Posts in Front Desk
#TotallyTrendyTuesday Impact the Whole Family at Your Health Club, this Fall.

As a season change is right around the corner, what will you do to mix things up within your health club environment? I have a few thoughts for you. Check out the video below!



Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach  to the fitness and wellness industry.  She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions.  For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o 

what do the Ritz Carlton, Apple and Starbucks have in common... that the Fitness Industry should take a look at.

Human connection, intuitive thought... putting people first.  When I think about the fitness industry there are a couple of thoughts that come to mind in regards to engagement and how to interact with the health seekers that walk through the doors.

Often time, the opportunity to engage our newest members slips through our fingers because of a lack of personalized engagement from the get go. Would you agree? 

Capitalizing on human connection; meaning- do you utilize customer service or people serving people, relationships, as part of your plan to further your business and ensure more people return more often and bring their friends? is it a topic in your staff meetings? 

I stumbled upon this article written a while ago, but the principles are timeless.  The topic of the article was about how apple studied the Ritz-Carlton methodology behind customer service and applied it to their own brand.  

Check out the article and more specifically this video:

3 easy tips to begin using right away with your staff to increase the level of engagement are: 

1. start with a warm friendly greeting/welcome

2. End with a fond farewell and invitation to return

3. Empower your employees 

Another wonderful source is Mr Dale Carnegie's book "how to win friends and influence people" .  One of my all time favorites, worth layering into your life.  I once was asked to read it as part of a book study for a team I was on.  It worked magic for each of us when the principles were applied.  And a little inside secret; this all goes far beyond our work environments, they are principles worth carrying into our personal relationship as well. 

Hospitality and the presence of a detailed plan on how you want to engage with people is very relative to your business surviving amongst the ever changing industry as a whole.  The places that seem to be thriving are the ones that have found a niche, build a community around like mindedness, and apply a human connection to how they do business.

After all, we are all in the business of serving people, what does it look like in your facility?  

Let me know, Lindsey Rainwater- let's connect about your level of engagement.   

My Day with the Colorado Parks and Rec Center Leaders

Buffalo Overlook, Colorado

Friday Morning I made the drive to Silverthorne Colorado to meet with and present to the Colorado Parks and Recreation at their Fitness sector retreat.  What a lovely drive, I love driving from Denver to the high country, the picture above is the first glimpse of the mountain range that you get climbing above the city, it really is a privilege to live in such a beautiful state.

What a lovely group the folks with the Parks and Rec's are!  I knew a handful of them from when I have met with them individually, they all bring such tallent and perspective when collected like they were.

I had the honor of talking with them about industry trends in the climate of the current fitness business, and the importance of knowing what category you fall into as an operator and then meeting your market with the best possible experience to motivate and encourage members that call your facility home. The Parks and Rec's are a great example of facilities in Colorado that provide a progressive and wide variety of programs to offer their community. 

Below is a picture with the Denver Parks and Rec's crew! Tommy, Natalie and Bridget handle the Denver Fitness programming and had a large presence at the recent fitness on the rocks event last month.  It is encouraging to see all the different fitness sectors in Denver, Private or for profit, take such an active approach to reaching the public and get more people moving and exercising everyday.

Tommy, Natalie, Me, Bridget; Denver Parks and Rec 

After spending a day with these folks, I must say... I am very proud to be a part of working with these guys! They have a heart for fitness and health!  Reaching the people in each community they touch.



Thank you Colorado Parks and Rec's for having me!  Looking forward to working with you more in the near future!




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

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?

Knowledge is power; What exactly does go on when you aren't there?

It's the beginning of a new year! many of us view this as an opportunity to start fresh and analyze our business, life and methods of operation so we do not become redundant year over year.  In regards to business operations, I had something come to mind while visiting a health club today regarding "off peak" hours.

For those of you that don't know, I spent a considerable amount of time in management and leadership roles prior to the role I find myself in today, so I feel when it comes to the subject, I have an exercised opinion to share.

So, off peak hours, those times of day when you close your eyes and pray that the opening supervisor you hired to unlock, lock and manage your enterprise when you are not there will own up the expectations you set out for them.  That they will cary the message to the patrons of your environment when you the operator is not there.  Can you depend on them to do their job when no one is looking? What a weighted and often times scary situation! I am sure you can relate, it's simply not possible for you to be at your club from 5am-10pm, 7 days a week! so you must trust someone else to take care of your people while you sleep... So how do you ensure that the environment does not shift out of your scope of desired wishes when you are not there?

I wanted to share a few different tactics I have used in the past, and then open up the feed to share best practices, especially in the climate of New Years, new members... retention is at an ultimate peak of concern.

1. Communicate your expectations and follow up when you see them not being executed.

Clear, concise operational procedures that are universal is a key to employee success.  They must know what you expect and have a clear understanding of what it looks like to embody it.  Role play with new employees, give them a written check list of opening and closing procedures.  More often times, you know your club like the back of your hand, and we forget that the new employee can't learn simply via osmosis, they must be led to discovery and then followed up with to ensure execution. 

2. Pop-in visits

Stop by when you are not scheduled and do not call ahead to let anyone know you are coming.  Take the 6am class even though you are not 'scheduled' until 9am, you might be amazed at what you learn. It's fairly simple, the best way to see what happens when your not there, stop in when they know you aren't normally there, put on a ball cap and be one with your members, do some on the fly research. If it's beyond you being incognito and everyone knows who you are, have a friend they don't know stop in and report back, you will learn a lot and be armed with useful knowledge to coach to. 

3. lead by example

Practice what you preach; this is so simple, but truly inspiring when done correctly!  If you have asked your employees to leave their cell phones while working, you do the same.  If you have asked for smiles and eye contact upon check in at the front desk, hang out at the front desk and set the tone for how it should look.  If you make it look easy, and inspire while leading, your employees will not have a reason to not follow in line with the tone you set.

Let me know, Lindsey Rainwater what it looks like to manage to your expectations at your Fitness facility!  I love the transparent exchange of industry knowledge.  The more we know, the better we can be!