This week I have the extraordinary privilege to be working from my balcony in Punta Cana. I have never been to an all inclusive resort before, and it is quite the experience. The grounds are beautiful, you can go to any of the many restaurants or bars on the property, and there always seems to be a smiling face nearby ready to wait on your next need.

Last night we attended an outdoor band that was playing and there were six younger people that were hired by the resort to provide entertainment and get the crowd dancing etc... While all of them were great dancers, the lead young man was simply incredible. His feet were light and fast, and yet somehow thoughtful and deliberate. He was smiling from ear to ear, and seemed to be having as much fun doing his job as we were joining him on the dance floor. As talented at this young man was, one of his gifts seemed to be the ability to dance with a wide range of partners (guests that he would engage) and have them seem comfortable and loose. You could see the transformation in the people in only one minute: they went from thinking "oh, no, I can't dance with him, he is too good" to relaxing and enjoying themselves and then going back to their tables only to return to the dance floor with their spouse or partner.

It really got me thinking about customer service and how that impacts our industry and profession. Yes, being an indoor cycling instructor is, well at least should be, a profession. We have customers (riders) and it is really our job to guide them through this fitness experience that we have (hopefully) spent time and effort creating. In many ways, we should be presenting an image similar to this young man's for not just our riders, but all of those that are in the club or studio.

As with any great performer, his performance moved me, and has me thinking....Am I providing a high quality performance for my riders and most importantly, am I providing that experience to most of my riders or only just a few? As with most instructors, I have a core group of 10 or so people (about a third of the class) that seem to be in all of the classes I teach. They are all cyclists (they ride outdoors) and they work hard, they work very hard. They are inspirational to teach to and certainly in the midst of a very tough set they help to get me to the other side. But what about the other 20 or so people in that room? I am reaching them? Is my class actually fun and enjoyable, or has it become a 60 minute grueling experience?

I have often heard group exercise instructors talk about the class they just delivered and the gist of the conversation always seems to revolve around "killing" the people, or it being the "hardest" class they have had or something similar. Very rarely, if ever, do you I have pleasure of hearing about how they had the entire class pedaling to the beat and enjoying themselves. I am not sure that I myself have ever measured the success of one of my classes by the number of smiles I have seen on the participant's faces; but perhaps I should. Some, well really most, of my riders will never be on a triathlon course, so I should be mindful about training them like they headed there in three weeks.

So I challenge you, take a few moments and think about your next class. Are you providing great customer service? Are you including most of the riders, and not just your hardcore following? Are your riders having fun? As for myself, when I return I plan to taking the time to be sure that I am dancing with all of my customers, not just the cyclists!

 

Originally posted 2018-04-02 07:00:10.

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