Christian Harris appears on The Fitness Retention Podcast

Below is a transcript of Christian Harris’ appearance on the Fitness Retention Podcast in June 2019

 

You can listen to the episode here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0he56zJizVMPBztzINdy2g

 

 

All righty, ladies and gentlemen, today we have got Christian Harris of Slip Safety Services. We’re gonna talk about one of the unsung heroes of retention, and that is cleanliness and safety. One thing that we don’t often dive into is just how serious an impact this can have on your members, but also on your potential liability, so really important if you are an owner/operator here or you’re just generally looking to improve the look and feel of your gym, this is an excellent episode. There should be plenty of info at the end of the episode on how you can connect with Christian and learn more about him, and his company, and what they can potentially do for you. If you, or someone you know, is an expert and would like to be on the podcast, shoot me an e-mail at A-G-Y-M-O-T-I-O-N @gmail.com. That’s agymotion@gmail.com, or hit me up on LinkedIn, Alex Armstrong, same spelling, gymotion: G-Y-M-O-T-I-O-N, and you should be able to find me there. All right, here we go with Christian Harris. Here we go. The Fitness Retention Podcast and I would like to welcome Christian Harris of Slip Safety Services. What’s up, Christian?

 

– Hey, Alex. I’m very well, thank you. Yourself?

 

– I am doing well. Can’t complain. Beautiful day here in San Francisco.

 

– Well, it was a beautiful day here in London, but it’s now dark, so I think it’s probably still beautiful outside, but it’s a bit dark.

 

– A beautiful night.

 

– Yes, a beautiful night, yeah.

 

– Christian, can you, for the people who may not be familiar with your work, give a brief intro to you, your company, your work, and why are we talking about safety and cleanliness on the Fitness Retention Podcast?

 

– Sure, sure, so I, as you say, my business is called Slip Safety Services, albeit that we have a focus on floor care, slightly more broadly than just around slips, but that is one of the areas we focus in on. I’ve been helping leisure clubs to improve their kind of floor compliance, let’s say, be that cleanliness, or brand standards, and/or safety for coming up for a decade now, ranging from high-end private clubs all the way through to schools, hotels, council-run leisure centers, and everything kind of in between. I’ve done that, both from a product-supply perspective, so here’s a product that you guys can use, whether that be in-house cleaning staff or outsourced cleaners to kind of improve the standards yourselves, or what we focus on now is a service that we can deliver to you on a periodic basis to kind of really intervene and drive up the standards every so often. In terms of who I’ve done that for, I’ve given you an idea of the kinds of customers, but that’s meant I’ve engaged with everybody from the kind of CEO of Virgin Active all the way through to a 16-year-old lifeguard who doesn’t really understand why they’re having to clean a floor, and everything in between, so I’ve really kind of got a grip on the realities of what this means and the effects that it has on the bottom line of clubs, and I guess that’s really why we’re talking today because there’s quite strong evidence that getting better cleaning standards leads to much better membership feedback which leads to a better bottom line, so that’s the premise for the discussion, I suppose.

 

– Awesome, well, so obviously this is a little different than a lot of my other podcasts because a lot of times what we’re talking about is kind of like the people or the technology side of retention in the fitness industry, but what we don’t often talk about is that cleanliness and equipment are the number-one and two drivers of retention in the fitness industry, and it’s so easy to overlook, but when you go into a gym that’s clean you kind of think it’s par for the course or it’s normal, but then when you go into a gym that’s dirty you think, oh my god, you know, this place is disgusting, and it it almost makes it seem like it’s something that happens automatically, but cleanliness is not something that happens automatically, so when you’re, let’s say, going into a facility, what are you looking for where, like, oh, that is definitely something that needs to be improved? Like, what are the first things that catch your attention?

 

– Sure, well, I think just going back on what you said slightly, this is about people, actually, and I think it is about systems as well, so I think it does kind of tie in to some of the other topics that you’ve discussed. If you think about a member experience within a club, who are they really gonna see? They’re gonna see somebody on the front desk, although lots of clubs, certainly here in the UK, are now experimenting with fewer staff on the front desk, and kind of automated, and so on, but they’re most likely to see a kind of a locker room attendant or a cleaner, so both in terms of the function or job that makes a sale, but also the kind of broader member experience of these guys, and if they’re doing a good job and providing good customer service can have a really positive impact on the member and how they perceive the club environment, so in terms of what I’m looking for, I mean, I, as you gathered, I kind of focus in on the floors, and the walls, and the sort of grottier end of things. I mean, if you think about floors, for example, the statistic from the IHRSA is, from memory, 5% of members perceive floors as the cleanest area in the club, but 68% of members look at floors when assessing cleanliness, and obviously these are the biggest surface areas, and hardest to clean, and so on and so forth, so I mean, the key environments that I find people struggle with to maintain the standards are in the kind of wet areas of the clubhouse: in the locker rooms, the showers, and the poolsides, and I guess washrooms would be included as well, and I think, from a member perspective as well, if you’re in those environments, particularly in the showers, you’ve got that kind of, you’re standing still, so you’ve got the time to perceive what the cleanliness or lack of cleanliness is, and you’ve also kind of got this vulnerability because you’re either wearing very little clothing or no clothing, and so you kind of have that strange experience of being forced to kind of be still, feeling a little bit vulnerable, and actually having that lens of looking around, and so I think those are the key areas where people can probably make the biggest difference, and where I would tend to start looking. I tend to find that the front-of-house areas, the receptions, the cafes, those are pretty well maintained ’cause that’s a little bit more straightforward to do that. Yes, there’s always things you can improve upon in terms of the speed of cleaning up tables and all this kind of stuff, but it’s these kind of grubbier areas, shall we say, where you’ve got more difficult things going on where people seem to struggle.

 

– Yeah, and you know, I didn’t even think about the vulnerability aspect of it. Like, when you spend so much time in gyms you kind of, like you walk around the locker room and you’re either naked or you’re not wearing much, and you just kind of, you don’t really stop and think that maybe a lot of people only do something like this once a week or twice a week, and it doesn’t feel normal to them.

 

– Yeah, or, in my case, twice a decade.

 

– I hope not. You spend a lot of time in gyms.

 

– No, I do, I do. I, yeah, I’ve got two young kids so I don’t have as much time to go to the gym as I would like, and I’m one of these people, rightly or wrongly, that kind of, my wife always tells me off for this, but I kind of feel like if I’m gonna go to the gym I want to actually dedicate myself to doing it, and go three or four times a week, and work on a program, and so on and so forth, so nowadays I tend to just concentrate on doing my 12,000 or 13,000 steps a day as kind of the bare minimum to at least maintain some semblance of health.

 

– Some form.

 

– Yeah.

 

– Well, you know what? Anything is better than nothing. Obviously you know that, and six miles a day of walking is, if everybody in the, let’s just use the U.S. as an example. If everybody in the U.S. walked six miles a day, we would not have incredible obesity, so I think what you’re doing is probably more than the norm, but gyms are great, and once is better than none obviously, so where do you, where do you start these conversations? Let’s saying you’re dealing with like a GM, or a territory manager, or a CEO, someone in that level. Where do you start the conversation?

 

– So I think the first thing is really trying to give them some perspective in terms of understanding where they are, but also understanding what the benefits could be of doing it better, so I’ve got a couple of quotes here, which I sometimes would reference, so there’s one from the IHRSA which says, I’ll use the exact wording they used rather than the wording I tend to use ’cause I tend to use pound-for-pound, being in the UK, but they said, “Dollar-for-dollar, “cleanliness might be the most powerful tool “to maximize member satisfaction, member retention, “and average revenue per member in the club,” and then Paul Bedford, who you’ve had on the show before, there’s a quote from him which says, “Cleanliness remains one of the most important factors “in how members judge the performance of their club “and an area in which many clubs fall down,” so I think getting the first sort of step of the journey is, because most people probably don’t perceive or recognize that they have a problem, or how serious the problem is, or whatever. I quite often liken cleanliness to the waistline, so I got married. It’s my fifth wedding anniversary in July, and if you’d asked me, say two years ago, to put on my wedding suit, I may have struggled to tighten up the trousers. I’m pleased to says that today I can put them on, but your weight can creep up on you, and before you know it you’re in a sort of a bad position, and I think cleanliness is kind of the same because, just as you don’t really perceive the changes in your weight ’cause it’s happening on a daily basis, and very gradually and slowly, if you’re a gym, or the club, or an office manager of a club, and you’re just seeing these areas day after day after day, you don’t really notice that they’re kind of degrading, and getting worse and worse, so giving people that perspective on where they really are, and what the benefits would be of getting it right, is probably the starting point, and then trying, as with anything where you’re looking to try to improve, you might need some investment, so thinking about how can I get a return on that investment by quantifying it?

 

– Mm-hmm, and to piggyback off of your point, and this is just from someone who’s spent a lot of time in a lot of different gyms, it’s not just what it looks like, and one of the main things that I think about when I go into a gym is the five senses, and what does the door handle feel like? Does it feel like a bunch of sweaty people have been touching it, or does it feel clean? What does it smell like when you walk into a gym? I mean, if you work in a gym, and you are there five or six days a week eight hours a day, it’s like your house, like you don’t, you get used to the smell of your house. You get used to the smell of your gym, but when someone completely new walks in, it may be spotless, but if it smells like crap, that’s gonna be visceral reaction, even if it is totally spotless. I think underrated, for sure, is how gyms smell, how they feel, how they sound, all that stuff is a big factor that is often overlooked.

 

– Yeah, I think the other thing that people sometimes confuse is sort of maintenance issues and cleanliness, so I’ve seen a lot of data on Net Promoter Score type surveys from members, where they’re complaining about cleanliness, but actually, if you look into it properly, it’s actually a maintenance issue or something like that, so yeah, I think getting clear on what, exactly, we’re talking about, and, as you say, thinking about all these other aspects of it. It’s not just how it looks, but it’s, as you say, how it feels. I mean, I was in, nothing to do with a health club, but I was in a a sort of leisure park yesterday, looking around some of their kitchens and restaurant areas, and I was walking through the main restaurants, and the floor was sticky. You know, when you kind of, your feet are like sticking to it, and it didn’t look dirty. I don’t think any of the people eating their lunch would have said the floor was dirty, but kind of it was. I knew it was grubby and not very nice because of it was sort of sticky, and so yeah, those sorts of things you can see, and again, if you’re lying on a floor on a rubber mat doing some stretching or whatever, you’re gonna, you are gonna smell. You are gonna feel. That’s, again, you’re stationary, and you’ve got that time to take note of these things, whereas if you’re on a treadmill, you’re moving, or you’re doing functional training where you’re moving around, you’re probably not gonna be noticing stuff maybe as much.

 

– Yeah, you hope you’re paying attention to what you’re doing.

 

– Yeah, exactly, particularly if you’re swinging weights around.

 

– One thing that I saw, I believe it was on your website, maybe it was on one of the kind of like assets that you sent me before we were recording, was the time of doing a deep clean, like the time of year–

 

– Yes, yeah.

 

– The value of maybe doing a deep clean in July versus doing it in December. Can you maybe elaborate on the importance of when you do it, and then the ROI that can–

 

– Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, so we, I think everybody knows that the, I don’t know if it’s commonly known as the golden quarter, but I’ve heard it referred to as the golden quarter of member acquisition is kind of January onwards, when people have made their New Year’s resolutions, and, you know, I’m gonna get fit this year, I’m gonna join the gym, and so on and so forth, and you’re likely to get, I think it’s something like five times as much footfall of potential new members in January and February as you are any other time of the year, so if you think about that from the perspective of most clubs have annual subscription fees, that also means that your biggest potential area of loss of members is also in that sort of January/February time, so we really strongly advocate to people to, obviously in an ideal world your facilities would be 100% perfectly crisp and clean at all times, but being realistic, you are gonna see some deterioration over time, so we really to people to, if they’re gonna do any deep-cleaning stuff, to do that in December, and we’ve calculated that you can get kind of a 20X ROI on the deep clean if you carry it out in December, based on some industry stats such as the proportion of members that leave due to cleanliness, the uplift in new business sales you can get through higher perceived cleanliness, et cetera, so that’s kind of, we’ve got some good data, quantitative stuff, but also qualitative stuff from salespeople, and so on and so forth, so yeah, the two periods that typically would be a good time to do a deep clean are, as we say, December, and then probably sort of June-ish before the kind of school holidays, when you’re gonna start getting your highest footfall, ’cause again, that’s where you’ve got some risk of people leaving, but also some good opportunities for referrals and introductions if you’ve got more people coming into the facility, and the facility’s cleaner, nicer, better environment to be in, they’re more likely to, from a Net Promoter Score perspective, speak positively about it to their friends and colleagues, and therefore you’re gonna get some more people through through the door.

 

– Yeah, one, and I just had like five questions come to mind. One thing that I try to do in my work is look for correlations, and I haven’t ever thought about this before, so now my mind is just racing. Do you have any, and it’s okay if you don’t have information readily available about this stuff. I know I’m kind of putting you on the spot, but is there information on the kind of like objective measures of cleanliness, however that would be categorized, the objective measures of cleanliness, and how often people visit, or objective measures, and how much time they actually spend in the facility when they visit?

 

– I’ve got data, not exactly answering that question, but I’ve got data which shows, for example, Net Promoter Score. This is spend on cleanliness and hygiene, and so there is a correlation there, so, for example, let me just pull this up.

 

– to know, though, like, if you had a score of this on the cleanliness scale, average members stayed 15% longer, which–

 

– Yeah.

 

– X% more spend on ancillary products or services, stuff that like–

 

– Yeah, there’s,

 

– really cool.

 

– There’s a statistic, again, from the IHRSA, which says that if you are in the upper quartile of spending on housekeeping, i.e. cleaning staff, and cleaning consumables, and so on and so forth, your revenue per member, your total revenue per member, is 2.35X, a club that’s in the lower quartile of spend, so in other words, your investment in housekeeping and cleanliness significantly drives your overall revenue per member, and the retention of those clubs in the upper quartile versus the lower quartile, was 10% greater. That’s one. That’s one example.

 

– Hmm, what other statistics do you have that might make me ask more questions, like when you google, like, I like, we’re looking for things that kind of make you go huh, so what do you have that might cause the average to wanna learn more?

 

– Well, NPS, I mean, I think most people, tell me if I’m wrong, but most people would say NPS is a very good barometer for member satisfaction, and should correlate to revenue. NPS, where a club is perceived as very clean, is percent, where it’s perceived as unclean, 26%.

 

– Ooh, huh, okay.

 

– So that’s pretty compelling case there, If you believe in NPS, then you should be investing, and you believe that NPS is a driver for your revenue, you should be investing in cleaning .

 

– How about, are there like standard metrics where we’re looking at maybe you have 5,000 members, this is the amount that you should spend on cleaning per year per member? Are there statistics like that, or is it more like square-footage based? How do you kind of like quantify how much you should actually spend on these types of services and products?

 

– Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, I think what happen, what actually happens in real life, certainly in clubs that I have come in contact with in the UK, is that the budgets for cleaning are set based on the previous financial year’s performance, so irrespective of the footfall, irrespective of the size, you know, if you’ve Club A, which has turned over a million pounds and made a 10,000-pound profit, they’re gonna have a certain budget, whereas Club B, which has turned over half a million pounds and made a 10,000-pound profit is gonna have a different budget, and that can actually, when it comes to cleaning you need to look at it a bit more scientifically, so there are studies, I haven’t got the numbers in front of me, but there are lots of studies around time in motion and all these other sorts of factors, which will drive per square foot you need to really invest X amount of time or X amount of cost to clean this kind of properly. I think there are, so that’s one issue is that the budgets may be, from the operator perspective, aren’t really set based on the need. They’re just set based on a kind of arbitrary, I guess you could call it, parameter around the overall financial performance of the club. There’s also kind of some more existential issues around cleaning as an industry, so if you’re thinking about outsourcing your cleaning to a contractor, that is a hugely competitive market, where you’ll always be able to find somebody that will say they’ll do it cheaper. They’re under massive price pressure. They’re under massive margin pressure. What typically happens is they just, they’ll say they’ll do X. It’s a bit like a builder, if you’ve ever done a construction project on a house. They’ll say it’s gonna cost you 100,000, knowing full well it’s always gonna cost you 150, but if they told you it was gonna cost you 150, you’d never give them the work, and cleaning sometimes can be a bit like that, so what ends up happening is that they kind of then underdeliver, and then, if they’re underdelivering, and you’re not getting the standards you want, you, as the GM of the club, think, well, I should cut budget here because, well, they’re not delivering anyway, and therefore you kind of get this cycle of budgets going down and down and down, and standards going down and down and down, rather than actually saying, well look, what have we got to clean here? What’s the standard we want to achieve? How do we do that? Let’s look at it scientifically because you need a certain amount of time to clean an area. You need a certain amount of chemical to clean a certain area, et cetera.

 

– Hmm, do the needs and, I’m assuming, I’m kind of assuming the answer here, but let’s look at maybe like a boutique fitness studio and a big-box gym, and let’s say maybe someone is doing like a high-intensity interval training, like a hit class or a circuit class, where they’re sweating a ton, and getting the place generally dirtier per person per hour than in maybe a big facility. Are there significant costs associated with operating a boutique versus operating a big gym, relative to the number of members?

 

– I think in that scenario there may be. I think that, obviously, that the more footfall and/or the more contamination you’re introducing, the more kind of cleaning that you need to do, but it’s all about can you do that cleaning efficiently and effectively? I mean, I think there’s a lot of wastage that goes on, and so you probably find that in reality these places are spending about the same, but I think if you wanted to achieve in a boutique setting, you’re probably wanting to achieve the best standard, and therefore you probably would be wanting to invest a little bit more, particularly if, as you say, there are kind of more intense exercises going on, ’cause I mean, things like sweat mats, that’s the sort of thing which is gonna introduce a slip hazard. It’s gonna introduce a smell, et cetera. It can be quite unsightly if it builds up on the floor or on the walls in the showers, and so on and so forth, so you really wanna be up with that on a daily basis, or even maybe even more frequently than that.

 

– Have you ever seen a gym, or like a leisure center, or anywhere like that using a Roomba?

 

– Don’t think so.

 

– What if they made like a Roomba for gyms, where it pumps out a nice smell, and it goes and dries up sweat, and decontaminates it like that?

 

– Yeah, I have seen, I saw something advertised, probably a few months ago, in a magazine, and it was kind of like this, I think it was for sanitizing. I’m not sure if it was actually cleaning, but it was like a, you’d go in overnight, and you’d almost like put a mask on and like mist the whole place, which kind of, yeah, kind of makes sense. The theory of that makes sense to me. I don’t think you’re cleaning much there, but you’re, if you’re sanitizing I suppose you’re doing something.

 

– Yeah, so two, I have two big questions on this show. The first one is, what is something every gym can do, starting tomorrow, to make more money, and I’m really interested in your answer because I think it’s gonna be something that nobody has ever said before, so how can gyms make more money long-term?

 

– Well, in very simple terms, looking at it from the prism of what I do, I strongly believe that they can make more money by being cleaner and safer, so if you can quantifiably improve your standards of cleanliness, and if you can quantifiably improve your standards of safety, and your floors, as in prevent people from slipping over, bearing in mind, as we’ve said, there’s evidence around a correlation between cleanliness and member revenue, and there’s also the average cost of somebody slipping over, which is the most frequent type of accident in the sector is, in the UK, at least 10,000 pounds, so that’s a lot of memberships to make your 10,000 pounds, so if you could actually invest in getting this right, you’re gonna get quite a significant financial benefit.

 

– Hmm, hmm, okay, and how about the same question: What’s something every gym can do, starting tomorrow, to save time?

 

– Well, I think, to save time I would be thinking about, again, I’m gonna answer it from my prism of my niche, prism of cleaning, but I think just really thinking about what are the tasks that you need to do, and what frequency you need to do them, so I see a lot of, and this is kind of maybe a fault of supervision. I wouldn’t say it’s a fault of cleaning operatives themselves, but I see a lot of clearing desks, and wiping tabletops, and doing this kind of stuff which is easy, from the perspective of I’m a cleaner and I’d like an easy life, and I see not enough of scrubbing the shower walls, or scrubbing the poolside floor, which actually would make quite a big impact, and is more important, arguably, from a standards and a safety perspective, so if you could just think about allocating time more effectively and more efficiently, that alone would make a difference, so I’ll give you another example, which is something I tell people all the time around a swimming pool, which I know not every club has, but if you can think about a swimming pool, typically you’re walking out from the men’s changing room, or the female changing room, onto one side of the pool, and then maybe you turn left, and you go along, and you’ve got the entrance into the pool, and then you’ve maybe got your sauna, and your steam room, and you turn around the edge of the pool, and there’s the Jacuzzi, and some showers or something, so two of the four sides of the pool are getting used. The other two sides are not really getting used at all, so therefore when you’re thinking about cleaning, well, those two sides of the pool don’t really need to be cleaned very frequently at all, whereas the bits that are getting the footfall, we should be trying to clean those more frequently, so just thinking about what you’re doing in a more logical sense, that’s gonna save you time and give you a better bang for your buck, really, in terms of the outputs you get.

 

– Hmm, yeah, I never, I’ve never thought about that. I’ve thought about that in like equipment usage. You monitor how many people are using what kind of equipment at what time of day, how long they’re on it for, et cetera, et cetera, but I haven’t actually thought about the ground.

 

– I think generally, if people, there’s a lot of smart people in this industry, and they’re investing their time thinking about, as you said, equipment and other things like that, which is all good stuff, but perhaps if some of them turned a bit more attention to this, that would be helpful.

 

– Hmm, okay, so have you been into, let’s just use like the last year, as an example, have you been into a facility where you walk in and you think, wow, this place absolutely nailed it. I have nothing to do here.

 

– I’ve never, ever been in anywhere where I thought that there’s nothing that could be done.

 

– Well, how about maybe some brands that, or locations, or whatever, that really impressed you with what they were doing?

 

– Yeah, sure, so I mean, I have to say, I’ve seen some local authority leisure centers which are doing a really good job, but conversely I’ve seen some kind of high-end clubs that are doing not such a good job, so I can think of, I mean, someone like Virgin Active here, they have always kind of prided themselves on being good when it comes to cleanliness, and I’ve done some work with them over the years, but as I say, some of the local authority gyms I can think of, there’s a place in Rugeley, which is in Birmingham, in the Midlands, which you wouldn’t expect to be anything particularly impressive, but that was a very clean club, and well looked after. I think that probably came down to the manager of the facility driving that standard through his or her team.

 

– Hmm, yeah, I mean, ultimately it all comes from people, right?

 

– Yeah, exactly. It’s all a mindset. It’s what do you, as the general manager, or the operations manager, or whatever, what do you buy into that is gonna have the most positive effect on your membership and your, and like, I guess also from a personal perspective, what’s your personal gain as well? If you’re incentivized on retention, then to me, cleanliness is gonna be something you look at more closely because cleanliness will help you to retain more customers.

 

– Yeah, yeah, okay, Christian, where can people learn more about you, and your work, and Slip Safety Services? How can people find out about what you’re doing?

 

– Sure, so the best place to go is probably the website, which is www.slipsafety.co.uk, and I’m also very active on LinkedIn, so I’m connected with you, Alex, so if anybody’s connected with you, they’ll find me as a second-degree connection, but failing that, they could go to the full URL, which is linkedin.com/christian-harris-slip-safety, and then trying to make it clear, and then we’re also on Twitter, obviously, so the company is @slip__safety. We had to have two underscores, regrettably, and then my own Twitter is ChristianH_SSS, so they’re good places to go. LinkedIn I’m very active on. I post that’s every day, which could be photos, observations. I mean, recently I posted an interesting photograph from a health club changing room floor, and basically it was kind of did you know or not that if you can see the kind of texture in your tiles, that actually means they’re really dirty, and I showed the kind of patch that was clean, where you can’t see the texture because it’s clean, the bit where, the rest of the tile that’s dirty. You can see the kind of undulations and stuff, so but that’s maybe a quick top tip for people to look out for if they’ve got tile floors, particularly if you can sort of see the grooves, as such, that’s probably a sign that they’re a bit dirty, so yeah, LinkedIn, there’s always stuff going out, and on the website we do videos, and articles, and stuff on a kind of weekly or more frequent basis, but that’s kind of more long-form stuff, 1,000 words here or five, 10-minute videos there.

 

– Hmm, yeah, well, I mean, I think, exactly what you just said, like the, if you can see the texture in your tiles, that’s a good reason to talk to an expert because there’s gonna be a, there’s gonna be 100 things that you know that the average GM of a club doesn’t know, and that’s not a reflection on the GM. It’s a reflection on you and your expertise, and I think that the same way for any kind of expert, like you can’t expert in everything.

 

– No, I mean, I use the analogy a lot, whether it’s somebody that’s, yeah, a GM of a health club, or whether it’s maybe a health and safety manager. You’ve got such a broad remit that you kind of have to have a mile-wide understanding of things that are going on, and obviously if you’re a mile wide you can only ever really be an inch deep, whereas what I do is kind of an inch wide and a mile deep, and obviously there are other people in other niches that would be applicable to a general manager around personal training, and sales, and equipment, and all these other things, that would know a hell of a lot more than me on those areas, but I think having the support of experts in certain areas is only gonna be a good thing. One thing I would say, though, is that I think people people will often seek advice because they recognize they don’t understand everything themselves, but often they can get kind of duped, or fobbed off, or whatever by people in the industry, like don’t necessarily believe what the cleaning company says to you, that this is the best way of doing it. Let’s put it to the test and get them to prove to you first that they’re gonna achieve the results that you want, and ideally try and get it quantified in some way. You can do things like swab testing to assess the level of bacteria on the floor, and that’s a good test for how clean it is, ’cause I mean, I could take you to a typical health club with a tiled floor. We see a lot of the, certainly in the higher-end gyms we’re seeing a lot of these kind of wood effect tiles, don’t know if that’s the same in the U.S., but that seems to be kind of the trend of the moment, but those tiles do get dirty, but I mean, I could take you to one of those clubs, and clean a few different tiles in a few different ways, and they’d probably all look, to somebody that was kind of uninitiated, that they were all pretty good, but because of the way they were cleaned slightly differently, some of them might have some residues on, some of them might not be fully hygienic, and so on and so forth, so there are layer upon layer of detail in some of this stuff.

 

– Yeah, 100%. Yeah, I mean, to your point, like to the uninitiated eye, it probably looks the same, but under a microscope it doesn’t.

 

– Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly. It’s no different, I guess, than if you’re experts on equipment, you know that this equipment is gonna give you better performance, and so on and so forth. I’d have no idea on that, or if you know about, if you’re a personal trainer, like I know you are, you know, this exercise is gonna give you the best results for these muscles. Again, I know nothing about that, but some, well, a little bit about that, but not as much as you, but yeah, it’s about knowing what you know and going into that depth of understanding is where you can really make a big impact.

 

– Yeah, 100%, well hey, Christian, let’s wrap up with that. I really appreciate you coming on the show, and I know this is like kind of a different topic than we normally cover, but I would bet you that everybody that listens to this is going to learn a number of things that they have never even thought about before, and I think that that is really important because oftentimes we have very similar discussions with slight twists on, like maybe someone would give you a great tip for how to do an outbound e-mail when you’re trying to get a prospect back, right? That is so different than the different ways to analyze the way how clean your pool is, basically, like there are so many different ways to look at making money, and saving time, and creating a better environment for your members, and this is one of them, and it’s one that we don’t focus on, probably, enough, so I just wanted to thank you for coming on and sharing some expertise, and giving some practical tips for clubs that ultimately want to create better member experiences.

 

– It’s my pleasure, Alex, and I’d be very interested in the outbound prospects and e-mail discussion, personally, but for everyone else, hopefully they got some value from this, and what I would say, guys, to the listeners, is feel free to reach out. I’m in the UK, but that doesn’t stop me from being able to help you, wherever you are, with some advice: photographs and stuff. I can probably help you to solve quite a few problems without needing to hop on a plane for a few hours to come and see you.

 

– Yeah, , I’m sure. All right, Christian, well, thank you. We will wrap with that, and that is another episode of the Fitness Retention Podcast signing off. Bye, guys. All right, that wraps up my episode with Christian Harris of Slip Safety Services. There should be some info at the end of that podcast on how to get in touch with him, and if you’d like to get in touch with me, shoot me an e-mail at A-G-Y-M-O-T-I-O-N @gmail.com, that’s agymotion@gmail.com. Once again, thank you for listening to the Fitness Retention Podcast. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to learn from such smart and unique people, and just get a really holistic view of the entire industry. I hope that this podcast is helping you do the same, and I would love your feedback. I would love to have you or someone you know who’s an expert at what they do on the show to talk about how to make the entire industry better, so as mentioned, shoot that to my e-mail, A-G-Y-M-O-T-I-O-N @gmail.com, and we will set it up. All right, thank you, adios.

Leave a Comment