• Blog: Our E-Suggestion Box Is Prompting Better Communication

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein March 2011

    We often remind our staff that how something is said is just as important, if not more important, than what is said. Tone, body language and other factors play a huge part in what a health club member hears and recalls, so our staff training and day-to-day staff feedback frequently involve this subtle topic.

  • Blog: One Member's Angry Outburst Isn't the Last Word

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2011

    At a staff meeting a few months ago, we spent several minutes reading the positive feedback we had received in many of our new member surveys. We enjoyed sharing the comments about our "wonderful" staff, "friendly" environment and the impact we were having on people's lives. We wanted to remind our staff that while we spend a lot of time and energy dealing with problems - both real and perceived - the reality is that we have a pretty nice business with pretty nice members who appreciate what we do. Sometimes, we're even lucky enough to have someone remind us.

  • Blog: Do You Have a Snow-Day Plan?

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2011

    Everyone likes to think that they are, or their business is, great at something. Maybe you feel like you are great at marketing. Maybe you have a world-class sales team, or your trainers are the best in the business.

  • Blog: Fitness Equipment Manufacturers, Work With Us

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2011

    We'd really like to buy new equipment for our facilities in 2011, but we can't imagine how we're going to do it. That, in a nutshell, is the problem facing fitness equipment manufacturers.

  • Sweat Can Damage Stationary Bikes, Tarnish a Facility's Image

    by Paul Steinbach January 2011

    "Okay, class, who's ready to sweat?" Such a question might be greeted with enthusiasm - even cheers - from a room full of eager stationary cyclists. After all, that's why they're here. And in this setting, inspiration translates to perspiration. If it doesn't, something's wrong.

  • Blog: Health Club Owners Must Overcome Bad Publicity

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2011

    Here's something we love about this time of year: We do our marketing to welcome new members to our gyms. We try to put new exercisers at ease. We tell them how we're here to help them and that our members are so nice. All of which is true.

  • Blog: It's Time to Bring the Human Touch to Customer Service

    by James McPartland January 2011

    I recently had a moment of clarity in my health club, a large, well-known multipurpose facility that I have belonged to for more than 20 years. It was as simple as this: an employee named Herb came over to say hello and introduce himself. I had seen him do this with other people when he first started working there a month ago, and I was sure that as a personal trainer he was mainly trolling for new clients. But as the days passed, I thought that even if that were the case, he was unique because he was actually talking to the members. He was making people feel special. Where had he been all this time?

  • Blog: Serving Notice to Your Clueless Customers

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2011

    Just when we think we've seen it all, we realize we haven't. Allow us to rephrase that: Just when we think we've smelled it all.

  • Massive Product Recall Rocks Auto-Belay Industry

    by Andrew Cohen December 2010

    Rock climbers take safety seriously. Out on a rock face, they know that only three things stand between them and a catastrophic fall - their equipment (ropes, harnesses, carabiners, anchors and the like), their own skills and the skills of their belayer.

  • New Projects: The Rose Bowl; Lake Forest College; University of Arkansas

    by Nicholas Brown September 2010

    A roundup of groundbreakings, grand openings and building projects in development.