Coaching for Customer Experience

by  Blair McHaney, Gold’s Gym Wenatchee
VP of Strategic Initiatives for Medallia

Blair McHaney ConventionA coach provides guidance, instruction, and training.  Leaders are coaches.   If you expect to improve your customer experience, don’t just provide the score and an incentive and expect people to make it happen.  You have to provide coaching.  In order to do so, you need the right information so you can coach the right things.

Let’s start with a way to keep score.  In this case, let’s use Net Promoter Score (NPS) since this is catching fire across many industries and now getting attention in the fitness industry.  We have been measuring NPS in our club(s) since it was first written about in the December 2003 issue of HBR.  We have learned a tremendous amount about improving customer loyalty and coaching our teams to deliver an exceptional experience.  As I sit here this morning the trailing-90-day NPS for our two clubs is 90 and 78.  Real data.

But so what?  What is more interesting is HOW we got there, HOW we stay there, and how engaged our employees are in the process.

We measure and coach the leading indicators of our score.  You don’t coach a score!  Knowing your NPS and attempting to coach your teams with NPS is a bit like a football coach calling a timeout so he can tell his team to score more points.  That isn’t coaching.  That isn’t leadership.

You need to know some other leading indicators of NPS and you need to motivate and empower your front lines to affect those metrics.  What are they?  Well the main ones are Staff Friendliness, Gym Cleanliness and Equipment Condition.  Staff Friendliness gets broken into key areas of the gym – front desk, personal trainers, group exercise, daycare, etc.

Knowing these metrics, and coaching to them is how your teams move the needle on a daily and weekly basis.  It is how your teams experience WINNING.  This gives you the tools to set goals for your front desk.  How much more effective would you be if you could give your front desk staff goals for friendliness and then have the data to see if it is working or not?  What if you knew exactly what they could do to hit those goals?  What if each area of your operations knew when they were winning the game?   That is how you coach and manage the customer experience.

In order to turn Customer Experience Management into a business discipline, you have to treat it like you would any other business discipline.  Like sales and marketing for example.  Most people are pretty good at these 2 disciplines.  They know how many calls, appointments, no-shows and sales they are doing on a daily basis.  They even know what to do if they aren’t hitting goal.  It might be that they run a promotion, do a call campaign or do a referral campaign.  But they DO something.  They were able to MANAGE because they could drill into indicators that told they why they were not hitting goal. One more time – they were able to drill into indicators that told them WHY they were not hitting goal.

When you decide to deliver a great customer experience, you then need to define it and create a goal around it – “We are going to improve our Net Promoter Score from X to Y by Z.”

Now comes the fun part!  When you run the right system you will see exactly what it is going to take to reach that goal.  What attributes of YOUR specific operation are going to move the needle on customer loyalty the MOST.  You can then narrow your focus and make it happen.

I love NPS.  But what I love more is knowing exactly where we need to focus our time attention and money to stay on top of the member experience game.

Register for this Webinar “I Have My Medallia Scores … Now What?”
Hosted by Blair McHaney on Wednesday, January 16th at 1 pm est
Register Now



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