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May 21, 2010

Win in Any Economy, with a “Member Loyalty-Centric” Corporate Culture

In times of recession “Service Means Survival”, but keep in mind the difference between customer satisfaction and loyalty is significant:
Member Satisfaction means meeting a member’s expectations and the member does not feel valued. There is no memorable “WOW” experience. As a result the member will be more price sensitive and consider competitors’ offerings. Member Loyalty  means exceeding member expectations and he/ she does feel valued. Delivering a memorable experience that WOW’s the member. As a result the member will be a long-term customer, less concerned with price.

How do you drive a Member Loyalty-Centric Corporate Culture?

  1. It must start with an unwavering commitment by club ownership and senior management.
  2. Hire people who have an ingrained passion for serving people exceptionally well.
  3. Develop and train all staff who interact with members on “best practices” based on members’ wants, not the club’s convenience. Everything that impacts a member experience. Ask “What would WOW me?” When did you receive exceptional customer service – How did it make you feel? How did it affect your shopping habits at that store? How many people did you share it with?
  4. Don’t allow staff to use the word “policy,” as 99% of the time upon hearing that word, a member knows he/ she is about to be given an excuse as to why his/ her need will not be met. Train employees on how to innovatively problem-solve to say yes vs. giving excuses for saying no.
  5. Coach staff to view angry members as an opportunity to convert them to members for life: teach them how to use “mirroring” to diffuse anger, then go the extra mile to exceed their expectations.
  6. Ask for examples of “memorable experiences” and “exceeding member expectations” at every staff meeting. Hold employees accountable for achieving them, and give rewards to those who do.
  7. Don’t cut expenses that negatively impact quality service delivery for short-term financial gain. That will cost the company much more in lost revenues and profits over the long term.

Reasons to implement a Member Loyalty-Centric Corporate Culture?

  1. It’s far less expensive to keep a member than acquire a new one.
  2. Positive word of mouth by loyal members generate far more new members than cold calling and other lead generation efforts – and it’s free.
  3. A negative member experience will be told to at least 10 people (oftentimes many more), resulting in potential lost new members; and
  4. The lifetime $ sales value (“LSV”) of a loyal member can be as much as 20 years and in addition the cumulative LSV of all new members he/ she refers.

You can start by writing a short “Congrats” or “Great hair cut” message to individual members. Simply utilize the Member Welcome Screen in the iGo Figure Software.
It will put a smile on your member’s face, when they see that you remembered. Never forget, member retention is key!

It’s all about the way people feel when they walk into your club – happy, comfortable, special.

Get started today!

Matt Z.


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