Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Enough About You - What About Me?
Some thoughts on customer satisfaction surveys...
Gold's Gym emailed me a customer satisfaction survey at the end of January. I was getting ready to go on vacation, so I ignored it. The other day, I saw a banner in the gym advertising a new contest they're running with Men's Fitness. I flashed back to the previous contest I entered - "Win a Gold's Gym Workout with John Cena" - and remembered "they never let me know if anybody won that."

Then I thought of the survey, and reasoned "I can at least fill it out BEFORE I start complaining."

I took a look at it a few minutes ago. It's about 12-15 Web pages of questions about what I thought of the facility, the machines, the weights, the staff. I kept clicking through it, not choosing any of the ratings, looking for a question about ME. About 8 pages in, and a couple of pages before the end, I got to those questions. "What part of your body do you most work on," with a list of body parts/muscle groups, and "what are your overall fitness goals. Then the end page, with a box to write in additional feedback.

When I tried to go back to actually fill out the survey, I got the "Thanks for answering the questions" page.

I didn't answer any questions! But I do have these thoughts:

1. Any staff member can walk through the gym and point out the things that work and those needing improvement. You're asking me to do what is basically your job - keep track of the establishment's upkeep. Don't you have standards of operation? If the elliptical machines are squeaking, do you have to wait for a member to let you know about it via email? Can't you walk around at 12 noon and 6pm and see if the two benches have lines of people waiting to use them?

2. The questions about me you're asking via the survey - isn't it a little late for those? I remember a trainer asked them when I joined in early 2005. As did all the other trainers I worked with. I'm not sure what you're going to do with the answers I give online - probably compile them with all the others and draw a chart to show the board of directors: "As you can see by this PowerPoint graph, 87% of our members join to lose weight. That's in keeping with the overall estimation for the years 2005-2009. We recommend that staff continue to ignore members unless they want to sign up for personal training."

3. You ask on one page about personal training - mainly, have I had any experience with trainers there. Um, I spent about $5,000 in 2006 on personal training at your gym, which you kept track of in your computer database - AND YOU DON'T KNOW THIS?!?!?!

4. I may have gotten the exact wording of some of these questions I cite above wrong.
I'd like to go back and make sure I understood them correctly. But, I can't, because I'm now locked out of the survey. (This also goes for if I wanted to go back and change any of my answers.)

5. The final page of the survey states:
Thank you for taking a moment to provide us with feedback regarding your Gold’s Gym membership. Your answers will allow us the opportunity to consider possible enhancements to our facilities, as well as ensure that the service you receive from Gold’s Gym continues to exceed your expectations.
At this point, I'm reading "possible enhancements" as "we have to write the word possible because we can't promise anything," and "exceed your expectations," as "we haven't got a clue as to what your expectations are."

Sorry to be so negative, but I'm reading all this customer service information and I see what the Web is capable of and I spend all this money and still I'm A) expected to do the staff's work, and B) not worthy of any staff member asking me any of those questions in person.

I guess it's because I'm not on the A-List.

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