Software to improve the customer experience

The implementation of an Operational Customer Experience Management (OCEM) system is not a tactic or a “program.” It is a business practice just as financial management is a business practice. At their 2013 CX Symposium, Lieberman Research Worldwide stated that in their research, the #1 mistake companies make in purchasing operational customer experience management (OCEM) technology is buying a system that does not enable strategy, is overly simple and is outgrown within a very short time. LRW insisted that companies use technology that can accept and even push a company to become more sophisticated in their approach to CEM.


Our company, MXMetrics, specializes in customer experience management for health clubs. The health club business is complex when it comes to delivering a customer experience. Health clubs use a “subscription” business model as opposed to a simple “transactional” business model. Designing a system to inform better decisions at every level of the health club operation is a sophisticated process requiring a thorough understanding of different “member journeys.” With an appropriately designed system, you can then apply a proven methodology for improving the member (customer) experience.

The rest of this post will explain the four main elements of the Medallia Operational Customer Experience Management Methodology using some examples from the fitness industry. The OCEM Methodology is based on research of companies that have used OCEM to drive company value by creating greater loyalty with their customers.

  1. See yourself as the customer sees you.
  2. Wire the customer into all decisions.
  3. Drive accountability at all levels.
  4. Innovate and test to discover what will scale.

See yourself as the customer sees you. To accomplish this, you will need to know how different customer segments view their experience with your operation. Each member’s experience is complex in a health club and has myriad touch-points. As operators we sometimes completely miss a touch point that is a major point of friction for our members. One MXM customer has discovered different loyalty drivers in different locations. For one set of very profitable customers, when scores for “Child Care” fall below 7.8, the increased risk of cancellation was greater than 200%.   In other locations it was the Equipment Selection scores that were the main driver of attrition and in yet another it was Availability of Staff For Assistance – all within the same ownership group. Seeing themselves as the customer sees them is what made these discoveries possible.

Wire the customer in to all decisions.   Member feedback needs to get to the employees who are responsible for delivering the experience. The feedback needs to be shared and used to make daily operational decisions with these customers. As data builds, its presentation must be engaging and immediately informative at every level of the organization. Member feedback should be enriched with member lifecycle (length of membership) and member engagement levels (average uses per week) in order to make impactful decisions that drive profitability.

Drive accountability at all levels. It MUST start with the top of your org chart and customer experience MUST be part of your strategy. Once this is clarified for your executive (or leadership) team, it becomes “mission-critical” to establish clear responsibilities, goals, and success metrics. You can then address any policies and monetary incentives that might need to be aligned with these metrics. But accountability includes the responsibility of training and coaching front lines and empowering them with the processes and workflows to systematically respond to, and use customer feedback.

Innovate and test to discover what will scale. You then prioritize customer experience “gaps” in order to design and test solutions that address the root cause of those gaps. This should be an inclusive process that solicits employee ideas for improvements and innovations. To add velocity to this learning, you need to understand what top-performing teams DO and how you can do the same. This allows you to be proactive and implement the very best cutting edge ideas before issues arise.

MXMetrics is a Medallia partner company focused on OCEM Methodology for the fitness industry and we work nearly 400 of the world’s best health clubs. We know what is working in practice and can speed your learning with real solutions. Click the link below for more.

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