Your Best Critiques Come From Your Biggest Fans

Feedback from your members is invaluable.

When you want to create a great Member Experience, and to use feedback to better your operations, it is critical that you solicit it by inviting members to share.

Getting feedback from your members is not the same as a review left on a Google Business or Yelp. When you invite a member to give you feedback, they are more compelled to be a coach and a mentor, which is NOT the case on review sites. Additionally, by asking ALL members for their opinions, you are more likely to get more accurate data instead of just hearing from your "loudest" members.

Many operators I talk with tell me they don’t want to be swamped with  “negative feedback", to which I usually say, “most negative feedback contains constructive suggestions!” When I hear this sentiment, I’m reminded of the notion, “Asking your members for feedback is one thing. Using that feedback to drive a positive outcome is an entirely different thing.”

Gaining feedback is not about hearing exactly what you want to hear in the way you want to hear it. It's about being offered a personal lens into how your product/service/behavior is being perceived by another - and sometimes it is not given in a positive or constructive way outright. If you are willing to hear with an open mind, a reframing of the feedback can help you understand what the problem is, which gives you a better understanding of how to broach it. Consider the feedback reframing example below:

You can’t depend on your members to always provide you with a solution to a problem. Even if the feedback asks for a specific outcome, it’s still on you, as the Operator, to find the right kind of solution. 

Ninety-nine percent of feedback has value to it, if you have the right mindset for addressing it. Collecting member feedback is how you build yourself a treasure trove of opportunity - increased revenue, improved culture, higher NPS scores - in the present and the future.

Try to think about member feedback as a “Revenue Center” for your gym. That’s how we, at WORX, have treated feedback since we began collecting data from members automatically with Medallia, and how we refined the product and started MXMetrics. As you move forward, seeing feedback through a revenue-colored lens (probably, green?) makes taking action feel much easier.

So let’s talk about types of feedback, and why they are important.

Let’s use the following: 

  • Job Well Done
    • A member who leaves positive feedback is shining a light on something we’re doing well, which is an opportunity for us to grow in that area. 
  • Constructive
    • When the feedback is constructive we contact that member and really listen to their feedback so we can drive a positive outcome for that member and our culture as a whole.

How about this...

  • You have a member who isn’t happy about a broken piece of equipment. 

What do you do?

  • Start by reaching out to that member and hearing their experience. Don’t talk, just listen. If you relay to a customer that you understand the problem and care about how it has affected them, they are more inclined to be collaborative in finding a solution. Gaining their confidence that you know what the problem is and that you see that it is a problem is often more comforting than jumping straight to a solution. Make sure they feel seen and heard first, THEN fix the problem. Finally, close the book by telling the member the outcome of their feedback.

For the most part, this stuff is easy. These interactions are important, too.  

See? There’s so much GOOD that can come from what one might deem as “bad.”

In the spirit of the Holiday season, I think it was the Grinch who once said, “One man's toxic sludge is another man's potpourri.”

It’s all about perspective.

If you ask for feedback, your goal should not be to receive positive feedback, but to feed back a positive outcome to your members. But if you do nothing, you will get nothing. Yes, that is an obvious statement. 🙂

Your Member Experience truly matters, and using the feedback allows you to consistently improve the experience for more and more and more people.

Members who share an experience are the ones who care the most. They feel connected enough to your gym that they took time out of their day to share a success or to share something constructive. Those members will be your biggest champions and your best marketing tools. Those members are your biggest champions, and we need to be their biggest fans. Don’t take that for granted.

When your members are happy, everybody wins.

If you missed it, here's the video of the full episode 1 of the webinar. Check it out for more of Herb and Blair's recommendations about how to use feedback to build your business:

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