Listen to the Expert(s)

Blair McHaney Conventionby  Blair McHaney, Gold’s Gym Wenatchee
VP Strategic Initiatives, Medallia

I am not an expert on customer (member) experience. But I am an Medallia_Logo_High-resexpert on Customer Experience Management (CEM). The expert on customer experience is the customer. This is not a trivial distinction. Not just word play. It is fundamental for wrapping your thinking around the importance of the singular voice when it comes to CEM.

If there is something in which you are deeply interested and you have the opportunity to listen to, and learn from an expert in that field, I hope you jump at the opportunity.

If you are in the fitness business and are deeply interested in differentiating yourself through Member Experience Management, listen to me. I can help. Once we agree that this is essential to your strategy and I have your attention (after all, you are deeply interested in this and I am the expert!), then we are going to turn to the expert on member experience – the member. The singular human that walks through your door and sees, hears, smells, feels and creates mental images relative to your organization. In other words, is experiencing your club.

Richard Rumelt is an expert on strategy. Cynthia Montgomery is an expert on strategy. In fact they are two of the world’s foremost authorities on strategy. I am deeply interested in strategy. When I have a chance to learn from them I grab it. They are singular individuals with lots of knowledge, expertise and experience in strategy development and execution. I want to listen to these individuals and learn from them.

gym picBetty Smith is a 48-year old bookkeeper and your member. She is the world’s foremost authority on how well your organization is delivering an experience that differentiates you from other businesses… to her. On this topic, there is no higher authority on the planet.

When Rumelt talks about strategy I do not have the expertise, background, or experience to challenge him. On top of that, he just makes so much sense. In other words, my mind just jumps to “he is right.” My knowledge pales in comparison and I have tremendous respect for his views.

When Warren Buffet speaks, we all listen for the same reasons. The list goes on and on and on.

Assuming the delivery of a wonderful member experience is something you are deeply interested in and want to learn more about – how much respect do you have for the world’s foremost authority on member experience? There are lots of experts telling you how to create a wonderful member experience. Hell, I’m one of them! You might even be listening! But how many experts are you listening to as to whether you actually deliver a wonderful experience?

Recently I was involved in a discussion among club owners about “voice of customer” systems and best practices around CEM. One owner said – “I don’t need the members telling me how to run my business.” I agree. You should be the expert on how to run your business. You should be the strategist. You should be the one responsible for aligning your practices, policies, and processes to the purpose of your business. You should be the one to figure how best to create and deliver value to your members.

If you do not know how to do all this then you are responsible for learning how. You are responsible for reading, studying, and gleaning knowledge from experts so you can do all of this better than your competitors.

From what expert will you glean knowledge
about whether you are delivering the value you claim?
I would highly recommend Betty Smith – 48-year old bookkeeper and expert.

Are you deeply interested in your member experience? Do you take the opportunity to listen to the expert(s)? Do you take the opportunity to have a dialogue with these experts? To process what they are telling you into a set of coordinated actions that fundamentally change the experience you deliver to all your members?

You don’t need the customer telling you how to run your business. You need the customer to tell you whether you are running your business well.


The GGFA is heard and respected as the unified voice of all franchisees. We are involved in all decisions that affect our brand and the franchisees. It is our goal to secure Gold’s Gym as the most profitable franchising opportunity in the fitness industry and the number one fitness brand in the world.


We serve as advocates for all franchisees to help them maximize the profitability and stability of their businesses.


About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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