürgen Frey: "My friend the customer")


A beer garden in Unterföhring. We drove up there with our SUW. A friendly young man takes us from parking in the narrow spaces of the very busy parking lot like. His price for this service is 5.- € when picking up afterwards! This is completely "OK" for us, considering that we do not want to risk risking even the luxury cars parked there.

The beer garden is full - we estimate 250-300 guests. After our snack, we go back to the parking lot. And now we are absolutely surprised: Our SUW is already at the exit of the beer garden. Engine is running, seat heating is already on and the friendly young man keeps us open the door.

I ask him how he knows which car belongs to whom and how he knows we are heading towards the exit and the car is already ready to leave. He smiles, thanks me for the praise involved and says, "This is my calling, I love to give more than you expect! "

Self-appealing, that we gave him more than the expected € 5.00. Service is a mirror!

Our expectations were exceeded and I tell the story of this student in almost every one of my seminars ;-))


So what do customers expect in the gym?

In addition to the classic hard facts (Facility) customers expect v.a. emotional factors such as attention and appreciation, motivation and presence.

These emotional soft factors have the task of making the intangible service visible and understandable to the customer through their communication through visualization or clarification.

Fitness is a classic service, thus human work and intangible trust.



The "core product" is the customer care.

Service quality is never set internally, but always externally from the customer's perspective. Their way of communicating with customers decides significantly on the perception of service quality.


How does customer satisfaction work? - Satisfied customers are the best advertisement:

The relationship between customer satisfaction and recommendation is - as in other industries - absolutely significant.

For example, 57% of all new customers surveyed named the "recommendation by acquaintances" - the word-of-mouth propaganda as the key impulse for their choice of studio (INNOFACT FACT study).

A high level of customer satisfaction significantly simplifies the acquisition of new members and significantly reduces the advertising costs!

Satisfied customers remain loyal to the studio in the long term and are significantly less price sensitive to changes in price models.

Likewise, they train more actively and regularly and thus experience their central benefit / purchase motive "health and fitness improvement" much more intensively.


But why do customers go - Why do members cancel?

Members of gyms were interviewed to ask why they were leaving.


A possible dissatisfaction with the price system was named by the respondents only on number 7 of all reasons.

Also Facilitys and equipment came only on place 5.

At number 1 landed with a long distance: "Because nobody here is interested in me - I sometimes felt as if I rather disturb!".


"I felt like I was disturbing!" - "Service Desert Germany!"


"Service desert" This is what Professor Simon called this attitude back in 1995. Edgar Geffroy sums up this attitude: "The only thing that bothers us is the customer!


According to an online survey by Men's Health, 24% of all members in their studio have never been approached by the trainer!

17% of all members even said that they never see the coach!


OG Mandino ("The Greatest Salesman in the World", 1923-1996) once said: treat your client as if he were the only customer on that day, the only customer this week, the only one this year. Be as present with him as if he were the only customer in your entire sales life!


Be present and always treat the customer with appreciation - customers expect and deserve absolute attention!

And beware of this classic: "From the famous customer number, people quickly become the number and then the" fast number "! (Klaus Schinko, 2013)


USP becomes ESP:

If we used to speak of the clear USP (USP = Unique Selling Proposition: eg only studio with sauna in the vicinity of ...) is today in a homogeneous market with similar price systems only the customer dialogue by service and sales of the most important distinction and quality parameters.

"Who communicates badly with the customer, which also offers a bad service and thus can not have a good product or service."

Service communication thus becomes the emotional unique selling proposition (ESP).



Only 4 out of 100 "dissatisfied" complain pro-actively!

"There are only a few complaints in my studio!"

Be careful, because only every 25th comes out and expresses his dissatisfaction!

We should be glad that he gives us this feedback. Only by his impulse we have the chance to improve our services! Only if I know that he is dissatisfied can I win him back for me!


What does the rest do?

96 out of 100 dissatisfied people are slowly, quietly and secretly fluctuating. But as soon as you sit down at the family table with your acquaintances, you communicate their dissatisfaction at least 5-11 times.

This results in a negative multiplier of 500-1,100 negative references, and here is the social media behavior as about "facebook" & Co. not even included.


So what needs to be done? We should take every opportunity to approach our customers proactively and personally: "Is there something you do not like that we should talk about? Please be open to me, I really mean this question. I want to inspire and retain you as a customer! "


Why should you really look forward to a complaint?

The complaint paradox


In many cases, the fact that, if the editorial staff were positive about a complaint, customer satisfaction even increases significantly above the initial level has been investigated and proven empirically. These customers become even happier afterwards, as customers never had a complaint.

The paradox is that a positive complaint is more successful than no complaint at all.

So we should not be a little pleased about complaints!


In the immediate aftermath of this positive complaint processing is emotionally the best time to talk to the customer about cross- and up-selling as well as active referral!


Between-conclusion: Not the error leads to the customer loss, but the lacking or even missing communication after the error. A customer is only finally lost if he never tells me his dissatisfaction. If I manage to solve his complaint through fast and professional handling, I win the customer emotionally as friend and fan!


Even a customer who has already quit is an opportunity: accept his dismissal and ask him for a personal interview: "I accept your termination as an impulse grateful - what can I do better from my point of view with my other members, so this are happier than you were? ".

Give him a farewell gift - yes you read that right - he will never forget this positive ritual and continue to communicate positively! In our consulting firm tempus-Consulting®, we even say goodbye to our employees with a ceremony. And many come back to us after a few years!


How do you anchor customer satisfaction in your studio?


The duty:

The minimum is the binding determination and training of the internal service standards (handling of inquiries, telephone behavior, behavior in the event of a complaint, goodwill scope ...). Her task as a leader is to fix such standards that she can read and adapt to many other companies

If you take the topic of customer satisfaction really seriously, you should also measure it real!

The sales manager of a dealership called me once and asked me in case of a possible satisfaction survey by the Group please state the grade "very satisfied" in all points. "Very good" would correspond to only 75% and the dealership would have to expect in this result with extensive consequences, if I wanted to avoid this please.

I was quite speechless!


When measuring satisfaction, I recommend making it short, concise and easy for the customer and to get to the very core:

"Will you recommend me regularly and proactively?"

"Let's see if it fits!" By the way, clearly means "NO, I'm a critic!", As well as "maybe" or "under certain circumstances!"


"YES- always and gladly" and then actually deeds must follow. Calculate your referral rate and you know how high your members' emotional satisfaction is.


The freestyle:

AAAAA Pleasantly Different Than All Others: 5 Tips for Surprise Service


Work in the service with emotional intelligence and use the knowledge about the development of emotions specifically!


Tip1: Members as friends and fans

Take every opportunity to communicate actively and personally with the customer. Your time is appreciation in the currency of your customers.

Eat and party regularly with your members. Invite their families and friends to the event. Are you always in the middle instead of outside? When eating together, our "chemistry brain" (the limbic system / our subconscious mind) releases oxytocin - a messenger that can scientifically prove to create lifelong attachment and closeness.


Create a customer adviser out of your most important and dearest customers! Take here also critical customers and opinion leaders!

Ask your customers openly about your expectations and the status quo. Openly accept criticism as a gift and as an opportunity for more customer loyalty and optimization of your services!


Tipp2: Voluntary instead of contract binding

Fear is our strongest motive, not to do something, to poke our heads in the sand, to kill ourselves or flee.

Fear of the possible negative consequences makes us reject purchasing decisions. Especially with services, when we actually buy the cat in a poke, fear and uncertainty is a sales killer.

Fear comes from lat. "Angus" - the narrowness, the limit!

A contract with a firm commitment to the future, 12- or 24 months means for our subconscious mind tightness and limitation! Take away from the customer's fear and make "no contract", ie a training agreement that the customer can terminate at any time on an ad hoc basis, so to speak, a "trial period of unlimited duration", free from any limitations.


It does not work ? - "too revolutionary"?

M. E. the secret to exponential success.

My longtime customer from the B2B coffee supply leaves his coffee system to his customers in the form of a "transfer agreement" without deadlines, ie with a permanent trial period. If the customer no longer wants, the machine will be picked up the next day by the service technician. The effect: customer loyalty and enthusiasm of the customers far beyond the usual industry ties up to 12 years on the "voluntary" of the customer.

In addition, of course, sales and service are much more demanding, even after graduation, in keeping customers over the years. Volunteering is the best incentive for my team to get better and better!


Tip 3: Satisfy the need for security in our subconscious.

We humans are in the focus of risk and pain avoidance. We are looking for security.

For services, we use guarantees, references and certificates as substitute criteria for the emotional verification of an intangible security. Writing is much more important than just oral.


Give a written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: "If you are not satisfied with our services, you will not have to pay a fee this month!"


On my last visit to Berlin, on a brass plate set in the reception block of the Hilton Hampton hotel, I just read this 100% guarantee:

"If you are not satisfied with our service, you do not have to pay anything."

WOW! When I asked the lady at the front desk how often that happened, she said, "At less than 1 in 1000 guests. Our marketing says it's the best incentive for us to get better at service! "WOW- I'm thrilled!


Tip 4: Take the customer by the hand!

One of the greatest forms of security that they can give the customer is when they consistently and actively accompany him in his decision and after:

"Do not worry, I'm with you! I'll help you to optimize your training and reach your training line, I'll take you by the hand and accompany you! "



Tip 5: From concept  to Doing „TUN“ through anchoring and goals:

Of course, this promise must be followed by action, at least the coaches must be present on the surface!


Your job is the past life and role model in the service. Hold regular workshops with your entire team, or attend seminars on sales, motivation, customer value, communication, service, and emotional intelligence.


Make satisfaction and customer retention an income factor and your employees a co-entrepreneur!

Hang at least 30-40% of the income of all your employees on ratios such as satisfaction ratios, customer loyalty, and referral frequency.


Of course, a lot of courage is needed to consistently implement these 5 tips. Think about anchoring genuine service quality thinking as your key success factor in your customer loyalty and customer acquisition strategy! It's worth it - guaranteed!


Apply these tips 100% with a little bit of a long breath, and your sustainable economic success can not stand in the way.


Conclusion :

The customer folder is the most important folder in your studio. Its members are the heartbeat of their company. It is your job to make the customer happy! Fulfill the emotions of the customer: appreciation, presence, commitment, security and security!

Concentrate 100% on fulfilling and exceeding the emotional expectations of your customers and members and all other business metrics such as sales and earnings will result in a positive outcome - Guaranteed!

I'll be happy to help and take you by the hand!




About the author:


Klaus Schinko, * 1967 is NLP-Master, Diplom Volkswirt (Univ.) And Master of Sales.

During his leadership career in direct sales from the salesman to the Sales Manager ppa. (D, CH), he led various sales units in the field and field service with up to 120 employees.

Since 2005 he is self-employed as a sales trainer, sales coach and senior consultant. His focus is on direct sales, emotional selling, telephone marketing, 5 ***** star service and sales office service.

He works across industries in workshops and hands-on coaching with salespeople, office workers, call center teams, and marketing and sales executives.

His slogans are

• "Anyone can ... LEARN!"

• "Emotional selling - to the customer's love!"

• "Lead with heart and mind!"



His clients say about him:

• "Klaus Schinko is a true professional in terms of sales training ... with many innovative ideas around today's sales ... and the best part, it's instantly feasible."

• "The Best - If a coach has an idea of" emotional selling "then that's Klaus Schinko."

• "Mr. Schinko is a grenade!"

• "Mr. Schinko is one who understands us and speaks our language. He knows what he's talking about, he's a role model as a salesman and customer manager! "

• "Not only does he talk, he can sell and he can make phone calls!"