If you haven’t seen our 2019 Customer Loyalty Benchmark yet, here’s a highlight that might pique your interest. We wanted to share a piece of our report to get you as excited about Customer Experience as we are. So, here is a snapshot of what we’ve found out about the surprising state of CX in modern business.

If you’ve read even a shred of a business publication in the past year, you’ve seen headlines pointing towards CX being the trendiest commitment of businesses everywhere. Many studies indicate that more spending and data projects should be focused on CX in 2019 and 2020 than ever before. That’s all well and good, but are companies actually putting their money where their proverbial mouth is?

It turns out, the answer is: not exactly…

Let’s clarify this a little. Very expectedly, almost every company out there is “dedicated” to a superior CX. And with that in mind, most probably think that their spending is going into CX. We drilled into that question a bit more in our benchmark.

Yes, 92% of companies who responded reported being “highly” or “extremely” dedicated to CX, as expected. However, only 62% of companies agreed that they had a customer-centric culture, and a whopping 40% admitted that they had no formal CX strategy whatsoever.

If we’re talking dedication versus execution, that’s a 52% delivery gap in CX aspirations to CX actuality. Why is there such a disparity? “Dedication” and “mission” seem like a ubiquitous sentiment in business these days. But that emotionally appealing language is just ad copy, right?

Wrong. It’s real, and it’s quantifiable. Every other aspect of your business is data and strategy-driven, so CX should be as well. Consider gathering customer feedback (a lot of it) and analyzing your customers’ responses to find trends to help you strategize. Research what your competitors are doing by using resources like, say, our 2019 Customer Loyalty Benchmark! Almost every company will say, “we know our customers.” But the best brands understand that a gut feeling is never a substitute for actionable data.

Click HERE to read the report.

The fitness industry has a very unique relationship with customers as compared to any other industry. Even within the industry as a whole, there are many different expectations from customers based on the type of studio, gym, or class they’re choosing in an increasingly diverse market. In the spirit of our upcoming best practices benchmark and finding out what makes customers tick, we put together some valuable industry-specific data to get you thinking about retention and customer experience. 

We analyzed 9,900 member responses to NPS surveys at 66 randomly selected fitness brands over a 6 month period. Our goal was to find out what sorts of things were dissatisfying members as well as those that would increase customer retention. We broke the findings down into 3 categories: barriers, delighters, and drivers.

  1. Barriers

These are the minimum expectations of members. Barriers will irritate members if they are performed poorly, but they don’t have any positive effects if performed well. For example, members expect bathrooms to be clean, but they’ll only notice when the facilities are dirty. Basically, you’d better get these right no matter what.

Notice that barriers vary based on the type of business, but similar themes run throughout the industry. For the more intimate fitness experiences, space seems to be a big issue, so it pays to monitor class size and equipment availability. Price is obviously an issue to every customer, but you can mitigate that by adding value to your service or location. Pay attention to our next two categories for ideas on how to increase value.

  1. Delighters

These are the “wow” factors that your members didn’t expect. These show your members you’ve gone above and beyond. Delighters improve retention when performed well, but there is no negative impact if they’re absent or performed poorly. For example, if you do something like a special member appreciation event with a free class, members will be very impressed. If you don’t, they won’t notice; they weren’t expecting it anyway.

A friendly attitude seems to go a long way here, so collecting feedback and training employees on interactions could be a booster. Cultivating an inviting space with helpful, happy employees will be most important when it comes to surprising your members with excellence.

  1. Drivers

These factors go both ways. If you miss the mark with drivers, customers will notice in a negative way. If you perform drivers well, retention increases. For example, if the staff is rude or inattentive, members may not return. If your staff provides exceptional service, they will notice and retention will increase.

Instructors, coaches, and staff are big factors in this category. Getting feedback from your members can help improve training and reveal which sorts of workouts and classes are most effective at increasing retention and member engagement.

If you found this helpful and want to learn more about improving your CX and retention, check out our 2019 Customer Loyalty Benchmark on best practices from top brands in your industry.

CLICK HERE to read the report.

 

If you do even a slight amount of online business, you know by now that Google and your business are pretty firmly linked. With over 90% of online experiences starting on a search engine, SEO and PPC have become much more than buzzwords. They’re ingrained in how we do business. In a recent effort to make information more accessible, though, Google has changed the game. It’s becoming more difficult for customers to find your business organically. Here are the reasons why and how you can prepare for them.

Zero-Click Searches

If you search for something like “weather in Atlanta” or even the term “SEO,” you’ll notice the Google shift I’m talking about. Rather than immediately offering you links to other sites, Google scrapes that information and displays it directly on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This format is starkly different from the Google of years past, and it’s unintentionally killing clicks. When someone finds all or at least enough displayed at the top of the page and stops there, it’s a zero-click search.

This new face of Google’s SERP is extremely convenient for the casual searcher cutting down on clicks. But for those of us who rely on those clicks, it’s a major speedbump. In 2018, over 34% of desktop searches resulted in zero clicks, and mobile zero-click searches were above 60%. As Google becomes more of a portal than a search engine, businesses are going to need to improve their approach to SEO to keep getting clicks that drive purchases. There are 3 relatively easy things you can start doing to boost your efforts.

1. Write Long Tail Content

This exercise will not only help you get more valuable clicks, but it will help you understand how to set your brand apart from others in your space in general. “The Long Tail” refers to more specific keywords or phrases that go beyond the generics of your product or service. In other words, you want to think about the small things that distinguish you from your competitors. 

For example, if you own a salon, you don’t want every title or keyphrase to be generically about salons and hair. It helps to branch out a bit to appeal to a wider variety of searches. People who search more specifically are much more likely to make a purchase, so it helps to target those people with more finely-tuned language. A good SEO practice to remember is to link your long tail material to your mainstream content to help Google crawlers make sense of your site.

2. Analyze Customer Responses 

If you’re doing any type of surveying or customer feedback, take a look at the language your customers are using. If you can establish a pattern of what customers are looking for in your experience and even what they searched for when they found your business, you can tailor your content accordingly. You will discover the features and specific language you can highlight in your content that will appeal to the searches of your most likely customers.

3. Educate Your Team

SEO vocabulary and practices, at least on a rudimentary level, should be commonplace among your staff. Present your findings and best practices to team members to ensure that everyone is writing authoritative content that stands a chance of showing up on SERPs. The more clarity and authority your copy has, the more likely Google is to pick it up or at least scrape from your site and feature at the top of the page.