Article by: Cathy Fennell
A well-established, prestigious sports club nestled somewhere in the idyllic countryside seems like a foolproof business model. That is, until its leadership team noticed a steady decline in membership numbers and lower levels of overall engagement from its resident members. It could be safely assumed that they had rested on their laurels for some time, and its CEO, desperate to reverse the downturn, decided that the solution was to become more ‘customer-driven.’
“Aha,” they thought. “Let’s run a customer satisfaction survey to find out what we need to improve!”
With logical brain they listed the items that they wanted to test in a DIY satisfaction survey: Customer Service, Fitness studio, Court facilities, Lounge Facilities, Changing Facilities, Value for money.
One might think they produced a fairly obvious set of survey questions, but as we pointed out to them: their intended survey wasn’t customer-driven at all. Rather, it was guided solely by the guesswork of management.
Not only were they in danger of excluding what might be important to customers in their survey, but such a simple polling method was unlikely to give them any real diagnosis. That approach was likely to simply codify their guesswork whilst getting them no closer to solving their problems.
Fortunately, they were willing to try a different approach. In a process we refer to as Expectations Gathering, we began to accumulate the ideal attributes of such a sports club as defined to us by the members themselves, who we then asked to score the club by each individual attribute.
The results came as a huge surprise to the CEO: their members’ priorities were simply not what they had anticipated. While there was some degree of crossover between our Expectations Map and their original survey, several key areas had not been accounted for.