LO4 of Unit 2 – Understand customer feedback in a fitness organisation

Understand customer feedback in a fitness organisation

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you will be able to:

4.1 Describe the importance of obtaining customer feedback

4.2 Identify ways to record and report customer feedback

4.3 Explain the importance of managing feedback in line with an organisation’s procedures

The importance of obtaining customer feedback

Customer feedback is the information provided by the customer to the organisation relating to the customer’s experience of the products or services (good or bad) used in the organisation. Its purpose is to gauge the level of satisfaction (good or bad) customers have, allowing organisations to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their services or products. Organisations that act on the feedback can improve areas of weakness or poor service, resulting in a greater level of customer satisfaction, meaning customer retention and business growth.

The customer feedback aims include:

  • Measures customer satisfaction – Feedback allows organisations to measure customer general and specific satisfaction, including their expectations and perceptions about the organisation and its brand.
  • Helping to improve customer retention – A voice for customers to be heard and not just a number, especially if the product or service is unsatisfactory. Acting on feedback builds trust resulting in customers repeating their business.
  • It is an opportunity to make things right and provide good service – no organisation on the planet can be 100% perfect in its delivery. Treat negative feedback as an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the organisation.
  • Helping to improve products and services – The customer’s needs will change over time. Therefore, organisations and the people working within those organisations must change too. Regular feedback allows for a constant reevaluation of services and products delivered to make changes and customer needs change. For example, fitness trends come and go, such as the studio timetable, which must adapt and become a more diverse range of class formats to suit member needs.

According to Financial Training services, 96% of unhappy customers do not complain, with 91% never returning.

When creating an excellent experience for your customers, try asking them the following:

  1. What do they think about your product?
  2. What do they like about your products and services?
  3. What do they wish could be improved further?

Asking for customer feedback ensures that the customer’s voice is heard and their experience and custom matters. In turn, this creates loyalty, and loyalty boosts profitability.


  • It helps an organisation stay ahead of competitors – because customers want great products and services, leaving them satisfied.
  • Avoids negative word of mouth and Trustpilot reviews – brand image and brand awareness are necessary to attract new business. Negative reviews can certainly undo a strong brand. Customers are savvy when it comes to purchasing and will seek out the best companies that meet their needs. Many people use review sites such as Trustpilot to help them decide. Brand image is essential for business, so people’s perceptions could be the difference between recommending friends, family and associates recommendations to your organisation or business.

It takes a long time to build a brand reputation but only a moment to destroy it. When mapping out the customer experience, one key area is to consider the customer feedback and how you would like customers to talk about you, others, and the organisations to their colleagues. In that way, feedback is likely to be positive.

Customer satisfaction and exceeding their expectations

The customer’s experience with a service should be mapped beforehand to ensure all touch and pain points have been identified and solutions sought as customers talk and talk spreads. It’s straightforward; if customers feel that they have had a good experience, it naturally increases customer satisfaction resulting in repeat business and even referral. On the other hand, failure to consider the customer’s journey, including their expectations, will follow, which is terrible for an organisation’s reputation and brand.

  • A loss of trust and respect
  • Poor customer satisfaction
  • No repeat custom and business
  • Poor service adherence
  • Low retention rates

To enhance the customer’s experience/satisfaction and exceed their expectations, consider the following:

  1. Set customers’ expectations early on– avoid overselling a service then under-delivering. It is better to undersell and over-deliver.
  2. Be courteous and polite and thank customers for their support, participation, turning up etc.
  3. Go out of your way to help customers and keep your promises.
  4. Develop customer loyalty – make customers feel special by remembering special occasions like birthdays or offer a discount for being a valued, long-standing customer.
  5. Do not ignore customer feedback.
  6. Ensure all staff have the relevant training to understand how the organisation functions and its services and products.

Customer feedback recording and reporting methods

Organisations and business owners don’t need to wait for customers to give their feedback to action. Proactive organisations constantly seek and encourage all customers to participate and respond. However, use multiple methods and systems to record feedback because not everyone wants to communicate in the same way.


To reduce the number of unhappy customers, organisations should measure customer satisfaction do the following:

  • Politely ask customers to complete a short survey on aspects of the service offered, i.e., many gyms now have electronic feedback points and encourage their use.
  • Encourage customers to complete feedback cards or know where to go if they want to make a complaint.
  • Hold regular customer forums.
  • Use social media to track and monitor customer satisfaction; customers are now using their mobile phones up to 150 times per day.

Online customer satisfaction surveys or questionnaires are a great tool to engage with your customers and gather insightful data.


Email is a simple method of reaching customers for feedback. As most people have an email address they use and regularly check, customers are easily reached. However, one word of caution is that email correspondence must be brief if a response is to be actioned quickly. Long-winded text and survey questions are challenging to read on-screen, so they won’t keep people’s attention, resulting in lost action.

Survey type questions work well and need to be well thought out beforehand. Also, make sure you don’t ask too many questions either, as people quickly lose interest. Programmes such as Mailchimp and SurveyMonkey make designing emails and surveys easy.


SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. SMS is a low cost (although there is a network charge) method offering plenty of reach due to most if not all members or customers using a SMARTphone. It’s perfect when just a few questions are needing a response.

Social media

One in three consumers opts for sharing their concerns on social media channels instead of using traditional support channels such as the phone and email. Businesses now spend a vast amount of time actively engaging with customers on social media as it’s the perfect medium for responding quickly to feedback.

Social media is an incredible medium for collecting customer feedback, not just in with the number of responses but also in data analytics. Data analytics includes engagements, hashtags, likes and shares, which provides business with information on the brand reach that is further afield than direct members.

Channels such as Facebook and Twitter have features to create short surveys which are very user friendly.

Website feedback

Most companies and organisations, if not all, have a web page. The feedback tab, link or dedicated page should be visible and easily accessible. As with recommendations on other channels, use short surveys to keep interested.

In-app feedback

With most adults using a smartphone, companies can use app technology to gain feedback and send notifications.


When you need in-depth, qualitative feedback from customers, one-on-one interviews with a researcher are valuable. Interviews help validate a hypothesis and observation(s) made from data. Along with other methods, they help improve the customer’s experience.

Focus groups

A focus group is a selected group of people who participate in a facilitated discussion to obtain feedback on consumer research services. The schedule needs to be set beforehand for Focus groups to accomplish their aims.

Panel research

Panel research is similar to a focus group whereby a group of pre-selected people give their responses. Groups can vary in size but should be a cross-section of people such as age and social status, and lifestyles. Panels include employees and customers who can discuss what they think of the company.

Managing feedback in line with an organisation’s procedures

The organisations’ CRM or Customer Relationship Management is the technology used to store, retrieve and manage interactions with customers and potential customers. Stored data includes email correspondence, website interactions, telephone conversations and social media profiles. The CRM will do other tasks as well, including recent company activity.

With the CRM’s help and feedback loop theory, services improve, and profitability increases. There are three stages to the feedback loop:

  1. Gather – Information from individuals
  2. Learn – Analyse and compare data
  3. Apply – Recommendations implemented into the product or service

Each state’s information should flow from each other whereby information from the previous stage is used in the next stage. Like many processes, it needs to be constantly applied as a company needs change.


Feedback look image

Feedback loops come in two types:

  1. Positive – referring to feedback from team members and other employees. A positive feedback loop concerns itself with the work environment and the people who work (internal customers) in the organisation/company.
  2. Negative – information from people external to the organisation such as customers, members and contractors. It includes reviews, complaints and satisfaction surveys.

Supporting customers using feedback loops

Digital channels such as website and social media pages provide an ideal medium to gain feedback from its audience and customers. Feedback channels include:

  • Website contact forms
  • Website live chat
  • Company forums
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Automated review forms
  • In-person interactions


A company’s social media pages are the ultimate feedback (negative) loop. There is no better medium for getting closer to an audience than direct engagement through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, social media is a double-edged sword as customers will vent fury if dissatisfied with a product or service. Social channels revolve around instant messaging and response, so it’s best to have a designated person actively monitoring the sites ready to respond, especially when dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Companies should consider their employees’ feedback (positive) too, as they have direct contact with customers and services. Given the opportunity, staff want to feel they are a valued member of an organisation. Companies must implement multiple channels to gather employee feedback to service those employees who want to remain anonymous or are more self-conscious about their responses.

Feedback loop steps:

Step 1 – Gather information from requested feedback making sure feedback comes from multiple channels. Popular methods include surveys, live chats, social listening and direct email marketing.

Surveys are prevalent as they target specificity within a service or product. They can also target selected user groups.

Step 2 – Once data is collected, analyse it. Look for trends or recurring comments and make a note of their frequency. The next step is to position comments in. level of importance or user groups affected. Are there any pain points needing immediate attention, and can the causes be identified? Often issues arise due to miscommunication. Finally, what is the solution?

Apply conclusions into the product – When all information is gathered on services or product, it’s necessary to plan and implement changes and aim to implement the most important or critical changes that need to affect the running of a service. Remember that members need to be informed of the changes in good time to plan alternative services or activities and ask questions. Otherwise, the feedback loop starts again for the same reasons the changes implemented were there to stop.