Customer Stories United Planet Fitness Partners
Keeping Your Member Experience in Shape: Leveraging Feedback in Fitness
With so many questionable cleanses, unconventional workouts, and wearable tech on the market, it’s clear that the fitness world is full of fleeting fads. Consumers struggle to stick to the latest trending 21-day challenge. What’s to keep them loyal to a gym membership? Modern member retention takes a new and improved understanding of the customer relationship. One particular ownership group of Planet Fitness, United PF Partners, has discovered a way to ensure a consistent, premium experience across the entire network of locations. With 940,000 members and 120 gyms and growing, it’s safe to say that United PF believes retention is a key driver to sustainable growth and happier members.
While United PF has always taken a number of measures to bolster member experience, a few years ago, the group was looking for a change in direction. That was about the time Adam Patrick came on the scene at United PF. Though currently the Director of Customer Engagement, Patrick was a consultant at the time, brought on to lead retention efforts. When he arrived, he saw that United PF was using the Net Promoter System, a customer feedback methodology created by Bain and Company. The system is designed to gather multiple insights about how loyal customers are to a brand, but the group was mostly using it to extract a score for each club. “When I came on board, they were thinking of eliminating it,” Patrick remembers. “There was a pilot in place, and it was simply being used to derive a metric.” Patrick had used NPS tools in the past and with his background leveraging B2B social networks in Silicon Valley, he started to review the other NPS capabilities that might make an immediate impact for United PF and its members.
Modern member retention takes a new and improved understanding of the customer relationship
Before United PF made any decisions, Patrick took a closer look at Listen360. “I had a chance to finally dig into the data and realized the full potential to empower our team leaders across the country with member feedback during the customer journey,” he says. “It was something that could be impactful and transformational.” The pilot had been running with 9 clubs on Listen360, an NPS-based member feedback platform, and when Patrick saw the intuitive interface and pre-built integration with ABC Financial, it seemed like a no brainer to scale across all United PF clubs.
United PF teamed up with Listen360 to scale the solution across all their clubs and automate a member feedback process that captures member sentiment in under 30 seconds. Because the survey was so simple, response rates were high and eye-opening data came flowing in immediately. “It’s what our CEO explains as one of the instruments in our retention symphony,” says Patrick. By automatically categorizing members into groups of those who promote the brand, those who are passive, and those who are dissatisfied, United PF can score member experience on a per-location basis. NPS scores and feedback provide insights as to which locations are excelling, which may need improvement, and how customers perceive the group overall.
First and foremost, monitoring the data from member feedback allows United PF to serve members in the best way. Not only does it show them which practices are resonating with members, but it allows them to address any problems quickly and efficiently. “There’s a tremendous value not only from our members knowing that we’re listening, but that we respond to them in real-time,” Patrick says. One of the reasons the retention efforts have been so successful is that Patrick and United PF have seen the potential to use and expand the Listen360 platform in a creative, multifaceted way to increase operational performance. One example is tying member metrics to club leader bonuses. He also pointed out that by surveying members at different key points in the customer lifecycle, like those who have been around for fewer than 90 days, gives club leaders an opportunity to reach out to members during the on-boarding process to ensure they deliver the brand promise to everyone. Analyzing trends at different stages in the customer journey helps club leaders understand their member behavior and see opportunities to make adjustments in the club that create a better customer experience. Creating a positive interaction and following up with this feedback demonstrates a dedication to customer service, and in turn increases referrals, online presence, and social awareness. All are crucial to United PF and the fitness world at large.
Because the survey was so simple, response rates were high and eye-opening data came flowing in immediately
Cultivating positive feedback and reviews has many obvious external benefits, but it has internal advantages as well. “What makes our process unique is that we give our club leaders access to real-time member feedback, so each leader has something relevant, meaningful, and purposeful they can take action on immediately,” Patrick shares. Transparency and access to member feedback shows employees the accomplishments and appreciation of their hard work. It also empowers managers to take control of a problematic situation should it arise. Member feedback about specific interactions and practices can shed light on how United PF can best interact with its members. The group has a brand-wide promise to make members feel comfortable and unintimidated in a welcoming gym environment. With insight into how their members feel about their services, they can guarantee that brand promise across the expansive network.
While using NPS through a comprehensive customer feedback platform is extremely helpful in boosting the member experience, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. The system only works if leaders believe in Listen360, are dedicated to a mindset of club excellence, and commit to doing what’s best for members. United PF has been able to implement cutting-edge technology, people, and processes to build an impressive NPS score on par with top brands in the industry and across all markets. “We’re super happy with what we’re seeing so far,” Patrick says, “but we’ve only just begun to identify areas where we can improve through Listen360.” It’s exactly that positive attitude and focus on the member experience that makes United PF stand out in a world of clubs and fitness concepts.