Polling the Audience
Survey software is an essential aspect of the member experience for health clubs. Direct and consistent feedback from members is the best way for clubs to implement changes and programs as quickly and effectively as possible, thus reducing attrition.
“Technology affords us the ability to detect themes and discover patterns, to assess whether initiatives are well received, and measure the positive or negative impact it has on the business and member experience,” said Richard Idgar, the vice president of operations at EOS Fitness.
Here, leaders from EOS Fitness and Cooper Aerobics share their insights on survey software as it relates to the member experience and retention.
- Catherine Lindberg, the director of member service at Cooper Aerobics
- Richard Idgar, vice president of operations at EOS Fitness
- Keith Elliot, member experience director at EOS Fitness
Why should clubs regularly survey their members on the customer experience?
Elliott: “It really helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the membership, so we can really understand our members’ wants, desires and needs. I’m such an advocate of the importance of making sure you listen to what members are saying.”
Lindberg: “The survey provides comprehensive results to showcase areas for improvement along with high performers. It provides real-time feedback on how members are experiencing each aspect of the club, from group exercise and personal training to staff friendliness and amenities.”
Idgar: “Clubs should regularly survey their members regarding their overall experience — it provides insight, direction and feedback from those utilizing their services, purchasing products and most importantly, interacting with their staff. Most decisions and processes are made with the member experience in mind, but proper execution is a different story. Oftentimes what seems like a fantastic addition or approach simply doesn’t translate at the club level. Having the ability to hear directly from your customers is an invaluable tool to assist with shaping operating procedures, programming, friction-less processes, as well as discovering new innovations.”
What are the benefits of using technology like Medallia for surveys?
Elliott: “It extracts all the information and puts it into a metric so it’s easy to read and makes sense to all of us. We can track trends over certain periods. We’ve been using it 11 months and it allows us to track trends and see how we’re growing, or perhaps going the other way and how we can correct course. We can find ways to dig in deeper and find options to make changes based on what the data depicts.”
Lindberg: “Medallia provides an automated solution to have ongoing communication with our members who are coming into the club. The data is aggregated and easy to understand, download and share. Now, we are able to utilize our people metrics alongside our financial and operational metrics to measure performance and plan for the future.”
Idgar: “Using technology like Medallia to survey members allows you to get granular and uncover areas of opportunity at your club. Technology like Medallia is intuitive and insightful — it reveals aspects of the club experience that would have remained unexposed otherwise. The platform will inform decisions through real-time data as opposed to simply following a gut feeling or a small subsection of your member base.”
What are some things your club has learned and changed from survey insights?
Elliott: “Our cleanliness metrics started going down recently company-wide and in individual clubs. Some clubs went up, but many other clubs skewed those numbers in the opposite direction. Medallia offered us the opportunity to see which clubs were going the opposite way from what we wanted, so departmental heads were able to go in and check under the cleanliness data and read what’s going on, then make changes. We’re able to access that information and use it.”
Lindberg: “We’ve been using Medallia for about 18 months and it’s been impactful to see our team rally behind improving the overall member experience. We’ve established initiatives to review the member journey together as a team, which has given us the opportunity to cross-train and collaborate throughout the club. Every week, teammates share feedback from promoters to continue to encourage our servant’s heart mentality. We’ve also learned from our loyal members at Cooper Fitness Center that they develop meaningful relationships with each other and our staff, which makes our culture unique.”
Idgar: “Examples of what EOS Fitness has changed based on these insights include group fitness programming, employee recognition, eliminating contract fees, choosing renovation projects and expansion opportunities. EOS has been deliberate in incorporating these insights on our daily and weekly internal communications to ensure cohesion and instill focus. Medallia specifically has changed every aspect of our operation and will continue to do so.”