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.