Mystery Shopping for Fitness Businesses

Mystery Shopping is a challenging but fascinating job and I never know what to expect when I walk into any fitness/health/wellbeing facility. I actively engage in conducting numerous Mystery Shops myself, and I love immersing myself in the diverse ‘In Club Experience’ firsthand at the clubs we visit. This hands-on approach provides me with a comprehensive understanding of each facility and enables me to identify any challenges that our clients face. It also keeps me updated with latest customer experience trends and practices.

A typical day starts early so I can map out the most efficient route to the clubs I will be visiting. I then double check specific guidelines and instructions about the mystery shop – I may be ‘targeting’ a selected team member, or I may need a specific ‘back story’ of why I am interested in joining so I need to be prepared.

On my way I stop at a café and order a latte and I automatically find myself going into mystery shopper mode, and I am tasting the quality of the coffee and assessing the friendliness and speed of service.

As I arrive at my first destination, I mentally prepare for any weird scenario that may arise and with the number of fitness facilities I visit I have seen some things that I will never be able to ‘unsee!’

I wait and listen while a team member is on a phone call, and I am wondering just how much longer it will take before she acknowledges me or even just makes eye contact. I see a PT (I know this as personal trainer is emblazed across his shirt……) heading towards me so I deliberately look his way, but he walks right past me without a smile or even a nod of the head – Ok then here we go!

Great start…

Throughout the day as I visit centres, I look for signs of excellence (or not-so-excellent) customer service. I try to strike up a little chat with some of the members hoping to get a sense of the clubs atmosphere or community feel and the ‘vibe’.

Between each mystery shop I make audio notes as I drive along. This ensures that all details are remembered and correctly recorded while it is fresh in my mind. I need to be switched on and ultra-observant, I need to be focused and I need to be both honest and objective in my staffing facts all while coming across as casual, relaxed, and friendly.

I would say that mystery shopping is a tougher gig than most first think. However, I am passionate about being part of something that both assists in improving the customer experience and acknowledging and rewarding excellent service.

I am proud that our mystery shopping programs deliver the feedback to develop a deeper understanding of how to create a great ‘In Club Experience’ for your prospects.

It is incredibly rewarding to see our client’s customer service go from good/bad or indifferent to an outstanding WOW factor level. Ultimately this is simply what will drive your sales and membership retention – The Customer Experience!

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