Get ready for a rant.
Fitness Centers. The new trend (there are many) is outsourcing. From the business side this makes huge sense. Take billing for example. If this is done "in-club" it’s done face to face, people to people, front desk and manager to member. In this situation personalities can play a large factor in what happens, if someone gets injured, forgets to cancel or put their membership on hold (which most fitness centers simply won’t do) a persuasive person might be able to sway the front desk attendant and the manager into waving some of those fees (and rightfully so). Hence the beauty of outsourcing the billing process. The above mentioned person walks in and tries their truthful and legitimate story, get told the same thing everyone else hears "we don’t handle the billing, call "123 FinanceMe" and they’ll help you." "123 FinanceMe" knows that they will never see this poor member, so they stick it to him/her, the member is pissed off (rightfully so) but at "123 FinanceMe" instead of the fitness center to being lame and outsourcing their billing.
The other new trend is outsourcing your trainers… Another total winner from a business standpoint. No more hassle of certifying them, hiring them, firing them, insuring them, motivating them, educating them, paying them – which in the high turnover world of crappy 18 year old trainers is exquisite I’m sure. Instead of having a training department they can just use "iFitness" and just get paid a healthy amount without having to track sessions used, bought, cancels, no-shows, "my trainer promised me blah blah blah, but he quit and now what do we do?" – all that. In this new outsourced situation, when you client gets screwed over, they’re mad at iFitness not the Fitness Center who hired iFitness… Confused? Me too.
iFitness’s job then becomes only to sell massive amounts of training every month so that the company can pay the Fitness Center Rent and they can make profit for themselves. Trainers come and go and people will get screwed over and over again but they won’t quit the Fitness Center because it’s not their fault, just that crappy iFitness company and their shady trainers. Please.
I want you all to understand the sinister thing that’s happening here. Some of these Fitness Centers own the company they outsource to. Kinda like how Coke owns like 20% of the free world. So in effect all they’ve done is created a fool proof way do drastically reduce customer service by giving themselves the capability to pass the buck to this other "no face" company. Now that’s shady.
I own a Gym. Yeah a Gym, with chalk and barbells. Sweat and tears. Atlas stones and pull-up bars. A Gym. A place where people come to train. Not to workout, but to train. Training involves learning like when you’re "training" at your job, you’re learning how to do something. When you train at my gym you’re learning how to be athletic, how to be in shape, how to do real movements, the ones that no one made up but most people forget how to do. Like Squatting. As soon as either a) God blessed us with the ability to walk upright or b) we evolved to walk upright or c) God caused the evolution of us walking upright we homo sapiens sapiens instantly knew we had to squat. NO ONE MADE THIS UP, getting off the ground or up from a seated position requires the squat then just as much as now. The Muscle-Up, if you’re hanging off something, there is no other way to get on top of said thing than to do a muscle-up or some leg using version of it. No one made this up. We deal with real movements.
We don’t outsource a single stinkin’ darned thing. I screw up peoples’ billing all the time, for those that I’ve messed up, I apologize. But you know what’s nice, when it’s screwed up, we fix it. One email, one phone call, a "hey Jes, you charged me twice last month!" and it’s done. We don’t outsource our training, if something is wrong we fix it, we don’t have sales or quotas or close-outs to push people into things they don’t want to do or can’t really afford.
In the words of CrossFit "we’re doing all the right things for all the right people for all the right reasons". I truly believe that, if you know someone who needs to hear about our Gym, let them know about us, we’re doing the right thing all the time. If you suck and are a nuisance to the club, we’ll kick you the hell out. If you’re awesome and have a great indomitable attitude we want more people like you! Come in here and TRAIN! For those of the good people who we haven’t seen in a while – GET IN HERE AND TRAIN.
Clan Chieftan Out.