Case In Brief: Gold's Gym Raises the Bar in Customer Service

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Customer Service
Customer Service
The fitness chain listens to its customers and improves satisfaction by more than 40 percent.

Competition is a challenge that most organizations face and have to overcome to remain successful. The fitness industry is among the most competitive, especially with gyms around the country offering low monthly membership fees.

For Gold's Gym, a full-service fitness chain, this reality means that it has to differentiate from its competition itself by delivering the best service and optimal experiences to its members so that they renew their memberships. "We have incredible equipment and great trainers and we know that if we're going to deliver the best service to our members, they're less likely to leave," says David Reiseman, vice president of communications at Gold's Gym.

With 650 properties in 30 countries around the world, Gold's Gym's business leaders wanted to make sure that customers at every gym were getting the best ever service possible. In order to do this, they needed to get and analyze customer feedback, allowing the organization to better understand how each gym was ranking and whether it was delivering the experience that customers expected.

Reiseman notes that after seeing the successes that its sister company, Omni Hotels, was having by using Medallia to manage and deliver its customer service, Gold's Gym decided to implement the same solution. Daily reports allow the company's leaders to keep their finger on the pulse of what's happening in each location, and be agile in making the necessary changes to improve members' experience.

According to Reiseman, the company puts a lot of emphasis on Net Promoter Score (NPS) since this is one of the strongest indicators of the organization's performance. In finding out that its members would recommend Gold's Gym, the chain collects feedback about different elements like friendliness and cleanliness through social media and surveys. "Every day we look at reports and analyze the data, allowing us to get ahead of things before a fire starts," Reiseman says.

Reiseman says the feedback is shared with individual gyms, which are ranked against each other. This also serves as a morale booster in properties which are doing things right and allows the chain to replicate best practices in other locations.

Results

Insight into members' feedback about their experiences at the chain is helping Gold's Gym take immediate action. Reiseman explains that there have been times when a particular gym in the franchise is suffering from a maintenance problem, which, although small, can negatively impact members' experience. "This system allows us to get in touch with the general manager to get someone out there immediately and rectify the situation," Reiseman says.

Another instance where the feedback proved essential to ensure a great customer experience is the opening of a new property. Reiseman explains that in these cases management takes a guess at the type of background music that members will enjoy. Feedback allows the company to make the necessary changes if members dislike the music at a particular location.

These efforts have helped Gold's Gym improve its member experience and increase customer satisfaction by 42 percent in the last six months. Further, NPS scores have gone up from under 15 percent in 2009 to almost 30 percent last year. Reiseman says linking employee compensation to success rates is helping the improvement, and the company is confident that it will reach its goal of ensuring that each property has a NPS of 45 by Gold's Gym's 50th anniversary in 2015.

Lessons Learned

Listen to customers: Clients are vocal about their experiences, allowing companies to know what they're doing right and what needs to be changed.

Respond quickly: Being agile in addressing problems is imperative.

Replicate best practices: Organizations should ensure that different properties learn from each other's successes.

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EXPERT OPINION