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Soft skills won’t make up for a lack of technical knowledge, but today’s fi tness instructors can’t get by without them


Sue Gill Welcome Host • Head of skills and training


the need for customer service training when it became obvious customer expectations were rising and people were experiencing better service from rival destinations. As the fitness industry matures, customer service may become the


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differentiating point. Staff will need to offer the full package: fitness know-how and good customer service. We’ve found there to be a powerful business case for


investing in soft skills. One of our hospitality clients has reported compliments are up by 90 per cent and complaints down by 70 per cent after putting their staff through training, while another saw an uplift in profits of 25 per cent. Soft skills may not make up for lack of technical knowledge,


but they can make or break businesses, and so are vital for those with frontline jobs. It’s about dealing with each customer as an individual. And customer service can’t be done in isolation: it needs to go from the top down and the bottom up. Encountering one grumpy member of staff can tarnish the whole experience and perception of a business.


” March 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


ike the fitness industry, the tourism industry recognised


Jean-Ann Marnoch REPS • Pralist


person and an ability to know when to interact, and when to just leave alone, is crucial to the member’s enjoyment. The client is investing trust in an instructor, who must be as enthusiastic about their goals as they are. However, soft skills are not mutually


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exclusive to fitness know-how. An instructor has to have a basic understanding of how the body works, as exercise places stress on the body’s systems and structure: that stress must be in line with the basic functionality of the body to avoid injury and get results. One of the most important aspects of designing exercises


– as well as understanding exactly what that exercise does for the body – is to understand the impact of the individual’s ability, body type, fitness level, health history, wants and needs on their capacity to perform the exercise. Mostly this can only be observed and corrected at the time of executing an exercise, and that’s when a registered (ie fully trained and currently competent) instructor is needed – to ensure the member has the right type of exercises to get the results they want.


” Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 29


oft skills are extremely important. A real interest in the


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