What is Your Client’s Experience?

When what you sell is a commodity (let’s use the classic example of selling widgets), your widget is comparable to someone else’s widget. They do their widget thing. Nobody is wowed or disappointed. It’s just a widget, and being just a widget, the lowest price wins.

However, if you want your product (i.e. your club, studio, personal training, or classes) to be more than a commodity, then you need to differentiate yourself from others. Yes, having great great equipment is one thing, but is that enough? Other clubs can have great equipment. How about certified personal trainers? That too can be similar to other clubs. What will ultimately make you stand out from the crowd is the experience that you give to your members/clients.

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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou  When we talk about people’s experience with your business, we’re talking about just that, how you made them feel. The experience encompasses everything they come in contact with from the parking lot to the bathrooms to the service desk staff. It should also be representative of your own particular brand. Here are a few thoughts.

The facility –

Not only should everything be cared for and functioning (no potholes in the parking lot, no stains or tears in the carpet), it should be clean (one of the most common reasons for women quitting a club is that it isn’t clean), smell fresh, and be attractively decorated.

Sound is also an important part of the experience. There are now businesses that will customize music for your business such as Soundtrack Your Brand. The volume and acoustics in your facility should also managed.

The people –

From smiling at members/clients across the room to having deep conversations, the whole staff (trainers, teachers, cleaning staff, management, etc.) need to understand that their job is to make people’s days better. How they are dressed, how they interact, even how they smell is part of the experience. Staff cannot bring their personal problems to work with them. It’s showtime from the moment they step out of their car coming to work. At Disney, no employee can be seen out of character and, to deliver an optimal experience, neither should any staff member at your facility.

best_3a878719229bc786eee3_cizeThe equipment –

Simply put, all equipment should be clean, up to date, and functioning perfectly.

The member’s/client’s experience is what they see, hear, smell, and feel, and, in creating a positive experience, all of these factors need to be considered and made consistent with the essence of your brand. Setting the experience is a well-crafted and ongoing task.

TOP 10 TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL TRAINERS: #6

#6 Successful Personal Trainers Over-Deliver
Successful Personal Trainers understand that a big part of the perceived value of their training comes from what is expected of them and what it is they actually deliver.

An example of perceived value is when I took the family to see the movie Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX 3D, thinking, as I paid for the tickets, how expensive it was. The five of us cost $75!! I mean, it’s just a movie, right? However, once the movie started it far exceeded my expectations and I immediately wanted that experience again. And yes, I would be happy to pay for it again.

Guardians of the Galaxy

What are the expectations of potential clients? The service industry is woefully lacking in people that actually understand good service. Grumpy cashiers, store employees that don’t seem to know you’re waiting for help, and those that literally roll their eyes or groan when you do ask for assistance are par for the course. So even the basics are a step up.

The basics include: Knowing how to create individualized programs, being punctual, having professional attire, warm and friendly greetings, leaving your personal problems at home, asking about them and really listening to their answers, making sure they know all policies from the start, guiding through and educating them about their workouts, talking with them not at them, ignoring other conversations in the room and keeping your full focus on your client, and asking the client how they feel about the workout.

How can we exceed the basics and create experiences that enrich your relationship with your client? The listed are some possibilities if they fit you and your scenario: be entertaining (a good sense of humor goes a long way), keep adapting/changing their program as they are capable, offer praise often, make sure they leave feeling good about what they just accomplished at the end of each workout, reach out to them at other times by email, phone, cards, social networking, to check in with them, wish them happy birthday/anniversary, other important events in their life, etc. Do something unexpected and nice for them.

Those are just some thoughts on what might make your clients really feel taken care of, over and above expectations. What do you do to over-deliver or create that experience for your clients? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Check out the full series.
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #1
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #2
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #3
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #4
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #5
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #6
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #7
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #8
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #9
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #10

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