How the anti-WOW factor could destroy your business and what to do.

My daughter and I walked into the airport, excited to begin our trip to Boston.  We were on our way to visit family we hadn’t seen in what seemed like forever!  I'd even made a change to our flight weeks before, so we could leave a day early, on Friday. 

At the ticket counter, the representative said our ticket was for the next day.  I showed her the confirmation email I had received that my flight had been changed.  The email literally said “Status: CONFIRMED”!  It had today's date on it -- Friday. 

She replied, “Well, you reserved your ticket for today, but never actually changed it.”  You can imagine my confusion.  I politely asked how 'CONFIRMED' meant the same as "NOT CHANGED."

She said, "You should have called."

“Why would I call when the email says that the email confirmed my changes?” I stayed polite, but I was frustrated.  We went back and forth, and the issue was finally resolved … but not until she made it clear that SHE was doing me a FAVOR by changing my ticket. 

By this point, if there had been ANY way for me to use a different airline without having to pay a fortune, I would have. This isn’t a small airline.  You'd think that they would have systems in place, to avoid issues like this. 

This is the anti-wow factor in action. 

Some of the fundamentals of business became so clear in this experience. 

The truth is, every business should view itself as a Customer Satisfaction Business. It is always an exchange of money for goods/services -- value for value.  But too many times things get taken for granted … complacency sets in. Customers start having bad experiences -- they’re no longer satisfied with the exchange. 

They will leave as soon as possible. 

Earlier this week, my sister shared a similar story. She had ordered a new fridge from a large corporation, and on the day it was scheduled to be delivered, she got a call that the truck had broken down.  They gave her a new date and rescheduled.  

A couple days before that date,  she received an email to phone and … reschedule her delivery date. She was confused -- she'd already done this, with the representative on the phone.  She called again, only to be told that her delivery was NOT scheduled, and the first available date was several weeks away.  They said she should have called SOONER. She said there was no reason for her to call after the original date, since she had already set a new delivery time with the delivery guy. 

Back and forth.  You'd think that they would have systems in place, to avoid issues like this. The anti-WOW factor strikes again! 

Confusion. Frustration. Borderline anger, and actual anger. That's the outcome my sister and I had from these experiences. Definitely not feelings that make us want to do ANY further business with these companies. 

But we learn lessons where we find them.  These are NOT the feelings I want anyone to have when they think about MY gym. 

As a gym owner, is there any part of the customer experience that causes negative feelings? Even something as obvious as giving them the right information so they know what’s going on?   

For example, do my members have a clear path set out before them, such as goals and procedures?  Are they all introduced to the gym in the same way? Do they know they are supposed to reserve classes, and how to do it? Do they know what a DB HP C is (Dumbbell Hang Power Clean)?  

The big companies my sister and I dealt with have lost touch with the actual experience of the customer. The question is, when was the last time you put yourself through your own sales process, or onboarding process?  

The best way to improve this area is to know exactly what’s happening. The best way to do that is to build systems to make it consistent, and then check up on them to make sure they’re working properly (and not annoying your customers). 

At Level Method we use 3 factors to help guide any gym -- the WOW factor is all about systems. And you’ll build your wow factor dramatically by consistently delivering lots of value over a long period of time. That requires smart systems. 

If you want to learn more about the 3 factors, check out this webinar where Nathan and Chris Cooper review the 3 factors and discuss them in detail.