Customer service is key to retaining and growing your business. Whether it’s a large fast-food chain like Chik-fil-A or your mom and pop store down the street.
What keeps those customers coming back time and time again? The truth of the matter is relationships/bonds have been established between the retailers and consumers.
The same can be said for us as personal trainers. Relationships are why John and Jane keep paying and returning even after being put through a grueling full-body circuit.
Have an Open Line of Communication
One of the greatest tools humans have is communication which involves both talking AND listening; it’s a two-way street. As a personal trainer, your clients seek your expertise with a weight or exercise related objective. Your job as a trainer is to digest this information and effectively communicate ways to go about meeting those objectives.
In so many cases where people simply just wait for their turn to speak, EFFECTIVE communication means being open to what your client says and responding accordingly. For example, in an instance where a client of mine says they want to lose X amount of weight in Y amount of time, my job is to acknowledge my client and give confirmation that I understand what they are conveying. I do this with my words, body language, and demeanor being receptive; these are cues which most people pick up on when interacting with others.
With our line of communication being open client A sees that I have an understanding of his or her fitness goals, and I can now assess these goals and communicate the ways in which we can go about achieving those aims. Do this with every client and your clientele base will grow and the results will follow.
Get to Know Your Client Beyond Fitness
Most people have someone or a group of people that they are close to beyond your average everyday interactions with others that are abrupt and impersonal. As a personal trainer getting to know your client beyond the number on the scale adds a personal touch to your relationship as familiarity and trust is created. From my experience, clients really appreciate when I remember details about their lives outside of the studio.
Maybe you remembered that a son had a graduation recently and you asked to know about the festivities that followed. Likewise, from time to time you ask your client how his or her ailing parent is doing. Though these gestures may seem small they go a long way in creating a bond with your client that lets them know “hey, he cares about me…I didn’t think he would care let alone remember.”
Time and time again clients of mine would express their appreciation for me just going that extra mile of making sure they get home safely after a session, or simply checking in to let them know that I appreciate their hard work and the trust they have in my services. All of these previously stated instances make you as a trainer that much more valuable to current and prospective clients because they then can now call you a trainer AND a friend.
Set Personal Goals
Clients seek you as Certified Fitness Professional for your wide range of knowledge on the topics of either resistance training, cardiovascular training or whatever area of focus you tout. Clients undoubtedly expect to be pushed beyond their limits during training sessions but how about outside of training sessions as they go about their everyday lives?
For this reason, in cultivating a deeper relationship with my clients I ask them to set goals for themselves. These goals can range from setting a certain amount of times to check in with me updating on how they feel physically, mentally, and (or) emotionally. Another goal can be sending me pictures of a food item they eat that day which sets in accountability on both ends. Setting these personal goals keeps the line of communication open between you and your client open in addition to allowing you to interact with your clients outside of session training.
This further cultivates that trainer/client relationship getting both you and your client better results. Watch as someone who started out as a client become a close friend, maybe even for life.
Now that is the greatest “Before & After” of all. “Before” you were just a trainer working with a client with a fitness goal. “After” you are THE GO-TO trainer that your 10-LBS-lighter client who raves about to their friends and son whom graduation you mentioned.