Sports Facility Management: Handling Complaints & Grievances
Any business or service provider will know the importance of being able to efficiently and effectively handle complaints and grievances, and sports facility management is no different. It is always vitally important that any complaints are addressed. The worst thing you can do is miss or outright ignore a complaint. Not only could it be putting people at risk in an immediate sense, but in the long term, not addressing issues in a timely and transparent manner will also damage your reputation.
Sports facility management, like any other type of business management, requires you to have a well thought out and ready-to-go procedure for handling complaints and grievances, both from customers and employees. The Sports Facility Advisory has some advice that may help.
There are many different possible situations in which customer complaints and issues may arise. The most important factor in dealing with customer complaints, other than speed, is transparency. If a customer has an issue, you must be ready to respond honestly and openly, unless the information they are requesting is specifically private.
All customer complaints need to be handled with an equal amount of respect and given due time and investigation. The customer who lodged that complaint must also be made aware that an investigation is taking place.
It is also important to make sure that you and all of your staff understand the importance of being open and approachable. Even if a customer is antagonistic, remaining calm and open to discussion is vital to maintaining a professional image and reputation. Some ways to increase the effectiveness of this approach is to repeat the problem back, clarify the specific issues and demonstrate that you are listening and understand.
Sports facility management is a varied and challenging task. While these methods will help address a situation, it is always best to have members of staff who are specifically assigned to dealing with complaints and problems, as the more experience one has dealing with issues such as these, the better equipped they are to handle them quickly.
Staff complaints are often more complex than those of customers. This is because your employees are part of a team. If a staff member has a legitimate grievance with something going on at a facility that is not addressed sufficiently, it may lead to issues with other staff members down the line. One employee with a problem that is not taken care of, or at least acknowledged, potentially causes other staff members to feel that no one’s issues are likely to be addressed. Creating an “us vs. them” atmosphere in sports facility management leads to an extremely unhealthy, often hostile work environment.
Make sure you have an employee handbook that defines the complaints procedure clearly, so employees know exactly who to report issues to and how. It is important to have a clear avenue to the resolution of problems at the outset. You should also make sure that these complaints are kept confidential if the employee so wishes. In planning this you should also plot out the results you hope to achieve in addressing staff complaints so you have a clear goal.
Sports Facility Management Best Practices
Having a plan in place to deal with customer and staff issues is absolutely essential for the smooth running of a sports facility. Although some issues are unavoidable, being prepared for them will lessen their impact. If you need guidance or advice on how to plan out your complaints and grievance procedures, contact our experts at the Sports Facilities Advisory today.