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Inspired Service: Renewed Commitment and Silver Linings

What can you learn from customer service challenges? Just how important it is to make things right.

Inspired Service Finds Silver LInings

For IDEA, which has proudly touted a 98%–99% customer satisfaction rating for many years, this was a service crisis. On Friday, August 5, the IDEA team discovered that hundreds of customer voice mails had been stuck in a digital black hole. IDEA members were calling us for help, but we didn’t even know it.

From a big-picture perspective, this was not a life-changing disaster. But for IDEA, such a service fail runs contrary to everything we hold most dear.

In many ways, working through this issue was similar to how IDEA members guide their businesses through setbacks.“You could argue that lessons learned from temporary setbacks are necessary for long-term success,” says industry expert Amanda Vogel in her article, “Can You Benefit From Failure?” “Failure paves the way for greater self-awareness and more skillful practices.”

Since this newsletter is, in fact, called Member Insights, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share the insights we’ve learned about ourselves and our members—and perhaps most importantly—how we’re using this knowledge to take our Inspired Service pledge to a new level.

The Moment of Truth

The IDEA family—staff and members alike—were at a particular high point. The 2022 IDEA World Convention was a huge success (read highlights from our editorial team here to get a full picture of the energy and excitement.). Part of the glow was simply being able to gather in person again. But there was more.

We are at a turning point in IDEA’s rich history. When lifelong fitness professional and former IDEA VP and general manager Amy Boone Thompson purchased IDEA in April from Outside Interactive Inc., we returned to our roots as a family-owned business with first-hand understanding of the health, fitness and wellness industry. The 2022 IDEA World event felt like a rebirth and a clean slate built on a foundation of 40 years of wisdom and experience.

But just like a client who finally reaches a new fitness milestone only to sprain an ankle, IDEA came back from World to discover the messaging glitch. What happened next is a tribute to our members and our mission.

Family First

“One of the most remarkable things was how our IDEA family pulled together,” says Thompson. “We called for an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach and quickly learned that our team was ready to help our members in every possible way.” That meant learning about products and benefits that some team members don’t use every day. And it meant listening to some voice mails on which the member’s frustration was raw and sometimes difficult to hear.”

Even through the challenges, we heard something else. “One of the things that came across loud and clear was that members were both disappointed and shocked at the lack of response,” Thompson explains. “IDEA was built on Inspired Service; it’s what our members have always known, and it showed us that the foundational principle of service is one that we cannot—will not—ever let slide.

“I believe this experience also reinforced how much the IDEA team considers our business members to be our family members, too,” she says. “The care and fortitude with which we approached each problem was sincere, dedicated and unwavering in the attempt to listen to our customers, identify the concern or question and work to resolve.

A Tech-Forward Future

The tech failure has also become a catalyst for a more tech-savvy future.  “Our IDEA technology and products must exceed the expectations of our members and customers,” says senior director of marketing and technology Phil Malavenda. “Much like the commitment and inspiration you provide to your clients each day, IDEA makes that same commitment to you through the reliability of our products and services. We understand the importance of having a solid foundation of tools and services supported by technology that is stable and reliable.”

You can expect improvements to our customer service response, as well as enhanced benefits to member benefits such as FitPost and Client Newsletter—all based on what we’ve learned from this experience. These are just a few of the ways we’re planning to turn new insights into positive outcomes.

 A Quick Review and Reference Guide

We work very hard to communicate all of our membership policies as clearly as possible to avoid any miscommunications. You should know that all of IDEA’s memberships are now on an annual auto-renew cycle. Membership dues are nonrefundable.

As long as your dues are current, you are entitled to the education, the CECs, the insurance programs and discounts members enjoy, including member pricing for events, specialty courses, access to FitPost and Client Newsletter, and more. You can disable your auto-renew at your discretion, and you can do this online or by calling our Inspired Service team. It is your responsibility to do this prior to your annual billing cycle. Once billed, membership dues are nonrefundable.

Finally, we wanted to provide some quick links that speak to some of the most common questions our members have. We hope you find these useful. And, when these resources don’t fully address your concerns, remember that our Inspired Service team is here to help. You can expect a 48-hour response time during business days.

800-999-IDEA (4332); 858-535-8979 ext 7

[email protected]

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Our Inspired Service Pledge

The insights we have gained will further propel IDEA into the future—one in which we strive to exceed your expectations in every way. It’s our mission. And although we had some cloudy days, we recognize and appreciate the silver linings—the opportunities we have identified and the appreciation of just how spectacular our members are. Expect improvements to your member benefits based on your feedback. Please trust that we’re here for you.

If you were one of the people affected, we apologize again and thank you for your patience and understanding. If this is all news to you, please know that we are working hard to ensure that when you need our support, we are accessible. As you Inspire the World to Fitness, we will keep our service equally inspired. It’s our pledge to you.


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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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