Managing Your Customer Experience Focus

Positive feedback and the detractor

Our company, (Club Works), delivers customer experience management (CEM) products developed in partnership with Medallia Inc.

MXM is the only “retail” CEM system developed exclusively for use in Health Clubs. Club Works currently serves approximately 400 health clubs, and we’ve been in business for about three years. Over the course of those three years the MXM system has received over 300.000 completed club member surveys, and we have worked closely with each club in our network to insure that the customer experience data that MXM provides finds its way in to the operating culture of our customer facilities.

MXM is unique among health and fitness CEM systems in its use of both “structured member feedback” (0-10 ratings of key club metrics) and “unstructured member feedback” (written commentary provided by the member). MXM doesn’t stop at “Likelihood to recommend” and Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is what Fred Reichheld (inventor of NPS) refers to as a Net Promoter System. We pull in data on 20 to 30 key club service components that describe the total member experience at MXM supported clubs. We’ve moved a ton of data over the last three years delivering a full throated, and comprehensive “Voice of the Member” to our customers, and we’ve mentored owners and managers in responding to member inputs.

An interesting tendency has emerged among our customers that I think applies to club owners and managers generally. So what drew your attention? Maybe just this……..

The Detractor

Of course, the picture directs your attention to the odd orange frown in a sea of happy yellow faces.   The orange frown is so compelling it invites our best problem solving management to “fix the problem”.

Putting this little orange guy in the context of a member survey response, he/she is telling you that you’ve failed to deliver on your brand promise. Maybe he/she is thinking of leaving the club or worse, telling everyone on Yelp! how horrible your club is.  Fixing your little “orange face” is nice and tactical. It will help with attrition, and if you can fix every “orange face” those comments on Yelp! will be less negative; maybe your Club NPS score will go up!

Fixing the problem is a good thing ———but there was a lot of yellow in that picture and lots of smiling faces.

Try focusing on the positive.

In a pure retention play all those little yellow guys wouldn’t matter, but if you are really managing your member experience you need to understand and act upon the positive aspects of your member experience too.

  • Knowing where/how you’ve exceeded member expectations can guide future programs, products and practices to deliver more happy yellow faces.
  • Positive member feedback will vector you to those areas of your business are really “killing it” from there you can investigate migrating that success to other areas of club operation.
  • Of course, there is also tremendous value in positive feedback for training, recognizing, and rewarding employees.
  • When the aggregate member experience is impacted negatively by things like remodels, dues increases, equipment fees, summer kids tennis, winter parking challenges, Etc. Etc. How nice to have a good handle on those things your members like and value by way of facilities, programs and products to mitigate bad feelings. Conversely how great to know exactly those programs and practices that you should never change…. NEVER!
  • Why wouldn’t an owner or manager want to identify the “Raving Fans” within a member base? Those people whom a sales person might want to approach during a “walk through”. Those members who are more likely to bring a friend in to see a club they are proud to be a member of. 

At Club Works we have noted that many/most of our MXM system users tend to over focus on the little orange guy a bit, and I am certain other club owners using competitors products have a similar tendency. Here’s a simple exercise/suggestion.

Set aside just 15 minutes every other day to stop and look at all those 9s and 10s in your MXM (or other systems) database. Read the positive comments from members and investigate those positive comments just as you would negative ones to find the source and extent of positive comments. Record your findings just as you would if you were investigating multiple complaints or low scores related to a specific area of your clubs operation.   Finally, investigate and celebrate the positive feedback you receive from your members. Recognize those members who took the time to tell you all about the things they like/love about your club.

Schedule 15-30 minutes every other day just to look at the “good news” coming in from your CEM system. It will be “happy place” in your schedule and its just plain “good business practice”.

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