In the competitive landscape of the fitness industry, the success of a personal training business hinges on the quality of service trainers provide. If you don’t effectively assess and evaluate personal trainers on a regular basis, then how do you know you’re delivering on client expectations?

In a recent podcast episode, Rick Mayo and Matt Helland share valuable insights into two powerful techniques for assessing and evaluating trainers—the Quarterly Review and the Secret Shopper method. In this article, we’ll delve into these techniques, exploring why they’re essential, how to implement them, and the transformative impact they can have on your fitness business.

Two Techniques For Evaluating Personal Trainers

1. Quarterly Reviews: The Heart of Continuous Improvement

The Quarterly Review system involves a sitting down with each personal trainer every three months. One of the main reasons is to create a space for open conversations before issues escalate. Instead of starting out with a review from the manager in a top-down approach, personal trainers are given a templated sheet for them to self-reflect about what they should keep doing to positively impact themselves and the team.

Why Do Quarterly Reviews Matter and Annual Reviews Don’t Cut It?  Traditionally, fitness businesses relied on annual reviews to evaluate their trainers. However, waiting a whole year for feedback can lead to small issues snowballing into significant problems. The switch to a quarterly review system offers a proactive approach, fostering more frequent and meaningful conversations.

Keep Doing Component

Matt Helland emphasizes the importance of the “Keep Doing” aspect, reinforcing positive behaviors that align with the core tenets of your fitness business. They encourage trainers to identify areas where they can continue making a positive impact.

Start Doing Component

The “Start Doing” phase introduces opportunities for growth. For instance, suggesting a trainer engage more with clients on social media or explore further education, such as obtaining a precision nutrition certification. This approach empowers trainers to take ownership of their development.

How Can We Help You Component

The most crucial question during this process is, “How can we help you?” This not only shows a commitment for the owner or manager to support the trainer’s plans, but also encourages trainers to think critically about their needs and goals.

2. Secret Shopper Technique: Unveiling the Client Experience

The second technique involves implementing the Secret Shopper method based on the Alloy Seven Core Tenets For Delivering A Great Customer Experience. This technique provides valuable insights into the client’s perspective by anonymously gathering feedback.

Seven Core Tenants

    1. Greeting the client by name within 10 seconds of the client entering the front door
    2. Describing benefits of exercises from the client’s perscpective
    3. Encouragement with an appropriate touch or pat on the back during sessions
    4. Recognizing wins and expressing gratitude
    5. Effective introduction of the group and personalized benefits
    6. Accountability in scheduling future sessions
    7. Thank clients upon departure

Pull aside clients after a session and ask them to fill out a basic sheet of information anonymously. This form will include data based on the trainers’ performance compared against the core tenets, providing actionable feedback.

How Often to Secret Shop

The frequency of secret shopping sessions depends on the size of your team. Five times each quarter is a good starting point. This not only keeps trainers on their toes, but also demonstrates to clients that you value their feedback and trust their judgment on the quality of your business.

How To Address Secret Shopper Trainers Issues 

Upon collecting secret shopper data, the management can analyze the results and identify areas of improvement. If specific trainers consistently fall short in certain areas, it’s crucial to address these issues directly and honestly. This transparent approach ensures accountability and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Evaluating personal trainers is not about criticism, but about ensuring the continuous improvement of your fitness business and make sure you are delivering on client expectations.

The Quarterly Review and Secret Shopper techniques provide a dynamic and holistic approach to assessing trainers, promoting accountability, and delivering an exceptional client experience. Implementing these strategies will not only benefit your trainers but also elevate your fitness business to new heights, creating a win-win scenario for both your team and your clients. Your trainers and clients will undoubtedly thank you for the commitment to excellence.

Also learn more about How To Conduct Personal Trainer Performance Reviews. Evaluations are an opportunity to tell them about the things they are doing well, and what skills and education they might need to continually improve.

Tune in to the full podcast episode to gain a deeper understanding of how to evaluate personal trainers and get ready to take your fitness business to new heights.

Contact us to learn more and to see why now is the perfect time to become an entrepreneur as an Alloy Franchise owner!

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Podcast Episode 215

  • Why you need to do quarterly reviews (01:08)
  • 4 essential questions during these quarterly reviews (03:07)
  • Evaluating trainers by core tenets (11:52)
  • The Secret Shopper Technique (12:52)
  • How often to secret shop (16:23)

Mentioned in this episode

Matt Helland

Rick Mayo 

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