Customer Experience Management: The Proof is in the ROI

If you ask a company executive if customer experience (CX) matters to them, they will most likely say yes. But how do you get them to invest in and commit to a robust, long-term CX management practice? In a recent webinar, Medallia shared its approach to helping organizations quantify the financial linkage of their CX management initiatives and validate requests for future investments.

Investment in CX impacts all levers of your organization’s P&L — from reducing costs to growing deposits.The goal is to equip practitioners with the tools needed to build a business case that fits their needs. 

In their webinar, we addressed the following six key questions to help organizations arrive at that financial linkage:

  • What behaviors will we focus on?

  • Can we track individual customers?

  • What is our time horizon?

  • Which segments do we focus on?

  • Which data analysis do we use?

They received some great questions following the webinar, thought we’d share a few.

Q: How can we leverage machine learning and AI to create better CX predictions? Are there inputs that work the best?  

The explosion of data and computing power has made machine learning and AI a legitimate and powerful solution. We see companies using AI to solve a number of CX-related problems. From predicting satisfaction of customers who don’t answer surveys and prevent issues from escalating, predicting customer churn and proactively intervening, to identifying root causes of both customer satisfaction and dis-satisfaction to improve products, processes and policies.  

Unstructured data, which can come from survey verbatims, social media, contact center notes etc, provide a wealth of information, which can now be quickly mined and categorized through AI. This insight becomes even more powerful when combined over time with operational and behavioral data. Done well, AI allows you to quickly single out problems, recommend actions, and flag items that need human review and judgement — leading to more accurate, meaningful and relevant customer interactions.  

At Medallia, we are heavily investing in AI, and are building risk scoring and predicted action models that are integrated within our platform.  

Q: What behavior factor can we use for financial services? The “Amy” example in the webinar is about spend. What would it be for banking?  

As mentioned in the webinar, it’s important to make sure that the behaviors you are focused on are relevant to your business model, understood across the organization, and aligned to your business priorities. Because “Amy” was a retail store customer, spend was the appropriate metric for that particular analysis. In banking, we see behavior factors focused on both sides of the P&L, revenue generation and cost control. Common behaviors include net new asset growth, depth of relationship metrics (i.e., number of products/services, transaction types), and cost to serve (i.e., number of calls to the contact center). For more narrowly focused business such as mortgage and credit cards, we’ve seen metrics such as new loan originations, average net receivables, and sales transaction volume used.

Q: How can the right technology enable financial linkage, and what are the important features to look for in this technology? 

Often, organizations will start to do ad hoc types of exercise off-line, but as you grow in size and scale, with the right technology in place, your analysts will spend less time collecting and aggregating data, and more on higher value, complex analysis.  

Key technology advantages include: 

  • Ability to link operational and financial data with CX data. This not only allows you to segment and contextualize your results, but is also critical to conducting the analysis itself.

  • Ability to perform analysis within the platform. Whether it’s summary statistics, regression, or even the advanced AI tools mentioned earlier, having access to this information within the platform helps to highlight issues and opportunities and drive action more effectively. The ability to automatically collect large amounts of data in real time into the platform gives users of all types the results at their fingertips, displayed in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them.

  • The ability to monitor results and test over time. The goal of an effective CX program is to drive action to continuously improve the experience. It’s critical that your technology platform allows you to quickly understand what’s working, what’s not, and what specific actions you need to take to improve.

By tying your Customer Experience management program to ROI, you can put real numbers behind the actions you are putting in place to drive the program. In addition to tracking your investment in CX, financial impact helps you track results of specific initiatives, enabling you to continuously innovate and evolve.  

Exceptional Customer Service: A Simple Investment to Boost Retention

Member retention is always a huge concern for fitness business owners. Even when you’re regularly adding new members to your gym, you still need to focus on retaining and keeping the members that you have. Did you know that it costs six to seven times as much to win a new member as it does to keep a current one? Hence, one of the many reasons that it’s so important to keep your current members!  In addition, that ‘three new members in, and one lost member out’ routine that we sometimes see with fitness businesses can be discouraging.

Luckily, there is a simple way to grow your fitness center community while keeping your existing members happy. All you need to do is provide amazing customer service. It’s that easy. Your members are buying a service from you, and those members will base your service off of  how your team makes your members feel. Studies show that emotion influences what we buy six times more than the rationale behind the purchase. Therefore, your members care how you make them feel, and that feeling will be a deciding factor in their choice to stay with your particular gym or not.

How to Define Great Customer Service:

·      Constructs value in your gym. Great customer service can be an essential capability of your business, meaning it can be something you’re known and appreciated for.

·      Solidifies brand loyalty and long-term relationships. If you’re treated well, you want to come back again and again. Even when something goes wrong, you assume it’s a one-off incident and not an indication that you don’t matter to the business.

·      Improves your gym member retention.  Great customer service, from the person at the front desk who greets members to each and every coach and instructor, will make your members want to stay with you.

Poor Customer Service:

·      Gets in the way of customer loyalty. When gym members aren’t being treated well, there’s no incentive to stay. And with fitness businesses on every corner, it’s possible you won’t keep your members for long.

·      Is often something you won’t hear about. Bad customer service is insidious because you often don’t know it’s happening. This is due to a number of reasons, but commonly either a member assumes you won’t care to hear the complaint or they may prefer not to make a “scene.” Most often, your members will just decide to cancel their membership without telling you the truth behind their decision.

 Hire, Train and Incentivize the Outcomes You Want

Excellent customer service starts long before an employee or trainer is hired. If you’ve made the solid goal that customer service is important, it should be a leading consideration during the job interview. Dive deep to determine if the candidate enjoys working with people, how they handle frustration and difficult customers and what their previous employers think of their ability to deliver great service.

You’ll also want to train your team on delivering great service to keep it relevant and fresh in their minds. You can also make it a top priority by creating a pay incentive that is tied to retention. Do whatever it takes to make the connection for your team that your members are their paycheck. If your team recognizes they have an important role to play in your member retention, they will be a powerful asset.

Empower Your Team to Own Issues

Customer service is always better when people are allowed to make decisions and own issues. Employee empowerment means that team members responsible for customer service should be able to make independent decisions. We get better service from someone who isn’t constrained by the need to get approval to make a particular situation better and solve an issue immediately.

Make Being a Member Easy

When businesses grow, it’s not uncommon for their processes to become complex and inefficient. Doing occasional audits of your members’ experience can help uncover such pain points. For instance:

·      Is it easy to pay you?

·      How about checking in for classes? 

·      Can you be found online with a quick search?

·      Is it easy to reach you when you’re needed?

You can also reward employees who look for ways to innovate and streamline processes to make things easier for your members. Offering a small bonus for good ideas you implement will keep your team thinking creatively and your members at your gym.

Apologize When Things Go Wrong

Your gym members value honesty and transparency, even when the business is clearly in the wrong. Your members don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to care. Establishing trust by being honest strengthens relationships and improves member retention.

When a mistake has been made, urgency should be placed on working to solve issues quickly and then learning from mistakes. Teaching your team to pause and reflect empathetically, from your members’ point of view, will help them feel a sense of urgency associated with issues.

Remember to Thank Your Members

It is extremely important to genuinely thank customers. We often don’t think about it like this, but people have a nearly unlimited supply of options for exercise and fitness. Thank them often for choosing your fitness business.

Measure the Satisfaction Within Your Community

This is simple: what gets measured gets managed. It’s simple, and it’s true. If we aren’t asking our customers if they are happy, we can’t expect to know when we’re missing the mark. If retention matters to you, a simple quarterly survey will be worth its weight in gold.

Look for Ways to Go Beyond the Basics

Once you and your team have made great service a foundation of your business, there are always ways to go beyond the basics to truly delight your members. Here are a few things to think about:

·      Consider first and last impressions. It’s long been recognized that these are the things that will be remembered most. Can you challenge your team to deliver an amazing first and last impression?

·      Make your members feel special. We are drawn to people who are interested in us and make us feel important. Can you leverage that to create life-long members? Encourage your team to think of ways to exceed expectations, and you’ll create a multitude of loyal gym members.

·      Practice active listening. When listening to your members, try to determine what it is that they are really saying. Remember that sometimes the real issue won’t be clear. Train your team to clarify, paraphrase, summarize. Reward them for saying “What I’m hearing you say is…”

Customer service is an important strategy for improving member retention.

Medallia Earns a 100% in the Corporate Equality Index

Medallia is proud to announce that we received a perfect score of 100 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Medallia joins the ranks of over 560 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

The 2019 CEI evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Medallia’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

“The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. 

Medallia is fortunate to have a vibrant and global community of Employee Resource Groups that help us to create an inclusive work environment. Rocco Cervantes, one of the leaders of Q-field, Medallia’s LGBTQ+ community, said, “We are beyond thrilled to see our efforts to build a more inclusive culture at Medallia formally acknowledged by the Human Rights Campaign. This recognition extends beyond policy and process, and highlights the value and importance of inclusive community at the workplace. We have dreams of building an even more inclusive workplace, and to continue to work toward a world where companies are loved not only by their customers, but also by their employees.” 

For more information on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


Onboarding New Members

Once you have members signing up at you gym, you must ensure that the next step, the Member Onboarding Process, goes smoothly!

Developing a frictionless onboarding strategy will maximize your member retention and improve your member experience.

The most important time period in the membership lifecycle is the first four weeks, and you should be making contact frequently within that period.  What you do immediately once your member has signed up to your gym is critical, and will play a key role in their decision to renew their membership with you down the road.

Your current member onboarding process: what does it look like?

There are some common patterns with the onboarding process: First, you set up a meeting to discuss your client’s goals, followed by an individual tour of your facility. You’ll enlighten your new member about your what services your gym has to offer and then answer any questions, doing your best to make sure they feel comfortable. You might even offer to set up a free Personal Training session to help familiarize them with the equipment. Lastly, they’ll be added to the gym email newsletter list, and you’ll exchange friendly smiles and chats throughout their membership and hope that they renew their membership when it ends.

What is wrong with that Member Onboarding Process? Nothing! However, if you really want to make a difference to your membership retention, there are a few things you can do while onboarding your new members to secure their loyalty in your gym.

1) Provide instant value to all new members

Arm your new members with education by teaching them something they didn’t know. Whether it’s showing them new stretches, a little nutritional advice, a complementary work out plan, or a thorough walk through on how to use some of the equipment they are not familiar with.

Education is a kind of value that lasts much longer than a free protein shake, and this simple, yyt effective, personalization will strengthen their decision to join your gym over the others.

2) Creative an environment of engagement with other gym goers

The number one reason that members do not renew their membership is lack of engagement. 

Humans are social creatures, where friendship and a sense of belonging play a significant role in everyday fulfillment. Ask your trainers to be proactive about introducing members to each other. At the end of a fitness class, get your members to introduce each other to whoever they’re next to. Play to people’s competitive nature – get them smiling.

It’s harder to convince themselves out of going to the gym for a workout, when your member looks forward to seeing a friendly face.

3) Show your members how to hold themselves accountable

Are you helping your members achieve their fitness goals? Help your members understand the roadblocks that they have experienced in the past that have stopped them from achieving their fitness goals. Then, make some suggestions as to how they can overcome these roadblocks.

Utilize the knowledge and education that your trainers have in motivating people to achieve their fitness goals. Take the time to have this conversation with your new members during the onboarding process and next time they try and convince themselves that they shouldn’t go to the gym, they will remember that they are accountable only to themselves.

4) Track member engagement

We all know that a lifestyle change is no small feat, and relapsing can be a common occurrence – a two week holiday can have you feeling like you’re back at square one with your fitness.

Take time to let your members know you care: a simple reminder from an external force can help nudge your members to get back on the wagon.

5) Measure your success

At the end of the four week period, your member should be well on their way to crafting out a healthy relationship with your gym. Use their visitation as a measurement of your success of your onboarding process. What works for one gym may not work for another, so test, test, test! 

The best approach to improving your membership retention is to add value from day one. MXM helps make easy work of tracking your members and staying in communication! 

Fitness Center Employee Retention - Set the Right Tone

When your employee retention rate is as high as possible, it keeps the work and the cost down and it will also reflect in your levels of membership retention too. Hiring gym staff can be like jumping on a treadmill that’s reeled up to eleven; it’s hard work that takes all your time and another expense to cut into your bottom line if you have to keep doing it.

The reason why you have employees is to have reliable and capable agents, so you can go home, relax, and sleep soundly at night, leaving them in charge. It is enough hard work and expense to find them that one initial first time.

What Not To Do

You may have heard that the rideshare company Uber has been having some employee problems. It seems that Uber allowed discrimination that caused female employees to feel blocked and undervalued and they tended not to stick around for long. It’s not like there are too many software developers fighting for a few jobs, trust us, hiring talented female programmers is more than just a cultural issue it helps fill critical positions.

Diversity also helps to create the right environment to attract and retain your customers as much as your workers, in retail operations like gyms. Listening to feedback from employees is a simple thing you can do to prevent high employee turnover. When you take action in response to concerning information it’s not just a good policy, it’s good business.

Leadership And Listening in the Fitness Business

Undoubtedly, gyms are much different from the tech industry, but we all need to be attentive in forming and implementing policies that are good for our businesses as well as employees and customers. After all, these three elements are more than a little connected, right?

As a fitness club owner, you are the one who has to handle toxic workplace matters. Now, you may or may not have serious problems. In any case, the only way to consistently hold on to your employees is to have a process that goes from beginning to end of the cycle for all stages of the relationship they have with your gym.

Better Employee Retention Equals Retaining Your Members 

Retaining your actual gym employees is not so different from keeping your customers longer. You can expect that there is some overlap of the factors that make gym staff happy that keeps customers contented. That is a valuable point because it means that how you retain one can improve retention for the other.

You may suffer some losses along the way, particularly in the early stages, but you can apply everything that you learn and use it to hold fast to your people in the long run. The changes you make due to feedback from leaving staff and the way you change your business could make a remarkable improvement in your employee retention. A refocused and motivated team will shift gears, increase its performance, and the change will rub off on your customers too.

Strong Onboarding From The Start

An orientation process and package for new members in a necessity, just as it is for new employees.  This needs to be more than reviewing paperwork and signing forms. The start of your working relationship is the best time to establish the tone and meaning of your relationship, explain your expectations, and define the boundaries. Take an interest in which they are and show that you care about their lives and who they are as people.

Before Trouble Starts, Build Up Morale

Providing a competitive benefits package for your employees can help as long as you stay within the ballpark levels of the local job market.  Usually, people don’t leave because of the money. The chance to be part of something is a great motivator for workers; they want the sense that they count and that the future will bring advancement. Engagement like this may be tough to deliver directly, as a small business owner, but you can turn the need for growth into fuel to drive the business ahead.

When Resignations Happen; Respond Proactively 

When one of your employees voices their desire to leave, find out why, if you can. The hope should be that you could sell them on staying once you understand their motivations. Don’t take all the heat yourself; if your company is growing or you have established two or more locations, maybe it’s time to hire a human resources manager who has the certifications and experience to take charge and develop your people.

Operating and owning a small fitness business is hard enough without dealing with endless recruiting for either members or employees. If you master the basics of employee retention, you can keep both time and expense, at a minimum. Having staff that sticks around longer will give you more time to work on making your business better, and hopefully, it will help you feel a little bit saner on a daily basis too.

Best Practices to Provide Great Customer Service in Your Health Club

Best Practices to Provide Great Customer Service in Your Health Club

As a health club owner, you want to do things that will set you apart from other fitness clubs in your area. We’ve compiled best practices for health clubs to provide great customer service.

Engage and Retain Your Gym Members With These Fitness Challenge Ideas!

Engage and Retain Your Gym Members With These Fitness Challenge Ideas!

The goal of all health clubs is to increase member engagement, because members that actually use your facility are more likely to continue to use the club. However, 44% of all gym members are showing up to health clubs less than four times a month, making them high cancellation risk members. It is difficult to entice those once-a-weekers to come into the club and feel part of the community, as most health club owners know.

3 Key Things Your Customer Engagement Platform Should Provide

3 Key Things Your Customer Engagement Platform Should Provide

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, a customer experience platform is one big way to stand out as a health club. It gives your customers a place to give feedback and be heard, and enhance their experience. But as a fitness club owner, what should you look for when finding the right customer experience platform? We’ve compiled three key things your health club management software should do.