Customer Stories The Little Gym
The Little Gym Achieves Best-in-Class Loyalty Scores in Multiple Customer Environments
For nearly 40 years, The Little Gym has been helping children build their skills and self-confidence in a fun and nurturing environment. Known as a company that cares deeply about its customers, The Little Gym has taken that commitment to a new level with Listen360’s automated customer feedback system. Since implementing Listen360, The Little Gym has achieved best-in-class loyalty scores in multiple customer environments—results worth flipping over.
With nearly 300 gyms worldwide, The Little Gym uniquely understands how to please two of the toughest customers: kids and their parents. The company also knows that continued success depends not only on acquiring new customers, but also on retaining loyal, happy ones.
“We have always grown and improved, but in terms of customer retention, we were not moving the needle as significantly as we wanted to,” explains Heather Anderson, Director of Marketing for The Little Gym International, Inc.
Anderson adds that the company did not have a straightforward way to gather customer feedback. “We needed a consistent source of data and a clear way to understand the customer experience,” says Anderson.
The Little Gym marketing team heard about Listen360’s customer feedback management system at an industry conference and was impressed by its online demo. Anderson says the company also looked at two other systems, but kept coming back to Listen360. “When it became a need and not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ we went with our first choice, Listen360,” says Anderson. “It was the most comprehensive system with a wide range of features. It also integrated into our business operations system and seemed to be very easy for franchise owners to use. We’ve launched other business systems before and this was one of the most seamless implementations that we’ve ever had.”
The Little Gym has been using Listen360 for four years, and the benefits are far-reaching. “Listen360 gives us a clear view of our business through our customers’ eyes,” explains Anderson. “It’s helped us uncover opportunities to improve our business as well as see where we provide an exceptional customer experience.”
“The gyms use reviews on Facebook to engage with customers and to help grow their business. We also built a special page on our website to post all reviews; we feel that the transparency of showing all reviews reinforces our credibility with parents.” — Heather Anderson, Director of Marketing for The Little Gym International, Inc.
Results: Increase Retention, Boost to Sales Efforts
In the two years that The Little Gym has been using Listen360, retention has increased considerably. “It has been a tremendous help with retention,” says Anderson. “We learn exactly how customers feel and recognize when they might be leaning toward not renewing. The data we get is in real time, so our franchise owners can reach out and quickly remedy a situation.”
In addition, the company has seen an unexpected result: the correlation between its customer loyalty score, gym revenues and sales. “Our loyalty score is 84 to 85 percent—well beyond best-in-class,” says Anderson. “We’ve seen that the franchise locations with the highest loyalty scores also have the highest revenue. The loyalty score also adds to the success of our franchise sales efforts by providing clear data that highlights customer satisfaction system-wide.”
Customer Feedback as a Coaching Tool
The Little Gym uses Listen360 to provide support for franchise owners. “For example, our Business Consultants can look at who is at risk of leaving and why, and coach franchise owners about what action to take and how to make things right before a customer leaves.”
Providing System-wide Visibility
The Little Gym’s operations system houses all of its customer data; by integrating that system with Listen360, feedback requests are automatically sent to customers based on a schedule that The Little Gym determines—typically two midpoints within the Season.
Listen360’s feedback request contains just two questions: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” and an open-ended request for customers to share more about their experience with The Little Gym.
Based on customers’ responses, the system organizes them into three categories: “Promoters” are clients who would recommend The Little Gym to a friend; “Passives” are neutral; and “Detractors” are those with negative feedback. The system generates a real-time task list for franchisees, making it easy for gym staff to follow up with customers.
Next, Listen360 translates the client data into a loyalty score that is automatically displayed on graphical dashboards. The dashboard also displays results from Listen360’s “Voice of the Customer”– a powerful, proprietary text analytics tool that scans customers’ feedback for key words about likes and concerns, and categorizes them into meaningful themes.
“The Voice of the Customer has played a key role for us,” says Anderson. “We are able to quickly see what our customers are saying and hone in on key words. We receive overwhelmingly positive reviews, which confirm that the gyms are providing a great customer experience.”
Anderson adds, “Many owners have also chosen to get an immediate notification via text message if they receive a detractor comment, so they can respond within minutes of receiving the feedback.”
Reaching New Customers with Social Media Integration
When happy customers answer the feedback request, they are offered a one-click method for sharing their experience on their personal Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn pages. This online word-of-mouth helps promote The Little Gym to current customers’ followers. Listen360 also streams customer reviews on The Little Gym’s company Facebook pages and websites.
“The gyms use reviews on Facebook to engage with customers and to help grow their business. We also built a special page on our website to post all reviews; we feel that the transparency of showing all reviews reinforces our credibility with parents.”
New! Feedback at Multiple Touchpoints
The Little Gym is the first Listen360 client to expand the feedback system into multiple customer touchpoints, adding birthday party customers as well as lost customers, in addition to its gym members. Listen360 allows for the unique wording of the feedback requests and tailors the schedule based on the requirements of different events in the customer life cycle. For example, a feedback request for birthday party customers is automatically sent following the event. For lost customers, the request automatically goes out 30 days after a customer’s introductory class to uncover reasons why they didn’t enroll and suggestions for improvement.
“Feedback from multiple types of customers has shown us that there are opportunities to improve communication,” says Anderson. “Recently a customer said that she would have enrolled in a class if there was a discount for a second child. Well, there is! We also receive a lot of comments about price, so we know we need to focus on improving the initial value perception. A lot of what we hear comes back to communication; but we wouldn’t have heard it before Listen360.”