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Memb er f ee db a c k – why bo t h e r ?

“There is only one boss. The customer. And

she can fire everybody in the company from

the chairman on down, simply by spending her money somewhere else.”

Sam Walton, founder, Walmart

“Our DNA is as a

consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about.

And we think our job is to take responsibility

for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simple.”

The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“You can’t drag people from understanding to action. A customer

isn’t actually at the last mile if you’re the one dragging her to the finish line.”

Thomas Barnett, chief analyst, Wikistrat

PROMOTER Friendly staff Plenty of equipment

Variety of classes/programmes Clean facility

Good customer service

IHRSA was collected between January 2014 and March 2015. The members surveyed were simply asked the Net Promoter Score question:

“On a score of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your health club to a friend or business associate?” – with a score of 0 meaning they were unlikely to do so, and 10 meaning ‘very likely’. The members could then be categorised as a detractor, passive or promoter based on their score (see Figure 1, p39). Clubs were then given their NPS score: the balance remaining after subtracting detractors from promoters – which could of course be a negative number. The Net Promoter Score metric was

designed to predict the likelihood of business growth. Experience validates this. In multi-location businesses, the locations registering the top 10 per cent of NPS scores have the highest growth; while the bottom 10 per cent experience little or no growth. For the big-box clubs Listen360

analysed, the membership breakdown averaged 66 per cent promoters, 23 per cent passives and 11 per cent detractors, resulting in an average member experience NPS of 55 per cent. With class-based businesses and

studios factored in, the numbers are more like 70 per cent promoters, 20 per cent passives and 10 per cent detractors. Significantly higher than industry benchmarks published by IHRSA and other groups, this number reflects a community of fitness businesses with a strong commitment to delivering an exceptional member experience. They have not only implemented a system to measure member loyalty, but actively use the insights provided to direct their continuous improvement efforts.

Data becomes insight So how have they done this? The big question often asked about NPS is how to take this research to a level that will allow for operational insight. Whether they’re detractors, passives or promoters, which areas of your offering are your members talking about, what

40 Read Health Club Management online at DETRACTOR

Too crowded/wait for equipment Broken equipment

Dirty locker rooms and showers

Not enough variety in classes/class times Too expensive

are they happy with, where do they wish to see improvements? This information needs to be

uncovered as objectively as possible. With this in mind, Listen360 asks one follow-up question depending on the score given by the members. Detractors – anyone who scored

their likelihood of recommending their health club as 0–6 – are asked: “How did we disappoint you and what can we do to make it right?” Passives, who scored their club

7–8, are asked: “What could we do to improve?” And promoters, who are those scoring from 9–10, are asked:

“What do you like about our services?” The text from these member

responses is then analysed, with the system identifying the words most regularly mentioned by members. This offers an insight into what clubs are doing well, what isn’t so good, and what members want.

What do members talk about? The top five terms referenced by both promoters and detractors in our million-member study can be seen in Figure 2. Aside from price, we can see it’s the same key words being talked about on both sides of the fence

– cleanliness, availability of equipment, variety of classes. Your happy customers aren’t so hung up on price, because they believe they’re getting value for their money. For your detractors – your unhappy members – when they aren’t satisfied with what you’re offering, all of a sudden price becomes an issue. Promoters are more concerned about

location than price – if they like what you’re giving them, and it’s conveniently located, then they’ll deal with the price. The great news is that there are many

more positives being talked about by members than negatives, as evidenced by the NPS figures noted above. Operators can take these objective

measures and use them as the basis on which to take informed action, safe in the knowledge that these actions will improve the customer experience.

July 2015 © Cybertrek 2015

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