The race to deliver a great customer experience is on and you are in it – whether you like it or not. CEM software is the vehicle you will be driving if you are to compete in this race. Your vehicle must be quick out of the gate and ready to go for a long time.
Selecting software for something that is new to you can be confusing and all software has features that may look incredible if you have never seen them before. If the first car you ever saw was a 1958 Ford Edsel, you would still think it was incredible.In this article I hope to accelerate your learning so you may benefit from those that have gone before you. There are hundreds of world-class companies that have learned lessons on your behalf. We want you to take advantage of what we have learned in the last 11 years of being CEM practitioners!
1. Head Room
The fitness business is more complex than other transaction-focused retail environments. Understanding the fitness business is critical to designing a system that aligns with the member’s journey and will support your own growth and learning. What you understand about Operational Customer Experience Management (OCEM) when you begin will pale in comparison to what you will understand few months and years into your program. Outgrowing the software quickly will be frustrating and will have your team just trying to figure out how to get higher scores instead of how to improve the member experience. That is a bad place to end up.
If it isn’t easy to use and doesn’t have “slap you in the face” analytics and reporting, it won’t be engaging. When you are trying to “operationalize” your member feedback system, the software better be helpful, effective, and grab the attention of the people that are running at 100 miles per hour every day. Having great mobile apps, crystal clear dashboards and fast workflows is critical.
3. “1st Degree” Accountability
We love Net Promoter Score. We love the alignment it creates in any size company. But in operations it is only provides “3rd Degree” accountability. If I am a front desk staff member and you tell me our NPS is trending downward (or upward for that matter), my feeling of responsibility to that outcome is 3 degrees of separation away. If you tell me our average Staff Friendliness score is trending down I will now be feeling a little more exposed. But tell me that the Front Desk Staff Friendliness score is trending down and NOW I get it. That is “1st Degree” Accountability. You need to capture the member journey in a set of METRICS that can measure the touch points that matter.
4. Dynamic Reporting
The industry tends to think of this as “real time” reporting. And it is. But Dynamic Reporting isn’t only real time; it is instantly informative. I could have real time reporting that shows up as a spreadsheet or a table and give everyone in the huddle or meeting brain damage trying to figure out what thevreport says. When we think of Live Reporting it is real time, instantly informative, useful for decision making at any level of the organization, and an accurate representation of the member experience.
5. Member Segmentation
Segmentation allows you to get a deep understanding of your members’ experience. Being able to segment by age, gender, different experience categories, members that bring guests, members that do not bring guests etc. can create clarity out of chaos. What happens when you can identify hundreds of members at a single location who love the equipment, love the staff, plan on staying a long time, and have had great fitness results? You can specifically target them in a referral campaign. Member segmentation is critical for understanding issues but it is
also an immediate driver of new business.
6. Root Cause Analysis
When you have the tools to get this right, you are able to annihilate an entire species of complaint. We so often see companies not digging deep enough. They keep solving a symptom of a problem over and over and over for individual members. Getting to the root cause of a problem allows you to solve a much bigger problem ONCE and have it affect all members. This is the big lever bar for improving member experience!
When selecting software you need to choose a system that is MORE than you need when you start. You and your team will quickly become more and more sophisticated in your CEM disciplines and that will require your software to accept that growth. Once you have selected your software it is time to develop your rollout strategy. Remember that customer experience management is a marathon not a sprint.