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How to elevate the customer service at your Fitness Center-a little history on Ms. Lindsey

Lindsey Rainwater

Lindsey, 17 years old working the front desk

A little walk down memory lane; I started working in Health Club's at the age of 17, my industry adventure began at a private for profit all women's health club in Arvada Colorado, that's a picture of me to the right. I was hired to work part time front desk. At the time there was not a computer to be seen or heard of in the club. The members signed in on a daily sign in sheet and we pulled their "workout card" from the file where all the members workout information was stored in alphabetical order in a large open file drawer. The members were greeted when they walked in the door, we checked them in by hand, pulled their workout card, and when they were done exercising we initialed their card and filed it away for the next time they came in.

My job as front desk was membership tour's for anyone new that came to visit us, and member check in and out. After working there a few months I was promoted to assistant manager, and that entailed closing of membership sales, over seeing daily operations during the times I was scheduled and daily management of the other staff members while working. Looking back on that experience, it was adorable, everything was very simple. We checked members in, helped them monitor their goals and encouraged them; if I remember correctly they got a sparkly heart sticker on their membership card when milestones where reached. I look back at that time and laugh a little, everything was done by hand, created in house with art supplies and smiles and memberships were sold in private offices with tactical 'closing' pitches.

I say all of this and provide you this background to compare and contrast to today's environment within the Health club. Today when I go into my home gym to workout, I punch in my phone number and am on my way. No workout cards, signature or conversations with front desk; I walk in and get down to business. Of course, not every health club chain or private club looks like that, but the monetization that our systems have gone through thanks to technology really frees up staff for other activities.

Technology and systems have streamlined some of the "old school" processes that didn't exist when computers and check in systems were not being used in Health Clubs.

We all appreciate the advances technology has given us, if we were to grade ourselves on customer service, in lieu of some of these advances, I wonder where we would shake out?

Allow me to drill down on that thought.

Back in the day, one might argue it was "harder" for a front desk person to do their job because of the multiple tasks associated with checking someone into the club while also making sure they are welcomed while following procedures that needed to be done.

Fast forward to today, the tasks associated with front desk has diminished due to technology adoptions, so face time and customer service, can be of maximum attention allowing the customer service to be elevated and technology utilized to leverage that connection.

My purpose in bringing this up is this; now that we have adapted and continue to adopt new exciting ways that technology helps us be more efficient and streamlined in our processes, what are we then doing with the extra time this has forded us? Are we going the extra mile to engage with out members? taking the opportunity to be more thoughtful about our connectivity with the members in the facility?

A lot is to be gained from great customer service, people love to feel valued and appreciated, and in my experience, knowing someone's name and a little about their life- goes a long way!

So tell me, Lindsey Rainwater- what exciting ways are you leveraging technology to impact your connectivity with your members?