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Entries in customer service (15)


To Grow Personal Training Revenue, Teach Staff to Create Positive Experiences

This post is a preview of the October 12 webinar, "Top Tips for Growing Fitness Revenues."

Photo: Healthtrax

When you’re looking to increase your gym’s personal training revenues, your first instinct may be to crunch the numbers. But, while the financials may shed some light on opportunities for cost savings, you may be better off starting with the core of your business—the people.

Continue reading "To Grow Personal Training Revenue, Teach Staff to Create Positive Experiences."

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Who Is Responsible for Delivering Stellar Customer Service at Your Health Club?

Ask any health club operator who on their staff is responsible for delivering stellar customer service, and you’ll likely receive this reply: everyone.

They’re not wrong—each and every staff member can make a positive impact on customer service delivery. But when correlating stellar customer service with member retention, data from the IHRSA Member Retention Report series points out the critical role fitness staff—including group exercise instructors—plays.

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At L’Usine Club, Design and Customer Service Go Hand-in-Hand 

L’Usine Club isn’t your average health club chain.

The company, which has two facilities in Paris, one in Brussels, and one in Geneva, prides itself on providing exceptional and meticulous customer service. Its highly trained staff (outfitted by Armani), premium sound system (installed by Devialet), and sleek facilities (designed by a team of architects) have attracted several global celebrities to stop in for a workout.

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Health Club Member Experience Is the New Customer Service

In today’s increasingly internet- and device-addicted world, the customer experience matters more than ever—especially when it comes to health clubs.

“Fitness is no longer simply about the physical—today, it's more about how we make people feel about themselves,” says Jarod Cogswell, founder of FIT Academy and Enterprise Athlete. “Our customer service systems must reflect our sincere support, quality care, and immense desire for a relationship with our members and clients.”

Continue reading "Health Club Member Experience Is the New Customer Service."

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Strengthen Your Health Club Staff with IHRSA's Professional Development and Management Videos

This feature is brought to you by the IHRSA Store spring sale. Now through June 30, save 25% on reports, webinars, and all other resources in the IHRSA Store by using promo code 2016SALE at checkout. 

A well-trained staff is a pillar of every successful health club, and studies have shown that educated, motivated employees result in higher member engagement and retention. But, unfortunately, many health club owners don’t have the time or resources to properly train their staff. 

To alleviate this pain point, IHRSA has developed a series of Professional Development and Management videos, which make it easy and cost-effective to train staff in all aspects of sales, service, and marketing. 

Titles include: 


  •  Selling Club Memberships (with Karen Woodward)
  •  Managing the Sales Team and Process (with Bill McBride)
  •  Selling Club Services to Corporations (with Bill McBride)
  •  Non-Sales Professional's Guide to Selling Club Services and Products(with Stephen Tharrett) 

Member Service/Retention 

  • Engaging New Members in the Club (with Brent Darden)
  • Creating a Warm and Welcoming Club Environment (with Brent Darden)
  • Creating and Sustaining a Member-Service Culture (with Herb Lipsman)
  • Increasing Membership Retention in the Health and Fitness Industry (with Bill McBride) 


  • Establishing a Powerful Online Presence (with Bill McBride)
  • Branding: Establishing a Promise That Engages the Emotions (with Stephen Tharrett)
  • Marketing: Communicating Your Brand’s Value Proposition (with Stephen Tharrett)
  • Digital Marketing (with Guy Dineen) 

These 12 videos are available in the IHRSA Store in a variety of formats, including DVD and digital download.


4 Steps to Deliver a Service Culture in Your Health Club

Over the last decade, the number of health club member experience survey tools have proliferated. But, no matter which results you choose to examine, the same five terms keep popping up among respondents who are loyal to a club: 

  • Friendly staff
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Variety of classes/programs
  • Clean facility
  • Good customer service  

“Particularly in the health and fitness industry, we can find individuals to perform most of the specific job duties required—that talent is out there,” says Brent Darden, CEO of Brent Darden Consulting. “We all know how important it is to hire positive people who enjoy customer service and embrace that challenge, and the greatest reason people don’t do that is they don’t have a system in place to make sure it’s happening.” 

Darden will explain how health club owners and operators can such a system in his Thursday, August 4 IHRSA Institute session, “Member Retention, Experience & Engagement.”

Here some of are Darden’s steps to delivering a service culture:

  1. Make customer service a central part of your club’s core value system
  2. Recruit talent based on their ability to deliver service. (This is much more important than any technology training they might have.)
  3. Provide onboarding education and continuing education for employees so they understand and are constantly reminded about the importance of the member experience and how to make it happen.
  4. Set up a reward and recognition system that is specifically tailored to recognizing people that are delivering on those customer experience values. 

In his session, Darden will also help attendees learn how your organization can become more customer-centric and succeed at building member loyalty; discover the importance of utilizing Net Promoter Scores® and member feedback to deliver great customer experiences and gain the competitive advantage; and develop strategies to help your staff engage and retain members and explore practical approaches to deliver a service culture.

Learn more about the IHRSA Institute, August 2-5 in Chapel Hill, NC.


4 Reasons Health Clubs Should Invest in CRM Technology

It’s a fact: The primary business of every health club isn’t fitness. It’s maintaining good customer relationships by providing excellent service. 

You can have the best facility, amenities, and programs in the world, but if customers have bad experiences, they won’t stay. And sub-par service certainly won’t help generate referrals or lead to new sales. Au contraire: You’ll lose business and your reputation will suffer. 

The good news: Having a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you improve the most critical aspects of your customer service program, and, thus, your members’ club experience. 

Here are four reasons CRM systems are worth the investment for health clubs. 

1. CRMs Reduce Member and Employee Frustration 

In many operational areas, clubs have grappled with inefficiencies that have frustrated employees and customers alike. In many cases, for example, simple administrative tasks that involved actual paperwork have led to major headaches as a result of human error. 

For a long time, that was the case for Beth Saroka, a 35-year industry veteran, and the owner of Onslow Fitness, in Jacksonville, NC, a 14,000-square-foot club with fitness, group exercise, and personal training offerings, a heated saltwater pool, and other amenities. 

However, in 2011, Saroka acquired ABC Financial software, and, in the process, eliminated “tons” of man-hours required for tasks that no one liked to do. 

“Whether it was a simple credit card update, a change of address, or something more involved, such as a cancellation, my staff would have to stop doing more important things— selling or servicing members—to manually fill out the paperwork,” she said. “Then, assuming it was filled out correctly, someone else had to enter all of that information into a computer. In retrospect, that was a huge waste of our time, and rarely resulted in a ‘wow’ experience for anyone.” 

Now, the CRM component of her ABC system boasts a newer feature called MYiCLUB online, a portal that allows a member to log in at any time and make account changes— even cancellations. Not only is it convenient for members, but it also ensures that the club obtains accurate information. 

Continue reading "4 Reasons Health Clubs Should Invest in CRM Technology."

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IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Discover How to Deliver Quality Member Service

Technological advances are changing how consumers experience health clubs—largely for the good. But implementing new technology in your club isn’t enough to improve customer service.   

“Some clubs are starting to rely too much on technologies and scripting,” says Bill McBride, president and CEO of Active Wellness & BMC3. “These are tools, but service starts with philosophy, hiring, training, and—most importantly—leadership.”

McBride will explain how health club operators should approach technology in a way that enhances the customer experience in his IHRSA 2016 session, “The Service Fallacy: Discover How to Deliver Quality Member Service.”

He suggests that club management set themselves up for success during the hiring process by bringing service-oriented individuals on board. Then, it’s up to leadership to make sure those staff members understand the brand culture and train them on customer service and customer experience.  

“Focus first on foundations,” he says. “Then use technology solutions to support your foundations and belief system of member experience and member engagement." 

Attendees will leave McBride’s Monday, March 21 session with: 

  • Clarity on how to approach service
  • How to use tools to enhance commitments
  • How to create a value system for ROI

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IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Customer Service Is Out, Customer Hospitality Is In

Hospitality isn’t just for hotels anymore.

Successful health clubs must move beyond customer service to a culture of hospitality, says Shawn Stewart, chief operating officer of O2 Fitness in Raleigh, NC.

“Customer service is delivering a promise. Hospitality is making people feel good while you’re delivering on that promise,” says Stewart, who will present the “Customer Service Is Out, Customer Hospitality Is In” session at IHRSA 2016 in Orlando this March.

Stewart has more than 20 years experience in the fitness industry, and is an accomplished health and fitness educator who has delivered presentations all over the world, including in Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. He currently oversees the operations of 24 health clubs in North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Customer service is technical efficiency—checking someone in in a timely manner, offering towel service, and helping a new member set up their workout,” he says. “Hospitality is a feeling, a warmth you give to customers as you handle their needs with heart-felt care and concern. It’s the smile you wear, the tone of your voice, and your actions that say you are thrilled they are there and will do all you can to make sure they have a wonderful experience.”

In his Monday, March 21 session, Stewart will share best practices regarding hospitality in health clubs and invite attendees to participate in discussion.

Attendees “will receive easy to implement plans and tools to quickly create a culture of hospitality,” he says.

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Improve Your Retention Numbers at IHRSA 2015

There are new possibilities every day for inspiring your team, for engaging current members to improve retention, and for reaching out to prospects with content that’s so compelling that they’ll want more. 

You’d like to improve your retention numbers—just like most clubs—but you don’t know quite how do it.

The Customer Service & Retention Track at IHRSA 2015 can help. You’ll have a wide range of educational sessions to choose from that are taught by the smartest and most successful retention thought leaders in the industry.

Learn all you need to know about

  • inspiring customer loyalty 
  • the secrets to superior customer service and engagement 
  • creating a top-notch service culture 
  • retention strategies that produce measurable results 
  • how to “wow” your customers by exceeding their expectations 


Come to IHRSA 2015 and bring your department heads—so you’re all on the same page. THIS is the training you’ve been looking for and the best investment in your business that you’ll ever make.