If you own or manage a health club or gym, you’ve no doubt learned that stellar customer service is the key to satisfying the needs of your members. In fact, one of the primary determiners of success or failure is how you treat your customers. While satisfied customers might tell a few people about their positive experiences, dissatisfied customers might tell ten people or more. That means you have to work harder to keep your members satisfied so that they return and refer new customers. Most gym members would rather pay higher prices if they can receive higher quality facilities and customer service. For you, that means higher profit margins and greater market shares.
So how do you know if your staff is giving superior customer service? Where might there be areas of improvement?
Mystery shopping is a great tool for measuring customer service within a business, and a fitness center is no exception. When you hire a mystery shopping company, secret shoppers objectively evaluate customer service from their point of view by reenacting a visit to your club. In essence, mystery shopping can provide a good “snapshot” of your customer service in its current form.
Here are some typical things secret shoppers look out for on a fitness center visit:
- Look/appearance of gym (exterior and interior)
- Personal appearance of employees
- Explanation of contract memberships
- Personal training services
- Specific promotions
- Functionality of equipment
- Restroom and locker room facilities
The compilation of data you receive from the mystery shopping company can help you:
- Determine areas of weakness and strength in your operations
- Develop, refine, or evaluate a training program
- Create an incentive program for your employees for perform well
- Creating new criteria for managers’ bonuses
Mystery shopping companies provide data from individuals who don’t know you or your employees, so they are able to give a neutral, third party view from a customer’s perspective. The focus point is not on the product, but on the customer. Also, mystery shoppers can provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
You can find reputable mystery shopping companies by asking for referrals from others in your industry, or by checking out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website or calling them at 847-375-4743.
- VIDEO: Uncovering Mystery Shoppers (bbc.co.uk)