What if Your Gym Was Chasing a 3-Star Michelin Review?

I’m a big proponent of the cliché: “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

This attitude applies to far more than the outfit you wear on a given day. If we were to think this way about customer service in the fitness space, we could say: “Deliver the client experience expected in a $200 personal training session, while knowing that we only offer $40 semi-private classes.”

So, where do you find your inspiration for world-class customer service outside of your own business?

Maybe you’re a Disney enthusiast, a hardcore believer in “the Zappos way,” or even just trying to recreate the vibe of a well-run Trader Joes. The origin of your inspiration is less important than simply having an inspiration.


In my case, I like to look at the way a high-end restaurant operates.

My wife accumulated years of customer service experience serving in nice restaurants prior to transitioning into the corporate world. Despite being nearly a decade removed from her last serving experience, she continues to be an astute observer of the art of exceptional hospitality at well-run restaurants.

It drives her crazy when servers walk past empty plates and credit cards awaiting processing simply because it wasn’t their assigned table. In the world she operated in, the best teams functioned as just that, a team. This meant that, to an extent, every table was her table, and she acted accordingly. 

Katie only had to point this out to me once or twice before it became a pet peeve of my own. I began to realize that at the best restaurants, “my server” was really just the person who took my order and graciously provided the bill. Otherwise, there always seemed to be an army of hospitality-centric faces coming and going from the table.

This is exactly why I could stomach the idea of paying $50 for an 8oz cut of meat and a couple of $22 side plates of potatoes and asparagus.

So why does the experience in our gym have to be much different? 

Maybe, instead of walking past the client unloading a trap bar in between sets simply because you haven’t been assigned to work with him, you stop to help out…with a smile.

Maybe the next time you walk past the front desk to find your Office Manager handling a phone call as a client waits to schedule her next session, you stop and promptly take care of that task for her?

Maybe you start thinking of every client as your own client, and every task as potentially your own task, and the overall client experience will improve.

If you begin to think of your gym as a restaurant that is competing for a 3-Star Michelin review, you just may be able to justify doubling or even tripling your rates in the not-so-distant future. At the very least, your retention figures will skyrocket.


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