Personal Fitness Professional - Spring 2018 - 10
The dreaded chargeback
Tracking all components
ou're happily growing your business-signing up new
members and growing your draft-when, bam, you see a
negative amount show on your merchant statement. You
didn't provide this member with a refund, so what could
this be? Meet the dreaded, and largely misunderstood, chargeback.
The process begins when your member "files a chargeback" - this
means the cardholder notifies his or her bank of a transaction alleged
to be in error. The cardholder's bank usually has its own internal process for pre-screening a disputed charge, and if the issuing bank finds
the charge to be valid, the cardholder will be charged. If, however,
the issuing bank finds sufficient evidence to support the cardholder's
claim, it will open a file, notify the merchant's bank of its findings, and
temporarily re-credit any disputed funds to the cardholder's account
pending the outcome of the dispute. The merchant bank will then do
its own investigation. If the issuing bank approves the merchant bank's
findings, the cardholder loses, and he or she will be liable for the
charges and any associated fees. If the issuing bank disagrees with the
merchant bank's findings, then the cardholder wins, and the recredited
amounts will stick - the cardholder will not be liable for the charges.
What you need, more than anything, is documentation which
tends to prove the legitimacy of a charge. This could include: 1) a
signed and dated membership agreement showing the cardholder
as the "buyer," 2) a written notice of cancellation signed detailing
the reasons for cancellation, 3) a checklist signed and dated by the
cardholder showing receipt of legal agreements, 4) email correspondence between you and the cardholder regarding the substance of
the disputed transaction, 5) the cardholder's check-in history, 6) any
notes in your club management system.
The more you can resolve through customer service channels, the
less likely it will be that you get hit with chargebacks. Be thorough
and complete in your approach to getting agreements signed.
Chargebacks aren't always fair, and the decisions made by the
member's issuing bank may not be just, either. Remember, even
when you do everything right, there is always a chance a member
will chargeback a payment and win. The goal is to limit the number
of chargebacks you have to fight and if you do, to have a full arsenal
of facts and documents at your disposal.
Melissa Knowles is Vice President of GYM HQ, providing corporate services
including accounting, payroll, HR and customer service for the fitness industry.
In more than 17 years of industry experience her expertise includes strategic
operations, staff training, cost savings analysis, reporting development and
implementation, fitness department overhaul, client retention systems and
corporate management. firstname.lastname@example.org
| WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM | SPRING 2018
feel like I'm going backwards..."
Eventually, nearly every client says something like this, and
it can be tough for coaches to hear. Often, it can be a lack of
communication or tracking that has them feeling stuck.
With so many components that make up a person's fitness level,
results are sometimes difficult to measure -- especially from a client's
perspective. They may be focused on increasing their deadlift, while
you may be focused on increasing mobility, endurance, and technique.
It is imperative to have systems in place to communicate the
program to your clients, as well as helping them understand what
"progress" means. Ask what their expectations are and help them set
long-term goals. From there, help explain the checkpoints along the
way, and the different components of progress that can be tracked.
Body composition, internal health, endurance, strength, and mobility are all components which can be tracked throughout the year. Track
the number of pushups they can do, the weight they are using for a
squat or hinge, the amount of time it takes to run a mile, etc. Adjust
their tracking program in a way that aligns with each of their goals.
Talk with clients about the expectations of their current program
or phase. Let them know what they can expect to see improve over
the next few months.
Here is an example:
Client goal: Lose weight, walk up the stairs more easily, and go
hiking again with friends.
Client needs: Improve endurance, mobility, and overall strength.
Month 1: Improve 1-mile time and learn how to squat, hinge and lunge.
Month 2-3: Improve squat, hinge, and lunge 10-12 rep max.
Month 4: Improve squat 1- or 5-rep max.
Somewhere along the way, your client will also have lost a few
pounds, all while focusing on the process. The example is a little
generic, but the key is to stay on track with the client, evaluate progress, and focus on the process it takes to help them achieve the goals
that matter most. When clients begin to realize the process, they will
stay much more engaged and motivated while working toward their
Greg Vaughn is the CEO of Premier Fitness and host of The Redefining Fitness
Podcast. Greg started in the industry in 2009, and has grown multiple successful fitness businesses. He is an author, speaker and strength coach for the
general public. To learn more about his mission of "Redefining Fitness," visit: