Customer Success for personal fitness

I was about 20 minutes into a session on the cross trainer at my new gym (just as I was beginning to feel the burn in my quads and question my commitment to the cause) when it occurred to me that Customer Success should be as much of a thing in the world of personal fitness as it is in SaaS.

We are all well versed in the merits of delivering success to our customers in the B2B SaaS world — retention is king and expansion is a must if we want to grow our business — but transitioning the philosophy and practice of Customer Success into the B2C world and away from SaaS is not so straightforward.

I’ve heard a number of people talk about Customer Success becoming recognised in the B2C SaaS world — clearly a Spotify or Netflix customer, for example, who does not perceive themselves as getting value from their subscription is at risk of ‘churning’ and therefore the benefits of practicing and delivering Customer Success for those two companies are obvious. But does the same apply to the retail industry when we move away from a subscription based sales model? I suppose the key here is repeat business rather than renewal but that then begs the question how do you deliver success? What defines customer success for someone buying, for example, a new pair of sneakers? I don’t have the answer to that question so perhaps it is something to consider for the future, or perhaps it’s more relevant to Customer Experience, but it does bring me back, in a fitness related way, to my lightbulb moment on the elliptical.

As I mentioned earlier, I have just joined a new gym… another new gym, and am again trying to persuade myself to get in good physical shape. But it’s hard. It’s hard to start a new habit and keep myself motivated to go to the gym three times a week when I wake up each day with sore muscles. People always tell me that once I start seeing results e.g. I can run further or I can lift heavier weights, then it becomes easier to stay motivated. And it’s true and that is exactly what made me realise that what I’m looking for is success. If I’m successful in the gym then I’m more likely to go and and wouldn’t you know it, my gym membership is a monthly recurring subscription with the option to upgrade to a better package… I’ve seen that business model somewhere before! On top of that, I have to check in each time I work out so my gym is also able to collect data and understand if I’m under or over utilising my membership or if my patterns of working out change (either increase or decrease). Now I know that data is useful!

I’m pretty certain mine and lots of other gym’s use CRM technology to manage their customer base so wouldn’t it make sense for them to also make use of the benefits of Customer Success technology to manage the retention and growth of existing customers?

I’m not an expert in the field of personal fitness, clearly, but from what I understand gym’s suffer with a high level of churn, especially from new customers. So isn’t it about time that all fitness providers got the (exercise bikes) wheels rolling on delivering success to their customers?