How Customer Experience Changes Lives

Kim Healey is our Director of  Logistics here at The Abs Company, which includes our Customer Experience Department. She's been at The Abs Company for over 17 years and could write a book on what she has learned in that time! We're sharing some of her thoughts on Customer Experience in today's blog post. Enjoy!

Whether you’re in the field or not, sales is just a part of life. We’ve all tried to sell something even if we’re not in sales at all. For instance if you went to a great restaurant and you want to tell your friends about it, your explanation of your experience to them is your ‘sales pitch’. Whether they ‘buy it’ or not depends on how good your sales pitch is. Usually if the sales pitch comes from your heart, and the restaurant was TRULY GREAT, they will buy in and go try the restaurant as well. Your deep seeded belief in the great restaurant and your desire to spread that experience to others showed in your sales pitch because it was authentic.

The same is true in business. If you’re selling something that you believe in, if you truly know in your heart that the thing you’re selling will help someone else, your sales pitch will be authentic and people will most likely buy in. At The Abs Company one of our core values is “We Believe in our Products and the Benefits they provide to our customers”. And our Purpose is to CHANGE LIVES from the core. So by selling equipment that we believe in, that we KNOW will provide benefits, we are able to change lives thru our innovative and accessible equipment. The thing that we celebrate here at The Abs Company, is not the day when we run the credit card and make the sale, the thing that we celebrate is the day our customer tells us about a success story due to our equipment; a potential member who climbed onto one of our machines and subsequently joined the gym because they felt comfortable using our equipment; the weight loss contest that a club offered to members incorporating our core zone or hiit zone workouts, pounds lost, muscles built, lives changed. That is what we celebrate.

I think that all of the above leads to a good customer experience for our customer list. It all starts with common beliefs. Those of us in the fitness industry probably all believe deep in our hearts that Fitness Changes Lives, you really can’t argue with that belief. Because of this common belief we all want to help others through fitness. Our sales team is small but mighty. Each member shares the belief that our equipment is unique, innovative and accessible to all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. Therefore the start to our customers experience is that of education and sharing the knowledge we have about how our equipment solves problems and benefits others.

The next step in our customer experience falls under another of our core values, We LEAD with Gratitude. Our customers are our GOLD. We do not accept the fact that we might have a one time customer. We want them coming back for more and we want them telling their friends about us, just like the great restaurant. If our customers have a great experience with The Abs Company, and they tell their friends about us, with a deep seeded belief in our products, that’s about as powerful of a compliment we can get! We work hard every day to make raving fans out of our customers. Our Customer Experience department is constantly searching for ways to thank our customers for their business. Our Parts Department works tirelessly to keep our equipment in perfect working order, we will never be satisfied with our work unless our customers are happy with our products.

We are in over 10,000 facilities and over a million homes WORLDWIDE; just picture one of those clubs and one piece of our equipment, imagine how many people climb on that machine on a daily basis, imagine they are sore the next day from the workout they did, then you BELIEVE, you KNOW in your heart that our equipment has made a difference in someone’s life. That is pretty motivating to all of us here at The Abs Company, a reason to keep going, to do our best on a daily basis. We have a model here at The Abs Company called the TAC Continuum. It’s meant to remind us that no department is more important than another. For instance if we didn’t have a sales department no-one would know about our equipment, if we didn’t have a logistics department no one would receive our equipment, if we didn’t have a finance department we wouldn't get paid etc etc. By reminding ourselves on a daily basis that our equipment is improving and changing lives all over the world, our work, no matter our position here, is important and is life changing. This mindset leads to a great customer experience because every single person working here knows that we must do our best, we must treat our customers like gold, we must provide the greatest experience we can to all of our customers in order to continue to improve and change lives through our innovative and accessible equipment.

I have worn a lot of hats here at The Abs Company, after being here for 17 years. I’ve watched us grow, and as we’ve grown I’ve shed a good number of my hats and now concentrate on Logistics and Operations. This company is my pride and joy and it’s my family. Most of our team is very similar, people stick around here. This family like atmosphere, this love of our company and of our product line is palpable when you meet us. That makes us authentic and that means that we stand behind our products. We’ve all had bad experiences with companies that don’t do this. There’s no worse feeling than buying something and then realizing it’s a piece of junk and the company you bought it from was just looking to make a buck. Our Core Values, our incredibly committed team, and our common belief in our products and our work are just the opposite and that is what our customers experience once they start their journey with The Abs Company. We Change Lives From the Core, every single day and I personally feel so blessed and lucky for the opportunity to be a part of that!


Just Move

Here at The Abs Company, we believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS. We have had the opportunity and honor to work with so many incredible people since we started this business in 2007. As we continue to grow, we can’t help but to be extremely grateful for the people we have met and who have helped us change lives from the core all over the world.

Last month, our VP of Sales, Michael Ritter, visited Just Move Athletic Club in Winter Haven, FL, and met with club owner, Dave Gurnsey.  Dave has been a fan of TAC for years and continues to believe that a Core Zone is a must-have in every club.

“We feel that the mark that everyone feels when they think about being fit, is that flat stomach, the ripped abs - a great way for us to introduce people into fitness is to get them into an area that targets the abs - that is mentally where they are. It is a designed area that is focused around that for ease of entry - they love it - and then from there we can build their fitness program out.”

Just Move Fitness is a place for everyone. They share the belief in our products and the benefits they provide to their members. We design products for the life cycle of the member, “whether you are just getting started in fitness or have been doing this for years, everybody loves to work that area, so by making it a separate area where they could  focus on taking care of that part of their body, we [Just Move Fitness, finds they] get a lot more usage of the gym itself - it really ramps [their] usage up.”

I remember just getting started in fitness. Going to the gym can be very intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to do or how to use the machines. Dave Gurnsey sees all different types of members come in and out of his club. He sees the value in having equipment that is easily approachable without crazy adjustments.

“The equipment is intimidating right? -- the beauty of this stuff is people can sit down on it, there’s not a bunch of adjustments they have to make and they can just go. They do feel more comfortable getting started here.”

When potential members arrive at Just Move Fitness for a club tour, they always stop at the Core Zone last. Why? Dave explained that they “have large cardio decks, functional training and machines all over the place - but, when [they] finish [at the Core Zone], there’s kind of a comfort, just being like ‘okay, that’s the last thing I remember seeing and that’s where I’m going to go back and get started’.”

We feel that the member-tour experience is key in forming a relationship with the member right off the bat. Clubs want their members to feel comfortable in their space and excited to come back and achieve their fitness goals. We are humbled to be a part of Just Move Fitness’s member experience, as well as many other clubs around the world.

Have a gym you’d like us to feature? Let us know! We love seeing how gyms around the world are changing lives from the core! Email me at [email protected]


Self Love and Leading with Gratitude

In the spirit of love and continuing to crush our fitness and nutrition New Year's resolutions, we have to remember a few things. Although we love having ripped abs and physically looking great, it is not only about  how you look on the outside. Are you internally healthy? Are you giving your body what it needs? Do you FEEL good? Are you happy? These are some questions you should be asking yourself while on your health and fitness journey.

It’s 2019. Suicide rates are up and more people generally feel depressed, anxious or down about themselves or their life than ever before. Although you should seek a professional if you are feeling depressed or have suicidal thoughts, there are ways to calm your anxiety in your daily life, check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s article ‘7 Tips for Dealing With Anxiety’!

If you are feeling frustrated about your journey or about your life in general, focusing on self love needs to be a priority. It is true what they say, when you accept yourself internally, it almost becomes instant that you accept yourself externally. This does not mean that there are not things you want to tweak about yourself. It may be ditching a habit, losing weight or changing careers. However, if you spend time feeling good about where you are going and the blessings you have everyday, you are bound for loving yourself even more!

I’ve been there. I have been in a place where I wasn’t happy with my body or events going on in my life. However, my best friend said to me “if you don’t like where you are then move, you are not a tree”. This sounds like one of those silly sayings that you read in a children’s book about life lessons, however, it worked. All it took was focusing on the positive things about myself and becoming so sure of who I am as a person, that I started to take action and everything started to fall into place.

Here at The Abs Company, we Lead With Gratitude. This has been the most beneficial thing for me in the past year. Waking up and making a conscious effort to think and truly be grateful for everyday and the opportunity to wake up and make your life a little bit better, can really change your attitude. I challenge all of you to wake up and before you step out of bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for that day and 3 things you want to get done that day to feel good - and make it happen! Join us!


IHRSA AND INNOVATION

Innovation. Uniqueness. Changing Lives From The Core.

That is what The Abs Company is all about. We believe in taking risks to innovate because we are not afraid to fail. We believe in our products and the benefits they provide to our customers. That’s why we are excited to bring a few surprises to IHRSA - the biggest show in the fitness industry - this March.

Not only have we come out with new, innovative products, but we are always coming up with new ways to improve our products that have been around since the beginning. Our equipment is for anyone, at any stage of their fitness journey. Whether you are a beginner or have been doing this for a while, it is easy to increase the intensity on any of our pieces by adding weight, creating resistance, or by following one of our programs from our TAC Master Trainer.

Here at TAC, we recently gave our products a hot new twist by making them in matte black. This color has caught the attention of many, with its sleek look and feel. Same fun, effective products, in a new color; but boy, does it make a difference! This matte black looks sharp and creates a completely different atmosphere that matches with our HIIT zone.

We have increased the intensity, now it’s your turn! We have given the abs and functional training space a new meaning - stay tuned for our new products, being revealed at IHRSA in March.

We hope you are just as excited as we are!


Training…the other kind

It’s no secret that this time of year new members of all types flood into fitness centers around the world. Every year improving health and fitness or losing weight remains the top resolution world wide. Unfortunately making the resolution and sticking to it are often two very different things. Fortunately every January we are given the opportunity to help people change their lives through fitness. With a little planning and forethought we can capitalize on this opportunity, help our members and grow our businesses. The answer - TRAINING!

In the fitness community when we hear the word training we immediately think about personal training, or small group training. These are excellent and valuable facets of our business but that is not what I’m referring to here. I’m referring to training your TEAM! You can have the best marketing department in the world to drive potential customers into the most beautiful facility in the world but if they are not met by highly trained professionals when they arrive, it’s often a lost opportunity.

As business owners and leaders it is imperative that we are consistently investing into the training and development of our teams. The key word there is investing. It takes time, effort and occasionally money. You may not see an immediate return but that is why it’s called an investment. If you stick to it, the results will be far greater than the investment. The great news is that you can develop a world class training program for your team in just a few simple steps.

Make it Realistic

One of the hallmarks of a great training program is to mimic the things that your team member will actually encounter on a daily basis. This includes being cross trained and educated on other departments and roles. Often times we train our trainers on fitness techniques. We train our sales people on sales and so on. However anyone that has worked in a club knows that team members are always asked something outside of their area. A front desk staff may be walking trough the facility and a member asks them how to adjust a seat on a machine. Often the response is let me get you a trainer. Wouldn’t a better reply be - let me show you? And then then introduce them to a trainer for further instruction and a connection? A trainer might be asked when the next Group X class is. Instead of saying, you can ask at the front desk, they could immediately know where to find that information and satisfy the member. This type of service increases the professionalism of your organization and makes the member feel welcome and safe. They know they can ask anyone in the facility for help and get it. That keeps members coming back! This type of training through role playing also makes your team members feel confident that they can handle any situation. When a team member feels like this, they too are more likely to stick around!

Focus on the Fundamentals

Too often in training we want to focus on ‘higher level’ tasks because they seem more exciting and we don’t want to bore anyone. There is a time for this but regular training must focus on the fundamentals not the outliers. You can never review enough how to properly answer an incoming call. You can never review enough the proper way to do a sales tour or to ask for a referral. You can never review enough proper program design for trainers and instructors. Every role in your facility should have at least 5-7 basic fundamentals that anyone in that position should be able to master. Only once they have should you move on to more advanced aspects of the job. Without mastery of the fundamentals, the things they will see most often, advanced tactics are worthless!

Repetition

Often times when we think about training our teams we think about the on-boarding process or the training system for new hires. Yes this is critical but it is also critical that we are constantly training our existing team members. One of the biggest mistakes in leadership is thinking “I told them that”. You probably did but once is never enough. We need to plan repetitive training that reviews the fundamentals but also pushes people beyond the levels that they are currently at. The training must push them beyond their comfort levels because that is where the growth takes place. Best practice is to set up a cadence for your training. Some departments train daily, others weekly an so on. Whatever you decide, make a plan and stick to it. Consistent, repetitive training is where the magic lies!

As January comes to a close there are still many new and existing members that are coming to your facility every day. Ensure that your staff is highly trained to serve them. It’s a privilege to do so. Providing your members with a world class experience will keep them coming back and they will probably even bring their friends! At The Abs Company We Change Lives from the Core! Like you we believe that FITNESS CHANGES LIVES and we look for ways to do this every day. A well trained staff is just one more step in this direction and remains at the CORE of what we believe!