Using "secret shoppers" to evaluate your trainers can add an important dimension to your review process.
At Northwest Personal Training, we believe that constant personal growth is critical in order to continue to stimulate our team and keep them developing, both as trainers and as people. We feel that the moment they stop learning and growing is the moment they begin looking elsewhere for opportunities. We set the standards high and then conduct a monthly trainer evaluation to ensure these standards are being met.
Each monthly evaluation has a different focus. For example, one month we may have our fitness directors shadow our trainers and then complete a trainer evaluation form that measures various performance criteria. Another month trainers may evaluate each other using a peer review process. A third method we use is video reviews, in which we tape our trainers as they train their clients, and then we watch the videos and complete a trainer evaluation based on performance. We also complete “indicators of performance” reviews, which measure the trainers’ performance on a number of administrative protocol and company procedures.
Our trainers know what they are being evaluated on because they have read our corporate manual and have access to all of the trainer evaluation forms. This is important—if you are going to evaluating trainers, let them know exactly what you are looking for so they can strive for excellence. During the above reviews, our trainers also know they are being evaluated because they know the person who is evaluating them.
To complement this “known” review process, we recently instituted a secret client evaluation process. The protocols by which our trainers are measured are the same, but for this review they do not know they are being evaluated. This ensures that our trainers shine all the time, not just when they are being evaluated.
We have a secret evaluation process for all important aspects of our business, including an evaluation for the initial complimentary training session, initial phone call, initial tour, ongoing training appointments, spa appointments, group fitness classes and more.
When we assign “clients” to perform these evaluations, we use
- actual clients;
- prospective clients; and/or
- business associates.
We provide our secret shoppers with a free personal training session ($70 value) as a gift for taking the time to go through the process and complete the evaluation form.
Many world-class businesses conduct these types of secret-shopper evaluations. At Northwest Personal Training, we strive for the same level of consistency and excellence, and have found this program invaluable. We hope it helps you, too.
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