Leisure industry gets thumbs down for customer service

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The survey, which used the powerful Net Promoter Score® (NPS) and generated more than 32,000 responses, also revealed that more than a fifth of respondents would actively discourage others from joining their club.

A Net Promoter Score is obtained by asking customers a single question on a 0 to 10 rating scale: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Based on their responses, customers can be categorised into one of three groups: Promoters (9-10 rating), Passives (7-8 rating), and Detractors (0-6 rating). The percentage of Detractors is subtracted from the percentage of Promoters to obtain a Net Promoter Score. A score of 75% or above is considered quite high.

“NPS is probably the most powerful single indicator of your customers’ view of your business. It is a proven indicator of customer satisfaction, loyalty and commitment,” said Mike Hill, managing director of Leisure-net Solutions.

Almost twice as many operators took part in the latest NPS survey, compared to the inaugural survey in 2011, with 57 companies representing 511 clubs.

The overall industry NPS was worked out to be 21%, almost the same score as in 2011.The figure being made up of 21% detractors and 42% promoters.

“In many ways it is not surprising that the scores from this year’s survey haven’t changed. In fact, it shows that the methodology that we are using is consistent and robust. Scores will only move if the operators within the sector change the way they do things, whether this be cultural changes or operational improvements to service delivery,” explained Alister Rollins, founder of The Retention People.

One club which has bucked the trend with an NPS of 70% is Crown Spa Health Club in Scarborough. Manager, Stuart Russell, said: “We pride ourselves in excellent customer service, so scoring well in such a well known and respected customer loyalty metric, and in comparison to the rest of the industry, is a real boost for everyone at the club.

“It is nice to receive good feedback, but we also encourage our members to come forward with suggestions and improvements, and the NPS has proven to be a great way of providing us with additional feedback. Acting on these suggestions really makes the members feel part of the club and not just a membership number. The high score is testament to all the hard work and commitment put in on a daily basis by every member of staff, and we’re looking forward to improving it even further!”

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