My son Christopher is now 16.
For him, it means he can finally be a “proper” member of the local gym.
The gym is at The Swan – the ‘famous’ hotel from Three Men and a Boat, and they don’t accept under-16s, which means we’ve been driving the 5 miles to Cholsey whenever he wants to go.
But now he’s 16, he can stop relying on me and walk there whenever he wants.
Or so we thought.
I rang them the other day to get him all set up, only be informed that the gym wouldn’t be opening until the 10th August, and on a strict member-only basis.
Unfortunately for Christopher, they’re only taking new members from the beginning of September, which means he’ll have to wait until then, but I’d figured I’d do what I could to make sure he could hit the ground running.
I asked if there was a form I could fill in, ready for September, and was directed to one on their website.
Then the guy on the phone told me that the form is online, but won’t work this month.
I thanked him for the information, and managed to hang up without once being asked for contact details, or given anything useful to help ensure that I became a customer when the time came.
How can a business – in this climate – snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when presented with a ready-to-buy customer?
He could have:
- Given me information on membership prices
- Printed off a physical form and posted it to me
- Taken my number and promised to call me back when the form was ready
- The list goes on!
Lockdown has been tough for lots of businesses, but as we emerge, plenty aren’t helping themselves, and it’s a powerful reminder for us all to ensure we’re making the customer journey friction-free – every bit of friction results in money being left on the table.