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Around 25 years ago, Rob Shapiro got his inspiration for BodyScapes Fitness soon after he landed a job as general manager of a club in downtown Boston.
“Personal trainers would come up to us and say, ‘It would be great if we had a place that was a dedicated personal training facility,’” said Shapiro. “So, that’s where the idea of BodyScapes came from.”
The idea came to full fruition in 1997, when Shapiro began to really see the potential in personal training. This inspired him to take out a $50,000 loan, which he invested into opening up his first dedicated training studio.
Now, 20 years later, Shapiro and his team operate a number of successful fitness facilities, including One2One BodyScapes, which has eight locations; BodyScapes Fitness, a full-service chain with three locations; and even a CrossFit box, CrossFit Coolidge Corner. “We’ve diversified over the years as we’ve grown and established in the greater Boston area,” said Shapiro.
While the company has become more diverse, Shapiro said the focus has always been on personal training. “I started off in the training industry years ago, so we’ve always had that sort of background,” he said.
At BodyScapes Fitness, Shapiro said the differentiation point is its excellent customer service.
“We’re not the most expensive club, but we have really nice clubs and we have good customer service — good people, good managers,” explained Shapiro. “We’ve known this industry for so long, and there’s a lot of noise in our industry right now, so it’s important to distinguish yourself with customer service. And, I think we’ve done a good job.”
To Shapiro, an important part of showing that excellent customer service to BodyScapes Fitness’ members is by not nickel-and-diming them. “We don’t charge extra for really anything,” he said. “We only charge extra for personal training and Pilates. Everything else is part of their membership. We don’t charge for parking, towels, babysitting or group classes. It’s all offered at no extra cost.”