Mystery Shopping for Fitness Businesses

As much as follow up is an extremely important part of nurturing relationships and communicating promotional offers etc. there must be a balance between persistence and annoyance.

Our mystery shoppers love receiving follow up that is initially consistent and personalised – they read each one when personalised and subsequently often tell me they would have “jumped on board” with these clubs.

However, the continuous barricade of very generic texts from some clubs – they find off-putting, annoying and very frustrating particularly when they had OptOut or replied Stop, and they keep coming!

Textual harassment – yes, it’s real and yes there can be legal consequences. In Australia it is an offence under section 474.17 of the criminal code act 1995 to ignore the “STOP” or the “OptOut” and continue to inundate an individual with incessant messaging.

The keywords “stop” and “optout” are there to protect an individual to be able to silence unwanted messaging. It is important to set boundaries within our business and our teams need to be aware of the consequences if this is not adhered to.

The Fitness Industry (as do many other businesses) use text messaging to communicate with their members and certainly in the follow up process with prospective members. When a prospect calls or tours a fitness / wellness facility they are most likely to be asked to provide personal information and while this information is necessary for legitimate communication, it does not grant the facility the right to use it as an ongoing communication tool.

Our Mystery Shopping data shows that in more than 50% of cases despite our either Opting Out or texting back Stop (and/or even texting back with a Thanks, but no thanks please delete me from your system) we continue to receive communication.

We went one step further as an exercise and blocked a number as a last resort to stop an extraordinary number of texts and calls… and guess what? This Club continued to send texts but from a different number to the one we blocked.

Achieving success is closely tied to the customer experience and by adhering to the Stop can only be viewed as a positive and beneficial action.