As mentioned in the previous post, customer complaints are an inevitable part of working in a service industry. So how do you go about avoiding potential complaints from your clients? Here are some of the most common complaints made about personal trainers. Avoiding these errors is a great start to developing better customer care and getting more positive feedback from your clients.

  1. The session without a plan. There is nothing that decreases the value of your sessions in your clients’ eyes more than a personal trainer who seems to be wandering around the gym, making up the routine as he goes along. Make sure that you always have a plan and that each session is well thought-out.
  2. Talking on the phone during sessions. Any client wants to feel that your attention is focused on them and their fitness throughout their sessions. When you are training a client, it is not the time to take calls or reply to emails. It is also not the time to chat to your buddies in the gym. Focus your attention on your client, and set aside time when you can catch up with any calls, emails, etc that need your attention.
  3. Eyes on the TV. It’s pretty obvious that if you’re watching the sports channel on one of the gym’s TVs and vaguely counting reps, then you’re not making your client a priority. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: focus all your attention on your client and avoid anything that might distract you.
  4. Inaccurate measurements. Either through simply being inaccurate or because they’re trying to give clients a good impression, some personal trainers give clients inaccurate figures when they’re measuring things such as body fat. Above all, clients want their trainers to be honest with them and give them an honest account of their progress. No matter the figures, stick to accurate measurements and give your clients realistic feedback.
  5. Inappropriate behaviour. This is the source of all negative stereotypes. Unfortunately there are trainers out there who arrive for a session hungover and proceed to regale their client with tales of with weekend exploits. Not to mention the flirting. At all times, it is important for you to be professional in your conduct with all clients – male and female.
  6. The intimidating expert. Clients want you to share your knowledge and expertise with them, but in a friendly, approachable manner. Your clients should always feel comfortable asking you questions – if they don’t, you need to take an honest look at your manner.
  7. Same old, same old. A common complaint is never-changing routines. Clients expect your services, and that includes working out a personalised programme that changes according to your periodic evaluation of a client’s progress.
  8. Disorganised and ditsy. Whether a trainer routinely arrives late for a session, cancels at the last minute, doesn’t return calls, or doesn’t reply to emails, this is a sign that he is not up to scratch. Clients want someone who is on time and reliable. This is all part of being a professional.
  9. Fighting the injuries. Unless a medical practitioner has given specific instructions, clients should be guided to work around injuries, not push through them. Any personal trainer should adjust a client’s routine according to his/her weaknesses and limitations.
  10. It’s all about the money. Nobody likes to feel ripped off, and that includes clients. When someone signs up for training, be clear about your rates and charge them accordingly. Ending sessions early is another thing that makes clients feel as though they’re not getting what they paid for. Ensure that you don’t charge clients more than your original quote, and make sure they are getting all the time they have paid for.