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Creating an Inspired Customer Service Experience

An inspired business model is one in which employees genuinely want to generate a positive vibration that makes members feel special. In this membership culture, people not only join your facility; they thrive there. What are the best behaviors for creating an inspired customer service experience?

We’ll discuss how to inspire employees and build strong teams so that brand standard and service values are delivered consistently. We’ll also briefly examine facility standards, so you can ensure that your facility reflects your values.

The Power of Customer Service

Customer service is about human interaction. The way we interact with each other and with our members consistently and over time creates a fitness community, a culture. What sort of culture do you want to create for your brand? How do you do it?

Your brand comes from your people, programs and place (the facility itself). If your employees are not clear on how to behave in order to exude the brand image, then the programs and place will never be experienced the way you want them to be. Think about the best behaviors you want your employees to deliver in order to have your customers understand, and thus be attracted to, your brand.

What happens when a person smiles? Is a smile sometimes contagious? Do you feel good giving a smile as well as receiving one? We all know what it feels like to have someone smile at us perfunctorily or with a disingenuous vibe. The point: Not only do you want to encourage behaviors that elicit an inspired interaction between employees and members, but also, and more importantly, you want your employees to give a good vibe. Authenticity is the key, and you get yourself and your staff there by following the steps below. When you feel calm and happy, you make others feel good.

These are the five steps and best behaviors of an inspired customer service experience:

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Know how to greet members.
  3. Offer superb service.
  4. Create a community.
  5. Know how to say goodbye.

Be Prepared

Create a transition ritual for you and your staff to apply before setting foot inside the facility each day. Know how to move from the “outside world” into the workspace so you can create magic. Leave your stress outside, and raise your vibration. Consider the following tips for doing this.

  • Be well trained and informed about the business. Make sure that you’re on the same page as your superiors and that you’ve communicated all relevant business information to staff.
  • Put on your uniform and nametag thoughtfully. Make sure that the nametag is not hidden from view and that you’re giving off a proud vibe.
  • Take a deep breath, and feel good energy running in your body.
  • Stand tall and smile; feel calm and present.
  • Walk confidently to your station, whether it’s the front desk, the back office, the indoor cycling studio or the training room.
  • Greet everyone along the way, and use each person’s name.
  • Feel good about yourself and why you do what you do.

Know How to Greet Members

This point may seem obvious, but countless fitness facilities drop the ball on this very important brand builder. Make a good impression with members by saying hello and being genuinely happy to see them. This practice goes a long way. Try the following tips, and encourage all your employees, not just the front-desk staff, to do the same.

For more information, please see “Inspired Business, Part Four: Best Behaviors for the Brand” in the online IDEA Library or in the January 2015 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

Patricia Kirk, MS

Patricia Kirk, MS, is regional manager and director of training and development for commercial clubs for Club One Fitness. She has been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and began her career as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer. She has been in fitness management for the past 15 years. Her passion is developing and implementing employee development training programs, particularly in customer service and management leadership development.

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