Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve approached a few fitness companies to see if they are able to provide membership discounts for our Axenic team.
The responses from them were on an interesting spectrum and are an excellent reminder of the difference between bad, good and great customer service.
These were the responses:
Didn’t come back to me on an original email request. On a second email request, they came back to me a month later (apologising for the delay) and informed me that their price is already competitive and that they don’t offer a corporate discount.
My thinking process as a potential customer: “Obviously the current cost doesn’t include good customer service. No thanks.”
What might have changed the experience: “…We believe that our Basic membership provides some of the best value in town. So while we don’t provide corporate discounts, I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss why our gym might be a good fit for Axenic, show you the facilities and look at how we can put together a training programme with you that would motivate your team to get healthy…”
Came back to me quickly and with a friendly tone, offering a 7 day trial for the team and a discount conditional on a minimum level of staff joining the gym. There was a pretty heavy emphasis on the minimum number required to get a corporate discount. When prompted about the minimum staff level and another provider’s quote without this condition, they came back with a second offer of a discounted membership without this condition and a good minimum term agreement. When asked for promotional material, they followed up quickly with a personalised poster for the team highlighting the staff benefits. Nice!
My thinking process as a potential customer: “Good customer service…but it took the prompting of losing our business to a competitor to move the dial to great customer service.”
What might have changed the experience: “…I’ve had a quick look at your website and can see that Axenic is a small company. While we normally have a minimum number of staff required for the corporate discount, as you are a small business I’m happy to waive this for Axenic and also offer you a short minimum term. If you’d like to come down and see our facilities and discuss our training programmes, let’s make a time…”.
Came back to me quickly with a friendly tone, providing details about their gym, a list of potential corporate services that might be of interest, a link to activate a free 7 day trial for the team and an invitation to come down to have a chat to them to understand our needs. I took them up on the invitation and we talked about my team’s preferences, was given ideas about potential ways to build enthusiasm about team wellness and given a tour of the facilities. When asked for promotional material, I was introduced to their marketing manager who asked relevant questions about what would be effective as an internal awareness campaign.
My thinking process as a potential customer: “That’s awesome; what great customer service! This is a company that I want to work with.”
What might have changed the experience: Pretty close to ideal!
Which provider would you prefer to interact with most?
Now replace ‘Gym’ with ‘My company’ – which of these experiences most closely aligns with how you portray your company and what your customers think about their interactions with you?
It seems really obvious, but this has been a really good reminder for me to continually check-in on the way that I engage with our own customers.
Does my conversation demonstrate that:
- Axenic is easy to work with and approachable,
- We can anticipate what our customers need from us,
- We will take the time to listen to you to understand your specific needs and how we can help,
- We know what we are talking about,
- We have a can-do positive attitude.
The difference between bad, good and great customer service is a matter of attitude. While it is not always possible to ‘please all of the people all of the time’, simply by starting with a mindset of wanting your customer to get to a positive outcome will help shape great customer service interactions.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it might be time to hit the gym…