Editor's note: Annette Lang is an experienced personal trainer and educator. Scott Lundberg has done extensive work in experience design. The Focus On article, “Personal Experience,” in the February 2003 issue discussed how we in the health club industry can enhance our personal training program by adopting basic concepts from this experience framework. This is Annette's “Experience Assessment.” The follow up analysis on her assessment will run in the August issue.

When the experience I create is of greater value than the client's expectations, a quality relationship is created. I would like to share with you how Scott and I analyzed the experience I have been providing to my clients as a personal trainer.

We all know how important assessment is in fitness: to determine where we are with our clients and where we are going. The same applies to increasing the value of your overall business. Many health clubs and personal training departments try to copy the perceived strengths of the competition instead of focusing energy on their own strengths and opportunities to create an experience that is uniquely theirs. This process assessment works for the smallest of businesses and the largest of corporations.

In my experience assessment, Scott began by defining three things:

  • Who am I?
  • Who are my clients?
  • What experience do my clients have with me?
  • To define these, he asked me a series of questions that helped us get to the heart and soul of what I am doing and condensed it into the following:

    Who is Annette Lang, personal trainer?

  • She believes in helping people feel empowered. Making clients feel good about themselves is what she does best.
  • She believes that motivating people to move more will help them feel better — literally moving more.
  • She motivates with encouragement and praise.
  • She is highly educated and is an educator of personal trainers.
  • She loves and appreciates all sports and likes cycling best as an activity.
  • She is a vegetarian, but not preachy about it. Nachos are a favorite.
  • She is 43 years old with 20 years in the fitness industry.
  • She is a master trainer for Reebok.
  • Who are Annette's clients?

  • They possess some level of motivation.
  • They expect professionalism (on time, etc.)
  • They respect her professional status.
  • They expect consistency in relationship over time.
  • They want the latest info as it applies to them.
  • They select a trainer based on philosophy that matches their own.
  • They are not people with an air of entitlement.
  • They are mostly of middle age and professional.
  • They live in Manhattan.
  • They are flexible with scheduling because Annette's obligations as an educator often creates conflicts.
  • What experience do clients have with Annette?

  • Experience of success for the client.
  • Focused and professional. No chitchat during workout.
  • Content includes what Annette is learning at the moment.
  • Responsive to client preferences. Any movement that does not harm is good.
  • Pain=Stop. Always.
  • First session is an assessment. Always.
  • Full of positive reinforcement.
  • According to Scott, this is his analysis of Annette's client experience:

    “Annette thoroughly understands and articulates what she wants to provide to her clients. This understanding is a result of her years of experience as an educator of personal trainers in addition to her actual practice. Annette helps people feel better about themselves by getting them to physically move and emotionally experience success. This mind and body approach has a positive multiplier effect. The successful mind allows the body to move more and the better-conditioned body encourages the mind's sense of well being and so on…This is the body and soul of the experience Annette provides as a personal trainer.

    In August, Scott will share some simple changes that he incorporated into Annette's experience assessment that helped her to enhance her personal training program.

    Annette Lang can be reached at www.annettelang.com. Scott Lundberg can be reached at lundberg@makeinc.net.