What do you do?

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A parent came to me and told me that she wanted a different coaching style for her compulsory gymnast. I understood, gave the child a hug, and told her to work hard at her new gym. The parent also wanted to leave her rec gymnast at our gym. Struck me as a little odd, but not wanted to say something stupid, I let it go and did not comment on it.

Come to find out later that this parent had been complaining about my program to other parents while sitting at my gym and had called several other team parents, told them about the new gym, and asked if they wanted to go there too!

What would you do?
What should I have done? (I can share what I did later, but I want honest opinions first :p!)

I'm sure I'm not the first to experience this. What is anyone else's experience?
The customer is always RIGHT.

Talk with them and try to find a solution. Make it very clear that problems must be brought to management or they will never be fixed. Also, make time to randomly walk through the viewing room to stop negative conversations.

If there becomes a point in which the customer is not happy with anything and other parents are complaining about this negativity, then the parent has become a threat to your program.

If someone becomes a threat to your program, then they must not stay. Give them a refund...and ask them to leave. They are no longer a customer and you can consider them WRONG.

In other words, there are a few (very few) situations in which an owner (only an owner) should remove a customer from the gym.
I think you did the right thing. As aparent, I know parents always talk about coaching in the lobby and if they leave, they try and influence others. Our coaches just ignore it and figure that they have a great program and those that know it stay.
pretty simple. Show them the door!! If you are not happy hear I understand not all programs are for all athletes. I respect your decision to go to another gym and am actualy happy that you are sticking with the sport. But if you think I am going to let you sit in my lobby and bad mouth my program you are greatly mistaken.

People like that are cancer. Cut the parent loose before the cancer spreads!!
As a parent who sits in the viewing area and watches I was recently subjected to 2.5 HOURS of a rant :eek: from a parent who is not happy w/ our gym. Is our gym perfect? No. I doubt there is a perfect gym.

She complained about how may skills her daughter has "lost" since coming to this gym. :confused: Ok, why are you still here? Go back to "X" gym - oh - can't go back there, she will be too embarrassed by the amount of skills she has lost :eek: This is the only girl in the gym I am aware of not gaining skills. She has been passed by several girls.

Anyway - not enough room here for the whole thing. Trust me the 2.5 hours is NOT an exaggeration (another parent came in about an hour into it).

I think that different programs work for different people. I think that most people know that and will take this w/ a grain of salt. Especially if they know that this person whines every time they walk in the door.

I understand the whole Customer is always right thing however, if it is undermining your business and they are that unhappy, you should have the right to say "perhaps my program is not for you"
I know this might sound silly, but maybe confront her? Pull her into the office, say you have heard that she is really not happy, and see what the specific details are. Maybe it's a specific coach, or training process, or something. Of course, she may just be an over controlling parent who has nothing better to do. I wish you the best, let us know how it turns out!

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