Improving Customers Service in Holmes Place Plc

Laurence Alkin and Allan Fisher founded Holmes Place Plc in 1980 when they opened their first health club in an old plumber’s merchant off the Fulham road in Chelsea, London. They acquired Barbican Health and Fitness from the Bialy Health and Tennis Corporation marking the company’s desire to expand. By July 1992 they had a total of 8,000 members. In June 1994 Barbican Health and Fitness was renamed Holmes Place Plc. In 1993-1996 clubs were opened in Kingston, Ealing and Putney. In 1995 they were also awarded their first leisure contract from a council marking their first step into leisure and facilities management.

They are also the first company to have a council leisure contract renewed. The company floated on the Stock Exchange in November 1997. Also in 1998 they opened clubs in Chelsea, Barbican, Ealing, Kingston, Oxford Street, Hammersmith, Putney, and Brook green, Wood Green, Crouch End, Uxbridge, and Portugal. Also that year they won their first hotel contract in June 2000 Laurence Alkin, the founder stepped down as joint CEO leaving Allan Fisher as sole CEO. By 2001 they already had more than 230,000 members and over 60 private health clubs across the UK and overseas with 15 clubs across the Europe.

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By 2002 they were operating from 68 clubs in the United Kingdom and 18 in continental Europe. In February 2003 Holmes Place plc launched a new fully interactive website. By the end of 2003 Holmes place plc were operating from or managing 76 clubs, 50 in the United Kingdom 25 in continental Europe and joint venture club Chicago, USA. This year Holmes Place was taken over by Virgin. Holmes Place plc’s aim is to be able to set a standard against which all other health club operators are measured and their goals are to be the best in business. This is their way of delivering award winning customer service.

It is about an attitude of mind; professional standards and making our members feel great about themselves through exercise. Holmes Place -prides itself on the delivery of award winning customer service and expects all team mates to demonstrate these values. This is how it advertises its services to the public. The centre in Croydon is an excellent example of all that Holmes Place can offer. It is conveniently located on Surrey Street in the basement of the Grants Entertainment Centre, which is just a few minutes walk from both East and West Croydon train stations and tram links.

Members can access the club from inside the Grants Centre and from Surrey Street, and all members receive fantastic discounts at Surrey Street Car Park which is immediately opposite the club. Their club facilities include 9,000 sq ft of mixed and female only gymnasia, a luxury 20m stainless steel ozone swimming pool, large mixed sauna and hydrotherapy spa, male and female only steam rooms, luxury changing facilities, 2 large Aerobic studios with over 70 free classes every week, RPM cycle studio with 30 bikes, Pilates studio, members.

Holmes Place offers an invigorating range of services and facilities, designed to keep people busy whatever their fitness level. This includes Aerobics, Beauty Clinic, Club Room, Ladies’ Gym, Pilates, Pool, Sauna, Solarium, Spa, Spinning/Studio Cycling, Steam, Step Aerobic, Yoga, Junior Members, Cri?? che/Supervised Childcare, and Hair Salon. Spinning/Studio Cycling. Holmes Place Health Clubs are at the leading edge of the health and fitness market, promoting well-being as a way of life. They claim to remove the mental barriers to working-out and provide members with the latest in exciting and invigorating workshops.

All of their facilities are designed to encourage members to pursue a healthier lifestyle in a challenging yet non-intimidating environment. P1- different types of customers Holmes Place has many ways of getting new customers through advertising and publicity. They have adverts and posters and also television and adverts on the radio, but the fastest and the cheapest and the most effective way is word of mouth. Holmes Places success based on their customer care policy. Customer care is very important. If the customer is very happy they will continue to come back to Holmes Place plc.

They will also spread the word bringing more customers so generating repeat business. When it comes to providing information and services for different cultures within the London Borough of Camden Holmes Place Leisure Management work with Camden council who provide them with all the things they need things like translation services in the leisure centre there is wheelchair access also with a mobile pool hoist for the use by disabled customers. Holmes Place considers a variety of needs such as people of different ages, people of different cultures, non English speakers.

The centre deals with all of these both internal and external customers are stakeholders and they are all perceived as potential customers who together keep Holmes place in business. The staffs have to do everything possible to keep external customers happy as the success of the business relies on customers coming back to Holmes Place. At Holmes place internal customers are treated exactly the same as external customers. “Financially it is a lot cheaper to keep internal customers than it is to find new customers to recruit and train new staff because you would have to put signs up or an advert in the newspaper.

The same applies to external customers. “This is a quote from the divisional Marketing Manager of Holmes Place, Sean Healy:- “What you do is better than what you say” this means that if you say you are going to do something then do it, makes the leisure centre look more efficient Holmes Place plc deals with variety types of customers which are: Individuals- as long as you can afford the fees you can become a member of Holmes Place plc in effect membership is opened to anybody. Groups- examples are members of different clubs like football, tennis, basketball they get discounts.

People of different ages- this means that any one over the age of 18 could sign in. People from different cultures- everybody from different cultures are invited as well. Non English speakers- these people must be given all signs instructions so they can use the machines safely. People with specific needs- this includes people with wheelchairs, special ramps etc. Business men and women- these people can benefit from discounts Fringe and benefits – free membership Customer profile

Socio economic grouping like the one used by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to produces an A-C profile of people who are most likely to be members and can afford fees. Other characteristics are:- 1 Male and female 2 Desire to come physically fit and weight loss 3 Members will live in easily travelling distance from Holmes Place or may be near to work place. 4 Somebody with a secure income e. g. in full time employment. Holmes Place plc need to use information gathered about their customers both internal and external to help meet customers expectations and planning.

P2 Communicating with Customers. There are different ways in which staff at Holmes Place deal with customers, for example, answering on the telephone or face to face queries, dealing with complaints, providing detailed specialists advice about leisure and fitness service or goods e. g. weights training stamina building sports. When communicating face to face the member of staff must include the importance of tone, volume, language and body language. To established and meet customers need. To finish off a conversations appropriately even if with a trouble some customer.

When communicating in writing letters, memo and email it must include house style, tone, accuracy, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The importance of filling up customer quires complaints that is if one of the customers has a similar complains the staff will know how to deal with it. And also answering and corresponding promptly. Customer satisfaction and excellent customer service should aim to exceed customer expectation so the customers cannot think of anything more that could have been done to make them more satisfied.

Whether a business organisation is communicating internally (employees) or externally (customers and suppliers), there are number of ways in which, communication can take place. They are: verbal communication, non-verbal communication, written communication, and technological communication. Verbal communication: Verbal communication can either be done face-to-face or even over the telephone. An example of internal communication is having a one-to-one conversation with a manager. An example of an external communication is dealing a customer complaint over the telephone.

Non verbal communication: When customers make non-signal, such as hand signals, staff can able to judge how they are feeling. The following are some examples of non-signals and each signal describes how the individual is feeling. Written communication: Written communication is when sending documents, such as email or business letter to an individual. An example of an internal communication is sending an urgent email to a manager on the internet. An example of an external communication is writing a business letter to an applicant, to congratulate him or her for being successful in the interview of a job.

Technological communication: Technological communication is the most common type of communication, and it has become more useful than verbal and written communication. Internet and mobile phones are good examples of technological communication. An example of internal communication is having an important conversation with a senior manager over the mobile phone. An example of an external communication is a customer is filling in a customer complaint form on the internet. P3 Measuring customer satisfaction.

Holmes Place plc could measure customer’s satisfaction by analysing membership’s numbers how many they are, the rise and fall that is if they are increasing or decreasing, services and the goods the customers often buys. Customer care is about making the customer feel important. If the complaints ask for something you can’t give you will have to offer alternative. And also do not argue with the customer. After the complaints you will have to discuss it with the manger and take a short a break. They also check the customers complaints if it is constant or if it is rising or falling.