Consistency. It’s what makes the greats stand out from the crowd. Players can have a great day or even a great tournament. But it’s much harder to sustain performance levels over a season or multiple years.
“Staying the same means going backwards.” Roger Federer
For gyms and leisure centres, delivering consistent customer experiences is even harder. The team keeps changing with each shift and new face. As does the playing field of equipment, systems and competitor responses. To make things even harder, the goals posts are shifting too, as customer needs and expectations evolve.
The power of consistent customer experience
But the effort is worth it. According to McKinsey research, consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy. They discovered that customers pay more attention to their customer journey than they do to any single interaction. If being a customer is generally rewarding, then they’ll overlook one bad experience. Likewise if being a customer is frustrating then an isolated moment of greatness is unlikely to change their views. At a more basic level, customers like knowing what to expect. If the experience is too variable they will focus only on the outliers. Which means they are more likely to amplify poor experiences than good ones.
Marvin Gresse from the Stone Creek Club and Spa recently told Club Solutions Magazine that consistency is the key to retaining the new year “resolutioners”. “Consistency with high standards and service help us produce our members’ ‘everyday getaway’ every time they visit Stone Creek,” he said. Members want a reliable, hospitable experience. Then they can create their routine and form the habit of visiting the club and achieving results.
Continuous feedback – your foundation for success
Achieving consistent customer experiences requires your team to:
Inconsistency occurs when people have different knowledge or make different assumptions. So how do you keep 100s of people, across multiple teams and shifts, on the same page? The answer is to adopt a continuous feedback approach. To continue the sporting analogy. Before a game, the coach spends time deciding how the team will play. They make some assumptions about how the opposition will play and what they will do in response.
But they don’t do the pre-match team talk and then sit in the changing rooms assuming everything has gone to plan. They watch from the sidelines. They take notes, talk to their assistants and adapt their plans.
So why don’t more organisations take the same approach to their delivery? Because gathering continuous customer feedback used to be a slow and expensive process. Wading through reams of raw text data was boring work. So it was easier to run annual surveys and stick to multiple-choice questions. The data wasn’t as rich, but creating graphs was easier.
MyCustomerLens has changed the game. Our industry-specific algorithms turn raw customer feedback into shared business intelligence in real-time. So now you can ask customers natural, open questions. Discover why they really chose to join. How they feel about your brand and how well it delivers on its promise. And why they’re really leaving.
For example, we’ve recently been analysing thousands of responses to leavers surveys. The number 1 reason for leaving, according to the multiple-choice question, was ‘other’. But the text field that went with it revealed a gold mine of feedback. Customers talked about what they loved most and least, and how several things had contributed to their departure. Some churn was unavoidable, but inconsistent experiences were driving away many more customers.
3 steps to benefiting from continuous feedback
You can’t control how customers will experience something. Different people will respond differently. But you can control how much you know about your target market. How much you know about what they need, expect and will respond to. These insights help you invest your limited resources to deliver consistent and remarkable customer experiences.
Start by building a picture of what you know:
Gather your team around a flip chart. Map out your customer’s journey, from the customer’s point of view. From searching for options to cancelling or renewing. Go where they go, see what they see. Use your existing customer feedback to bring this map to life. Where do customers have great experiences? Where do they have poor ones?
Plot where you have blind spots. Where multiple choice questions are hiding the real voice of the customer. What parts of the customer journey do you have the least feedback about? Where are you making decisions based on assumption or old news?
Create a simple feedback process focused on your blind spots. It might be how customers feel at the end of their induction. It might be understanding the experiences delivered by your mobile app or in your flagship classes. The key is to make it very easy to share how they really feel.
These 3 steps don’t solve the problem of data overload. But they will help your team see the value of gathering and using customer feedback. Once people see the value of continuous feedback, it becomes easier to expand the process. When the volume of data gets too much, solutions like MyCustomerLens make it easy to automate the continuous feedback process.
The key to benefiting from continuous feedback is to get started. Consistency builds one day at a time. Geraint Thomas described this philosophy when reflecting on his Tour de France victory:
“Test batsmen don’t score a century in a single shot. There are lots of ones and twos that you can’t even recall at the end of the session. But they add up… and they build your confidence.”