In this episode, we discuss how important consistent customer experience is key to business success. In fact, many people may take it for granted, but a consistent customer experience plays a big part in the franchise business model by creating winning systems and strategies from the start. You see, if you want to scale your business, you want to then hire another trainer and then another one, you need to make sure that you can turn to your team and say: “This is how we do things.” Stay tuned as we go about developing a business playbook to help you connect the dots to consistent customer experience.

Key Points of Discussion:

  • He says, “I’m not going to that barber again,” and it’s not about the haircut (2:27)
  • Besides a good workout, your coaches should be giving the same experience (6:15)
  • Same protocol, but it felt different because one person asked for 20 reps (8:56)
  • On a different trainer’s schedule, they should get the same experience (9:31)
  • Recommended: a communication tool to go from one coach to the other (11:00)
  • Clients “getting married” to coaches often about working around injuries (15:09)
  • It’s about the seven core tenets discussed in Episode 4 (16:46)
  • Mediocre firms clocking higher satisfaction due to the consistent customer experience (18:03)
  • You have to build the play before you can say: “Run the play.” (21:24)

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Mentioned in this episode

Matt Helland

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


To have a successful business playbook, you have to have the right systems and consistent strategies in place before you can run the plays! Take, for example, your experience with a haircut. It’s not just about the haircut, but also about the consistent customer experience at the barbershop. Likewise, when it comes to personal training, it’s not just about the workout. No matter if the client is working with you as the original trainer or having one of your trainers fill in for you, make sure there is no lapse in the training customer experience. Being able to consistently deliver a great workout with a really amazing customer experience each time – now that’s really hard. But if you can do it right, now, you’re cooking with oil. 

I really want to talk about consistent customer experience and how we do that every day at our facility. I wanted to explain how important that is and what we’ve seen out there and, and here. If you want to scale your business you’re going to want to make sure that you can turn to those people you hire and say, this is how we do things. This is where systems come into play. This way no matter if they’re working with you as the original coach or one of the people in your business, there’s no lapse in your consistent customer experience.

The Story Of The Barber

That being said, we would suggest building a playbook and then you will have what you need to run the play. “E-myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber, great entrepreneur book. It speaks to the power of running systems and even with a focus on systems around things that are soft. Much like personal training which can sometimes be seen as an art. Michael tells a great story, about a friend of his that referred him to a barbershop. 

Picture this, he goes into this brand new beautiful place. They greet him by name because they look at the schedule. They give him a cup of coffee, tell him that the barber will be ready in a moment, and when he is that they’ll usher him. A lady introduces the two of them in the back and the barber sits him down and says, “Listen, I just got back from a seminar where I learned how to cut your hair dry with the scissors, I do this because it doesn’t tear the end of your hair and it gives you a better haircut.” He thinks, “what do I care?” He’s getting his hair cut as usual and gets his coffee freshened up. Looks in the mirror, hair, looks great. On his way out at the desk, the young lady that had greeted him, said, “Hey, can I book you 30 days from now?” He says “Yeah, sounds good.”

Now, the next time he comes back, it’s Saturday morning and the place is packed and the person at the desk is distracted, running around getting towels, seating other people. He does get his cup of coffee and a quick greeting, not by name. When it’s time for him to go back and get his haircut, the person that’s working the desk is not there so the barber, just gives him the, “Hey, come on back.” The barber pulls out the clippers and shaves the back of his head and the sides and he cuts the top with the scissors and it’s different. He looks in the mirror, looks exactly the same. By the way, his coffee didn’t get freshened up, probably out a coffee or something. On his way out, “Do you want to book in another 30 days from now?” He says, “sure.”

All this time when he comes back, it’s over the holidays. The place is pretty much a ghost town. barber yells when he comes in “Hey, so-and-so’s out of town, we don’t have any coffee made, grab water if you want.” He passes. When the barber’s ready, he calls him back. Barber grabs the spray bottle, sprays it wet, cuts it with the scissors. He stands up and looks in the mirror as usual and his hair looks great. This time the barber walks him to the front and says, “Hey, do you want to book in another 30 days from now? We’ll get you scheduled.” This is what he says in the book, “He says you know what, I’ll never go back there again and has nothing to do with the haircut.”

Why Consistent Customer Service Matters

When we’re trying to tell people to run a play, whatever that play is we get a little pushback and people will say, “well, I don’t like to bother my trainers, they like to do their own thing.” or “All my trainers give good workouts.” I think any of the trainers in your businesses can probably give me a really hard workout. However, if your coaches can’t give that same amazing workout, the same experience, it doesn’t matter if the workout is equally as good. 

Being able to deliver effective workouts just barely gives you the right to even be in business in the fitness studio space, right? Personal training business, being able to deliver a great workout with a really amazing consistent customer experience around it. That’s really hard. But if you can do it right now, you’re cooking with oil.

Our Personal Example Of The Impact Of Consistent Customer Experience

Anthony, who I had on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, he’s over in the women’s center that we own. I can distinctly remember this had to be 10 years ago. He was coaching a group training session on a Monday morning and it was the last round of something they were doing and everyone was fatigued. He began telling everyone in a way to motivate them, “Okay, everyone, like last round”, so everyone tried to get 20 reps in like the time before. Then we had a completely different coach coaching the Wednesday morning at 6:00 AM, Anthony was on a Monday morning, 6:00 AM. These members had already been coached through a similar workout.

Wednesday rolls around, new coaches coaching it, they do the warm-up, they run the play, right introduction, warm-up, everything’s getting ready to three, two, one, start. All of a sudden, one of the clients that were there on Monday raises their hand and says, “Hey, wait a minute. Do you want us to do 20 of everything? because that’s what Anthony had us do on Monday.” I’m not saying that Anthony did anything wrong. I’m just using this as an illustration that two really good coaches can mess with the rhythm without knowing it.

What happens in that customer’s mind is they either like it better because they had a rep range that was brought up and it stuck or they like it less because they didn’t like that. The fact is it’s different. Even though both workouts were the same, it felt different because one person asked for 20 reps, the next person did not. That is the disconnect. This isn’t some malicious thing that coaches are doing to hurt the business. However, when you understand it through that lens, it helps you see the experience through the eyes of the member. It’s really important that we run the play consented.

What Happens When You Do Things In An Inconsistent Manner

Doing things in an inconsistent manner can create an allegiance to one coach versus the other and people can get married to one coach. I’m not going to pretend that you can take the person out of personal training. There might be someone on your team who you like better because they like the same football team that you do or you’re from the same hometown. That doesn’t mean that if they reschedule and come at a different time and they’re not on that trainer schedule, that they shouldn’t get the exact same experience. If that haircut had been cut dry with the scissors and he had always received a cup of coffee or never received a cup of coffee, but it was the same every time. They wouldn’t have lost him. Even if your workouts in your gym are all great, but they’re all a little bit different you underestimate the sort of cognitive and emotional connection that your customers have to consistent customer experience.

Additional Steps Coaches Can Take To Provide Consistent Customer Service

Notate when your member needs modifications – for example if they come with an injury of some sort. Take notes somewhere of the modifications you implemented and make sure it is communicated with the rest of the coaching team. In addition to that, knowing that someone’s son or daughter is getting married over the weekend, knowing that they’re sore from working in the yard, knowing that they’ve had a loss in their family or something like that. If everyone in the team addresses that in a meaningful way each time because there’s some notation it creates real substance, that’s the juice that makes your business amazing. The Alloy Team went from writing notes to creating and utilizing our app to communicate these pieces of the puzzle. 

Emotional exercises

Emotional exercises are another aspect to pay attention to. Everybody has an emotional body part. For example, when you are in evaluation and the client says, “I just want to work this fat on the back of my arms.” “I just need to work on my inner thighs”. Many times we have sat down with a 60-year-old guy who’s got high blood pressure. His doctor tells him to work out and a ton of visceral fat and he says in the starting point session “I wouldn’t mind getting my arms a little bigger.” He’s the high school kid at heart, probably had a set of dumbbells under his bed when he was a kid. If you have notes that say every time that Bill works out, he likes to do some arm work at the end of the session. If there’s nothing injury-related or whatnot that would prevent that.

Everyone should say on the way up, Bill, “Hey, before you go, let’s do some arm training today.” Whether he even understands what’s going on, everybody on the team knows him and that feels good. That’s like the cup of coffee from the story from earlier. This all gives them that sense of community in the nature of this conversation. It could have been a different Barber every time, but if the haircut went down the same and the haircut looks similar, he always got the coffee, always had it refreshed, the processes around him were similar. It would have been a win every single time.

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