Outstanding Customer Experience

Senior Managers' Update

Customer Journeys

Placemaking is built on understanding and delivering outstanding customer journeys and they give the business a great template to co-ordinate our efforts. Customers wanting a coffee in the cafe have a ‘trigger’, just as much as someone who is new to exercise responding to a trigger that our new ‘Into:Active’ memberships will satisfy. From there, it’s about checking that the customer is making outstanding choices, and we use our expertise to help customers and to deliver that experience. In 2019, customers are in the driving seat; they choose how they want to interact with us and how they want to be active – our job is to make that simple. 

Would customers recommend us?

What an honour it is that a customer chooses us in a market that is more competitive than ever, giving us an opportunity to play a part in getting them more active. We know when we get it right, they try more, do more and tell their friends and family. More and more of our products play to our strengths; our new ‘Into:Active’ memberships are why we have centres, the introduction of kids go free reflects that we are the perfect destination for a family, and that in 2019 we recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes. Our digital transformation means that booking is easier, and with Salesforce, Who’s In, we are helping you make customers lives easier.

And then there’s you…

You may have seen #PeopleFirst in 2019, and you’ll see it more in 2020. It sits just as much in the Customer Experience section of this newsletter as the People Matters section.

In 2020, we’ll launch a comms platform, a place you can have your say, a place where good news travels fast and where we aim to make your lives simpler. Digital is about the way we work, and there’s no reason that all the great comms and systems you use in your private life aren’t replicated in your working life. 

And what a year you’ve had; in our surveys we ask our customers to tell us about anyone who they believe offers outstanding customer experiences, and we’ve had over 10,000 thanks to you in the last year. Here’s just a few of our colleagues, that customers just couldn’t stop saying thanks to….

Acquiring and Retaining Customers

Our vision, our product and our place in the community really lend themselves to customers having high expectations of the experience they’ll receive. It’s competitive out there, and in 2019 customers are as precious about how they utilise their time, as how they spend their money. We’re at our best when:

  • We provide flexible products that suit their needs and when we deliver this, we are rewarded with their loyalty.
  • We support them, especially our fitness teams, wellbeing teams and instructors. They are what helps them learn, achieve more and stay with us longer.
  • We let customers know about the benefits that are available – we and the customer always win, EVEN if they choose not to use them.
  • We acknowledge that our customers’ time is precious. An outstanding welcome is the best thank you of all for those spending their time in our centres.
  • We lead with empathy and flexibility should something go wrong (focusing on what we can do) rather than reciting how well we know our own Ts and Cs. Be kind and be fair, and if you spot an opportunity to be either and you aren’t sure, just ask someone.

The last of these is a key focus for 2020, service is every company’s invisible product. You’ll notice that discretion is built into many of our rules. Our rules exist for good reasons, and in the case of the £2.50 late cancellation rule, customers even voted for it, but this doesn’t mean we can’t spot those moments to be kind and fair. If you were a customer of 6 years, would you want to pay £2.50 for a replacement card that you had never lost before? Of course not. If you’ve made your best attempts to cancel a class because your babysitter let you down, would you want to pay £2.50 because you called the centre a minute into the 2-hour window? Of course you wouldn’t. Service is so much more than that, and a lot of it is digital – so we will rip up our old customer service training and start again. We want to create a world where the person in front of the customer is empowered to make outstanding decisions.

Walk the floor digitally

Walking the floor to chat to your teams and customers has always been a platform for all the good things in customer experience and the business recognises that we can do more to buy you that quality time.

All our new digital systems allow you to walk the floor digitally as well. A few clicks away on Who’s In is a view of your gym floor. Can you see pictures of customers? How recent were the interactions? Can you see red dots? In 5 minutes, you’re viewing the effectiveness of not just your fitness team, but your Front of House and Membership teams. Salesforce is a window into the efficiency of your Membership teams; are they making life easy, not just for customers, but for themselves? And look at the question analysis in the Places Pulse portal – that’s just the same as having hundreds of customers in one room, but a little quieter and perhaps more structured! In 2020 get absolutely obsessed with these systems and the insight they give you and get absolutely obsessed making sure your teams do the same, it will save you some work. 

Your efforts are hugely appreciated. We have come a long way in improving life for our customers.

Have a great Christmas and New Year!

Andy, Steph, Nicola, Sara, Katie and Harriet

The Customer Experience and Comms Team