Health clubs looking to take their business to the next level and become exceptional must focus on customer experience. That was the message shared by ClubWorks Inc. President Blair McHaney in his presentation on fitness industry customer experience strategy in Tuesday's free Club Industry webinar, "The Four Habits of Exceptional Clubs" sponsored by Medallia.
McHaney explained that operators of exceptional clubs understand that a good customer experience drives more than loyalty - a good customer experience drives revenue.
"You focus on creating loyalty," McHaney told the webinar audience. "That is a production metric just as much your sales and conversion metrics are."
Forrester Research has shown the relationship between customer experience and revenue, McHaney said before taking an in-depth look at customer experience elements within the fitness industry.
Any customer experience in the fitness industry starts with three main factors: plant and equipment (fixed assets), services (exercise class programming) and amenities (non-fitness based, such as a café, towel service, locker room shampoo, etc.), McHaney said. Atop those three factors is the daily operations layer of people, policies, processes, business practice, procedures and other customers.
"If the product is plant and equipment, services and amenities, [then] customer experience lives on the other side of our people, policies, processes, business practices, procedures and other customers," McHaney said. "Our customer can't utilize that product without experiencing our daily operations, and that is what we call the 'blending effect.'"
The blending effect, McHaney explained, occurs when the actual usage of the product purchased by a customer is intertwined with a company's operations.
"For us (the fitness industry), this blending effect is extremely high and is about as high as it could be for any industry except for perhaps healthcare," McHaney said. "There's a huge opportunity to utilize all of those parts of your operations to keep leveling your customer experience, to learn something new, to implement something new, execute, try again, keep moving and keep getting better at getting better."
Health clubs wanting to improve their customer experience can follow four basic strategies: see yourself as customers do, wire customers into every decision, innovate continuously at scale and drive accountability at all levels, McHaney said. He detailed those strategies in the webinar, which will be available for free on-demand viewing in the coming days.