A friend of mine recently started work at a gym. His job title is ‘Membership Consultant’ which is really just a fancy term for ‘Salesperson’. While on the phone the other day, chatting with a prospect, he was told that she’d experienced some really full-on hard-sell from the person she’d spoken to a couple of weeks before. He took this feedback to his manager and was told ‘Oh, she’s just a trouble-maker, don’t listen to her.’ The management was just not interested in any negative feedback at all.
My mate was quite shocked because in his previous employment, he was used to taking feedback from customers and using it to help improve store layout, product offerings, signage, point of sale materials, staff training and so much more. If we can ask our clients what they think, and then give them what they want, how much more money could we be making?
As for the gym management, they obviously don’t get that this is free market research! There’s no setting up and paying mega-bucks for a questionnaire, a survey or a focus group — this is free and extremely valuable feedback from the very people they are trying to sell to. For FREEEEE!!! And I know that money is important to them because they are underpaying my friend and even making him pay for his own uniform. But that’s another story… let’s get back to the point.
In stark contrast to the example above, I was at a crash shop last week, waiting to collect my car and noticed a brochure on the counter. Its front cover read:
Did we meet our usual high standards?
Please let us know.
The brochure was produced by the RAA, who want to know whether their approved repairers are doing the right thing. And how better to find out than to ask their customers. If we look carefully at our own business, no matter how well we are doing already, perhaps there’s a question or two we could be asking our clients that would add a bit (or a lot!) both to their experience and to our bottom line.