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Operationalizing The Member Experience


The daily operation of a club includes dozens of customer-facing processes, programs, policies, people, business practices and (hopefully) the integration of all of these things in order to deliver a great member experience.

When you “operationalize” your CEM program, you bring customer experience feedback and data into daily workflows and processes at your front lines. In other words, it becomes an operating process in and of itself. Juxtapose this to operationalizing something FROM your CEM program, which is when you are changing processes, policies, plant, equipment or any number of things based on customer experience data, designed to improve the customer experience.

Operational Customer Experience Management (OCEM) refers to the processes that embed customer experience data into every nook and cranny of your operations. This engages everyone in understanding the customer experience objectives and gives clarity on the impact each individual can have on that experience.

I can make lots of things operational FROM my program without anyone else in my organization even seeing the member experience data. I can look at reports and come up with an improvement plan for the quarter and report out to the organization what the plan will be. But this isn’t half as effective as operationalizing the program itself.

You need to do both. But the most important is to OPERATIONALIZE the program itself. This gets everyone engaged and will make it so much easier when you need to operationalize something FROM your program. Moreover, you now have an entire organization that can engage in helping create improvement plans.

Apple “operationalizes” their CEM. The frontline teams see feedback everyday and use it to get better and to stay engaged in Apple’s purpose. According to the Medallia Institute, employees are 22 percent more likely to recommend their workplace when they regularly review feedback.

When you adopt a CEM system, you should be adopting more than technology. You also need to adopt the methodology for “operationalizing” your system.

When one inspects those fitness companies that have the greatest success with OCEM, you can break their program into three distinct parts. First is technology.  They use it to put hard edges on the member experience and to support the workflows that matter the most. Second is a proven methodology for advancing the OCEM practice. Many others have gone before you and there is a proven path to success. Third is strategy. These companies have a strategy that puts the customer at the center of decision making in order to be loved by their employees and their customers.

When you combine all three pieces of the puzzle you have truly “operationalized” your customer experience management program.


It’s fair to say that Blair McHaney is obsessed with how companies build loyalty. Through years of consulting and 34 years of ground-level operational experience, McHaney understands how companies execute on loyalty strategies. He is currently president of ClubWorks, Medallia’s partner specializing in Operational Customer Experience Management for the fitness industry. For more information: blair@medallia.com, www.mxmetrics.com, 509-630-7307.


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