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Is Mystery Shopping in the Fitness Centre and Spa necessary?

We are all familiar with the Mystery Shopping in the retail industry and probably have heard of it before but could it be applied in fitness and spa?


As you’ll agree, delivering excellent customer service is becoming an increasingly important factor in the running of any successful business. Enhancing the experience at each stage of the customer journey is vital to not only maximising the potential for engagement and revenue during the interaction but also to reduce churn and increase the chance of repeat custom.


Mystery shopping is a great way to understand how your business is perceived by your customers. Each mystery shop is tailored to measure your internal process and service standards. Our business now delivers Mystery Shopping, evaluating and Quality Assurance programmes for a variety of the UK’s physical activity and leisure providers.


The presence of a Mystery Shopping programme in itself can have a positive effect on customer service standards – simply through increased focus on the part of the staff.


How do you recognise that you may need mystery shopping services?


- your staff receives repetitively negative feedback (e.g. PT, Massage, Reception)

- attendance in some fo the services/classes drops

- NPS shows gaps in specific areas (cleanliness, maintenance, availability etc.)

- members/customers don't purchase some of the services that you offer

- KPIs or agreed standards from the invested training are not being delivered

- you noticed a significant churn rate

- you have never tried and seen the benefits of mystery shopping


Having your Quality KPI’s assessed by a specialist independent team, in touch with industry best practices. Whatever your business and service our professional expert consultants can help you provide that extra quality needed to keep you one step ahead of the competition. Pro-acting to your customers is key and our mystery shopping, competitor benchmarking and expertly produced analytics give you the tools you need to stay one step ahead.


Mystery shopping has two types of ROIs. First, mystery shopping can protect your brand’s reputation. Ensuring that every location and every franchisee is delivering on the brand standards means that the brand and all its franchisees win. Remember, a brand can be no better than its lowest-performing operator.


Second, the operational standards assessed by mystery shopping can predict both customer loyalty and various financial outcomes from the same comparable sales in the wellness and health businesses to net acquisitions in the online industry. Now that’s worth measuring.


Mystery shopping takes you straight to the front line customer experience. Quickly leading to:

  • Improved service levels

  • Increased customer loyalty

  • Better staff engagement

The goal is not losing the revenue because of the inconsistency in the delivery of the services or negligible facilities management. The client shouldn’t be forced to complain. Some don’t bother to complain, they take their feet off and never return again. The negative experience will then be shared with others in future as well.


Moreover, there are 3 main areas that mystery shopping can reveal almost instantly:


  1. Highlight areas of potential disappointment to visitors or guests, so these can be addressed, and/or

  2. Highlight opportunities to further improve the visitor or guest experience (to “wow” customers), to thereby improving perceptions, customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  3. Find ways, where possible, to improve primary (e.g. through lead conversions and average order/booking values) and/or secondary spend.

Measuring location and operational performance in your Fitness Centre or spa will not only help you to deliver on the training you have put in place to support staff. It will also help you to monitor the safe delivery of your product or service to customers.


As part of our mystery shopper service for the health and beauty sector, we can send our potential customer in to measure not only the initial consultation process, we can also look at how well beauty treatment was discussed and delivered. This allows spas, beauty treatment providers and practitioners to refine the offer and test treatments on real clients.


Conclusion


Aiming for high standards each and every day ensures that employees promote and deliver your service to customers in the right way, mystery shopping has a fundamental role to play in delivering and maintaining these standards. You invest a great deal into ensuring every new employee is familiar with company processes and also train them on how your customers should be treated. You then provide additional marketing activity to drive paying customers through your doors. Why stop there though, building on that initial investment in training and marketing to test and maintain standards is a valuable investment for any company.


Progressive companies put measures in place beyond the traditional sales KPI’s and manager appraisals. Mystery shopping is the perfect tool to help you provide focus to your initial training activity and ongoing employee knowledge of service, marketing campaigns and compliance if required. Whilst the mystery shop provides a snapshot (insight) of service, repeat visits (screen) over a period of time help to build a robust picture of service and track improvements or areas of weakness. Reinforcing your company culture via mystery shopping demonstrates a commitment to your staff and your customers.


Whether you are a fan of mystery shopping or not, the positive effects are obvious and will serve you and at the end also to your customers. The customers will see your brand as one who cares about the experience of its clients, have it measured and controlled independently. Spa & Fitness sector rely on constant improvements in customer experience, personalised service offers and brand engaging audience.


For more information don't hesitate to contact us here.


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Arete Experience Ltd.

AreteX has been helping Fitness&Spa owners and managers improve customer's journey and service experiences. With excellent customer experience, business is more likely to retain more clients and thus build a sustainable profitable brand.