Thursday, February 2, 2012

Put The Client First: 3 Tips to Developing Client Satisfaction.

Put The Client First: 3 Tips to Developing Client Satisfaction.

When I first started training I was making no more than 100-200 bucks every two weeks. When the first or fifteenth came around this left me with one decision: go on a date or eat for the next two weeks. Of course I chose the date. (I told people I was experimenting with fasting protocols)

Now why wasn’t I making any money?

Was it because I was too good looking and people were intimidated by my charm?

Maybe so, but I think it was more about the experience that I provided.
As I have grown in my career I came to realize one thing and I can assure you of this: 

If you don’t care, if you don’t have passion to do this job then you need to find a new career.

There were moments where I felt like quitting...Something inside of me never let me. I knew I had the passion. All I needed to do was harness it.
          I am not the most successful trainer, but I can guarantee you that I am working my ass off to get there.

     If you feel stuck and can’t figure out why your clients are leaving you, just like any relationship...perhaps you just aren’t satisfying…

    Your clients are the reason you are employed. They provide the finances to keep your paycheck coming in and they deserve respect, help, and most importantly, SATISFACTION.

Today is your lucky day; I am going to provide you with 3 easy to implement tips on how to develop a stronger customer satisfaction. Whether you take my advice, or ignore it is up to you. If you are in the business of personal training you must understand the title you hold.

This leads me to my first and most important tip…

1.   You are a personal trainer, you must be personable!
       If you want to have success in training you must get to know your client. After all your title is PERSONAL trainer. Get to know their likes, dislikes, job, how many kids they have, etc. Get to know the person, not only will they feel respected but you will see that they have a ton to offer you.

          Clients are more than dollar signs, and the minute you realize this is the minute you will get a step ahead.
For example, I couldn’t even tell you the name of the first athlete that I ever trained. He was a high school baseball player, needless to say not only did I forget his name half of the time, but I allowed so many damn awkward silences. We would stand there, look at each other, and after an exercise I would say “good job”...If he was lucky.

It is your responsibility to set the tone of the work out, are you really going to be fine with your client looking as sad and bored as Eeyore…
You need to give the session energy, don’t expect it.

2.   Put yourself in their shoes
          If you fail to listen, how are you going to understand what they want and need? If you hear them, yet you don’t listen to them then you will not be able to understand where they are coming from. You need to give them the program they need, not what they think they need.

          I remember a specific incident where a client of mine would come in nights, usually around 8:00 pm three times a week. He was in his mid 20’s and He wanted to get back into shape. He wasn’t fat, just out of shape. Me being the young trainer that I was, I never took into account that he hasn’t worked out in over a year or that he worked 10-12 hour days, commuting a total of an hour and a half to and from work every day.

His first workout I kicked his ass! He came in the next day, I kicked his ass! He came in the third day, I kicked his ass!

Screw progression, He is young; he can handle it…right?

          Simply put, I failed to understand his needs, after a few weeks he started to no-show, until eventually he returned my call and said that he would not be coming back…

The key to real results is by progressing them correctly, not kicking their ass. You may be able to bullshit the client into thinking they need their ass kicked until they can’t shit, but that does nothing more than turn most of them off from fitness all together… and you will be one poor trainer eventually.

3.   Help them achieve their goals
    Help them achieve their goals, after all they don’t pay you for your friendship. (That is just an added bonus) If they are paying to see a personal trainer odds are that they have goals and they trust you to help achieve them.

 The key word being “help”

Never demand they do something, teach them how to do it.

One of my hardest working clients happened to be one of my best friends. His nutrition wasn’t the best. One night we were out, it was a long night, around 2:00 am and I was sitting back seat with him and another friend, they wanted to get food.

          As we pulled in to the In N’ Out drive thru I started to talk to him, the talk ended up turning into a bitter dispute. We went back and forth; I condemned what he was doing, telling him that his nutrition is why he wasn’t going to see any results.

Two years later, he has not been back to the gym. I’ve seen him maybe a dozen times…The last time we really hung out he confessed to me that he couldn’t hang out with me because he was ashamed that he wasn’t at the gym.

I never taught him how to get better, I condemned his behavior and pretty much told him he sucked.

Not only did I lose a client, but a good friend…

Now, I have learned from all of these mistakes. I am not perfect, but I have learned that customer service is more than saying “Thank you and have a nice day.”

Customer service is customer satisfaction, and when you satisfy your customer, you will be satisfied as well.

The key to becoming a success is creating success through customer satisfaction.

Create satisfaction, create impact.

God Loves you, Mikey loves you, so love yourself.

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