'How I've taken my physical business online'

Can the level of individualised service as found in personal training transition across and work in my new role as the CEO of an online business?

To have a successful, sustainable and strong business long term, the answer must be yes.

From being a personal trainer out on the beaches of Bondi, dealing with a close knit group of people on a one to one basis; to stepping into the role of CEO of an incredible, extremely fast growing world of online business, with The Paleo Way; I knew had my work cut out for me transitioning from face-to-face service to the great online world of customer communication and social media.

One thing all my years as a fitness trainer taught me was that every single client I had was different.

Each client I would see would come from a different background, circumstance and fitness level to each other.

I would tailor each individual’s workouts specifically to their wants, needs and essentially be the person they needed me to be. Talk about their favourite topics, remember important factors in their lives, and be the support they required.

Could I give the same personal care (that I used to give my one-on-one clients) to an ever growing audience of over 25,000 from all over the world?

It is simply about finding a way to make it happen that is measurable, manageable and achievable long term.

Why should it be measurable? Well, as a leader of a team I need to find a measure of service that would set a bench mark, a precedent for the rest of my crew.

Luke Hines, The Paleo Way, Bondi PT Personal Training.I can’t act in a way that isn’t reflected by those closest to me in the business as it wouldn’t be consistent. I believe in having a measurable level of service, that all employees understand, and therefore we have consistent service across the board.

This consistency is what customers see day in and day out, and for me personally, it is the businesses I deal with that are consistent that get my vote with my dollar. From the perfect coffee each time, to incredible telephone customer service, measurable consistency is key.

Making it manageable is vital. So for me, it is about having key performance indicators that allow me to know if we are performing to our best possible service.

From having regular customer service meetings, to discuss frequently occurring requests, to overseeing each member of the team to be sure they are achieving not only their daily workload, but doing it with pleasure and ease.

Making incredible customer service manageable for the company as a whole is vital for long term success.

By making it manageable, you are essentially making it achievable.

No matter how time pressed the team becomes, or how high pressured a situation we are confronted with is, we have made our performance measurable in a way that makes it sustainable, whilst being manageable for the team to perform in peak conditions.

All signs should point to incredible customer service therefore becoming achievable.

These are all elements of business that I actively made a part of my day-to-day dealings with personal training clients, and it has been incredible to see them translated into the world of online business, but the best online customer service in the online world means nothing if you don’t have customers to serve.

So how could I translate what I had learnt in the real world about attracting customers, to what I am now doing in the online space? And it all came down to one word: honesty.

As a personal trainer I had to be honest. Honest about goals, expectations, and the realities of making long term lifestyle transformations.

This often meant having to say things people didn’t want to hear, but it was always honest, which at the end of the day is the right thing to do.

I saw that honesty was a word we had to celebrate across all of our social media campaigns, so that as a business, we represented the truth.

Ultimately we are in the business of helping people live their best loves through our 10 week online program, so we are dealing with people from all over the world who are at their most vulnerable. Honesty was therefore what they needed in everything we do, from Instagram posts, to blogs we would release on Facebook.

I believe honesty in social media garners trust from customers and potential customers. When speaking the truth, you certainly won’t please everybody, but you will earn respect from those who see your content because they know you are not trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

I have been able to take real world experience, and apply it to my online business by building paramount customer service and an honesty in our social media that attracts people who really want to make a positive change for the better.

Luke Hines is the CEO of The Paleo Way and the owner of Bondi PT Personal Training.

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