|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Personal Training: 6 Secrets of Award Winning Customer Service
Would you believe that your ability to provide quality customer service to your clients is at least as important as your ability to get them results from their training program? Did you even know that customer service was going to be part of your business model? After all, what does personal training have to with customer service?
The answer: everything. Remember that your clients are people first, and their status as one of your clients comes second. Knowing how to tend to the needs of your customers will literally make the difference between a long and prosperous career in the fitness industry, or a short-lived stint that leaves you wondering what career path you should try next!
In order to assist you in walking down the success path, here are six methods that you can use to "WOW" your clients on a regular basis, keeping them happy, loyal to you, and engaging in long-term prosperous business relationships. In no particular order they are: contact, date and event recognition, listening, flexibility, forward thinking, and over-delivering.
When you get a new personal training client, many people will still second-guess their decision to hire you. After all, a personal trainer can be an expensive asset, and your clients need to believe that they made the right decision. One of the easiest ways for you to ease their mind in the beginning as well as during the course of their training program is by simply staying in contact with them.
Most clients will see you at most 3 times each week, and some clients even less than that. With at least 4 days in each week when your clients don't see you, you are influencing them less than 50% of the time! Many clients hire a personal trainer because they need constant guidance and support, and less than 50% could hardly be considered constant.
An easy solution to this is to send your clients a few emails a week, or mail them an actual snail mail letter once in awhile. Clip an appropriate article from a magazine and make copies of it to mail to your clients, or email them the URL of a great motivational story about weight loss that you found on the Internet. Forward them funny anecdotes about health and fitness, or drop them a postcard congratulating them on their latest progress.
For that matter, pick up the phone! Call Suzie Client on Saturday to let her know that you just got done updating her client record and had reason to again marvel at how great she is doing with her program. You just can't pay for the type of customer feedback you will get from something like that!
Stay in contact with your clients in between training sessions, and the increased attention will remind them on a regular basis that in the beginning you committed to a one on one training program for them, not just to stand there 3 times a week while they exercise.
Date and Event Recognition
Recognizing special dates in your client's lives is another great way to show them that you are thinking about them in between training sessions.
- Send your clients a birthday card, or even a small but thoughtful gift.- Congratulate them on their wedding anniversary, or even send flowers or a card to their house.- Ask them how excited they are about the upcoming graduation of their child from high school or college.- Have a special token of your appreciation sent to their home or office after a set amount of time that they have been training with you - maybe annually or semi-annually.- Give them a special award every time they lose 5 pounds, or drop a percentage of body fat.- Attend the race or other fitness event that you have been training them for.
As you can see, the possibilities are limitless. The lesson that you want to take away from this section is that you went above and beyond the call of duty to recognize a date or an event that was important to your client. They won't forget that when it comes time to decide whether or not to keep working with you!
The fact that you should listen to your clients should go without saying. If your title is "Personal Trainer", please take a moment at this time to re-read the first word! Too many trainers fall into the familiar trap of just taking their clients through workouts. Your clients aren't paying you to workout with them. They are paying you to give them dedicated one on one service, and the actual workout is only one part of that.
In addition to the exercise programming, you must again think about the fact that your clients are humans before they are clients. As humans, they have as many outside considerations as you do. If you are only seeing them 3 hours per week, that leaves 165 hours each week when you are not around, and the lifestyle events that happen during that time will spill over into the training sessions.
Your clients will talk about their jobs, their spouses, their relatives and in-laws, their children and their neighbors, their gardener and their mailman, etc. Any good personal trainer realizes that although we have no business actually dispensing professional advice on personal or spiritual matters, we are a 3 time per week sounding board for our clients, and that is just part of the job. Listen to what your clients have to say, help out without leaving your professional boundaries, and let your clients know that you care about what happens to them, not just about what happens during the training session.
Although a trainer's day is usually dictated by a preset schedule, if you paint yourself into a corner with your calendar, you will quickly find that some of your clients can't stick with their program because their schedule is just not that black and white. In today's world of the ever-changing landscape of professional as well as personal lifestyle factors, many people have trouble doing the same thing day after day, and week after week. In order to keep your clients happy and on track with their programs, you must "roll with the punches" and exhibit some flexibility when it comes to scheduling and training issues.
It is a very good idea to have a running cancellation policy for your business, and it is an equally good idea to educate your clients on the need for regularity in their training program. However, being so inflexible that you charge a client $50 every time they get a flat tire, have to work late, or have a family emergency will quickly eliminate any professional bonding that your clients may have previously felt was a part of your working relationship. Enforce your policies, but be realistic about the fact that life is just not as black and white as it may have been 20 years ago.
This is as much of a sales technique as it is a great customer service tool. In a nutshell, it means that you should always be planning for the future when it comes to your clients. Talk to them about how you are going to start running with them once they get their weight down enough for their knees to handle the stress. Explain to them how much fun it will be when you can start taking them through the new training protocol that you put together. Get them excited about how good they are going to look on the beach this summer after several more months of working out with you, or about how their cousin Sally is going to be so envious at Christmas time this year when she sees how much weight your client has lost.
All of these things plant the seed for your clients that you are thinking about their future, and not just taking them through a workout. Let them know that you have great plans for them in the future, and that you can't wait to see their results when they get to a certain point in the program that you have them on. Again, your clients are people, and they want to be made to feel important, needed, and respected.
Over-delivering value to your clients is probably the most important technique out of any that have been listed so far. It is last in our list of customer service secrets so that it is the one that you remember the most!
Over-delivering is just what it sounds like - giving your clients more value for their money than they originally expected to get. In fact, all of the items listed above are great examples of over-delivery. Do you think that when your clients hired you they expected to be getting gifts on their birthday, expected you to be excited about the graduation of their children, or that they could vent to you about their mother-in-law during training sessions? These are all examples of the infinite number of ways that you can over-deliver value to your clients.
In addition to what has already been listed, you can get much more specific with your over-delivery efforts. Each of your clients has a very well defined fitness goal that they are diligently working towards. As a fitness professional, you should be regularly keeping up with the latest news stories about health and fitness, as well as getting Continuing Education Credits.
Put that information directly to use for your clients! How impressed do you think your client would be if their fitness goal is to be a competitive swimmer, and you take a course on training competitive swimmers? What about if you have picked up some clients who are over the age of 55 and you start reading books and clipping articles on Senior Fitness? How about a bonus training session that you give your client when they reach a goal? What about if you have a client who is on the high school wrestling team, and after working with him for 2 months, you offer to do a free class for his entire team? The teenager becomes a hero because his personal trainer gave up some winning tips before the big meet, and you get a boat load of free publicity!
The pattern developing here is clear, and the above examples are only sketches of things that you might consider. Remember that every successful personal trainer runs a business, he or she doesn't just workout with their clients. Get under the hood of your business, tinker around with the wiring, and find ways to "WOW" your clients everyday!
Aaron Potts is the author and creator of The Ultimate Complete Personal Training Business Kit, a quick-start kit and business guide for new as well as seasoned fitness professionals. Aaron's experience as a Fitness Professional has included management positions with local and nationally known fitness facilities, as well as in-home and outdoor training with clients from all walks of life. Find out more about Aaron's programs at http://www.completepersonaltrainingbusiness.com or his personal training site at http://www.aaronspersonaltraining.com
Get Intense, Build Muscle & Burn Fat With New Ignite By SPRI Fitness Media ... - PR Newswire (press release)
Strength Training Strategies that Actually Work
Over the years there has been a surge of different strength training techniques that have come onto the market and just faded away. Here we discuss the training strategies to gain the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest time possible that have stood up to the test of time.
How To Gain Weight
Until I started following a routine to eat, my gains were minimal. Once I set my eating times to a specific time during the day along with a protein boost, I could see the gains immediately.
Build More Muscle and Lose More Fat by Discovering the Power of Training Variables!
Everyone will inadvertently hit a frustrating plateau in their training at one time or another. You're cruising along for a while, gaining strength, losing fat, looking better, and then all of the sudden it hits.
Re-ignite Your Chest Training Progress
Effective Chest Training, Like Everything Else, Begins With The Proper MindsetAn attitude of always wanting more, never being satisfied, is a key element in becoming successful in whatever you do. There's always a higher level of development to achieve-if you're constantly searching for it.
Abdominal Exercises For Beginning Bodybuilders.
The abdomen contains the muscles that most beginners struggle with because they take a long time to develop and need a low level of body fat to be seen. The abdominal muscle group consists of three main muscles: 1.
Gain Weight Fast With These Ten Powerful Tips! Part -2
By the time you finish reading this you will have the basics down to eating to gain weight fast!If You want to gain weight fast you have to eat right to gain weight! So here we will focus on this crucial yet misunderstood element to gain weight.Gaining weight fast takes much more than just eating though.
Exercise The Right Way - The Bent-Knee Sit-Up
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuiiders' training regimes.
7 Surefire Strategies For Fat Loss!
1. Weight Training.
The MYTH of Gaining Muscle Without Fat!
Many of you have expressed concerns about gaining too much body fat while on such a high calorie diet, and wonder if you should do some aerobic exercise to offset the weight gain.Absolutely not.
Machines VS. Free Weights II
Machines are bad, there I said it again. How many of us join health clubs or purchase expensive home exercise equipment under the notion that the machine will protect our back, make the exercise easier or guarantee your results quicker.
Exercise The Right Way - The Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuiders' training regimes.
The Dangerous Secret of Extreme Muscle Growth
You've decided to join a gym, but you're not sure the best way to work out, and don't want to pay for a personal trainer who may not really know what he's talking about? Already an experienced weight lifter, but aren't getting the results you want? Read on for the best tips for working out if you have a full gym facility, and the secret to extreme muscle growth.Before and AfterYou should always warm up before lifting any weights.
The How To Guide for Six Pack Abs
First off I want to mention that, for most people, getting six pack abs is not an easy task. It requires serious dedication, but it is possible! If were blessed with naturally low body fat and good muscle definition, enjoy it! Otherwise, below is a general 2-step guide that, if followed religiously for 3 months, will produce results.
Complete Pec Training Tips
Put these pec techniques to use and develop that full, muscular chest today.For most people I see in the gym, the bench press has become more about building an ego than building a quality set of pecs.
The Role Of Whey Protein In Achieving Significant Muscle Gain
Most bodybuilders would agree that supplementing with whey protein is an important element in achieving serious muscle gains. This article will examine the facts relating to whey protein as a supplement and help you decide whether you need to follow this particular strategy.
NO2 Muscle Enhancing Hemodialator
Whenever I go to the gym and tell a friend that I've recently started the supplement, NO2, nobody knows what I'm talking about but I even mention Creatine, and that is well known as a standard for building muscle.Could NO2 be the next Creatine? When Creatine was launched, it was expensive.
Muscle And Fitness -- The Third and Final Key To Successfully Achieving Your Fitness Goals
Before delving into Muscle And Fitness - The Second Key, the final and most important key to success in your muscle and fitness routine, I'd like to remind you about what the previous article discussed.In a previous article, you were given a number of steps to follow.
Target: Rear Delts: One Simple Movement and They'll be on Fire!
The Bent-Over Lateral Raise is one of the most common exercises used for working the rear or posterior deltoids. For most trainers, it can be difficult to really feel the rear delts working during this movement as the larger, stronger muscles of the back have a tendency to take over.
Scientific Principles For Effective Muscle Gain
It's an unfortunate reality that throughout the years there has been a growth of strength training techniques that have no scientific proof to back them up. Have a look at the facts presented in this outline of muscle gain principles and make up your own mind.
Body Building Mind Games: Dont Let Your Weight Determine Your Mood!
Is the 'I Feel Fat Day' (IFFD) syndrome affecting your output? That extra flab can overpower you and your work. Thee feeling of being fat can morph into an emotion like 'happy' or 'angry'.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.