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Customer Story

How The Camp TC Delivers Amazing Customer Experiences With AskNicely

Running a successful, people-powered, experience-driven brand is tough. Strategically growing that brand by opening over a hundred franchise locations in just a few years, while maintaining a laser focus on customer relationships? We call that downright daunting.

Luckily, The Camp Transformation Center has ambition in its DNA: the fitness brand is known for its flagship six-week, 20-pound weight loss challenge. And like any good gym rat, their team knows having the right equipment is key. So in 2019, The Camp TC began searching for a tool that would help ensure they were delivering their signature customer experience. They wanted to launch a Net Promoter Score program, and knew they would need NPS software to get results.

Finding the right partner

“Our primary goal is to transform lives through a fitness community, and we really wanted to measure how we’re doing in that aspect,” said Brandon Durkee, Vice-President of Operations at The Camp TC. “We needed something to help us drive business decisions based on what our clients feel, what they want, what they think about us.”

The Camp TC team tested three different software companies that offered NPS, and ended up choosing AskNicely. “It was really tailored to us,” said Catia Morgan, Senior Vice-President of Franchise Operations. “[Our account executive] Alex was great about working with us at the beginning and explaining how the system could work for us and what it could do for us. It really enticed us to go with AskNicely.”

Initially, The Camp TC conducted a pilot program with AskNicely to ten of their corporate-owned gyms, and soon determined to roll it out to their franchised locations nationwide. Their leadership team first held a summit with their franchisee advisory board, showing the AskNicely product and asking for their feedback. “They loved the survey and the cost was acceptable,” said Catia. “So we had a virtual all-franchisee meeting throughout the country.”

The Camp gym members working out

Getting franchisees on board

Alex, The Camp TC’s trusty aforementioned account executive, helped Catia and her team present AskNicely to the franchisees. Catia stressed how important it would be to keep them informed and in contact with their customers.“It wasn’t a hard sell,” said Catia. “They all wanted to know what their clients were feeling, and how they could better provide service for them. It really went smoothly.”

For Catia and the rest of the corporate leadership team, rolling out NPS to franchise locations meant direct, real-time visibility into the day-to-day performance of gyms operating under their brand. “My biggest concern at the beginning was that our corporate locations, where we’re very involved, would do really well—but once we got everyone on board, we’d see a dip,” said Catia. “And we really didn’t. To me, that says we’re doing something right, and we’re really excited about that.”

Catia and her team have a lot to be excited about: over their first nine months with AskNicely, The Camp TC has sent over 45,000 customer surveys with a 34.4% response rate. Their overall Net Promoter Score has consistently charted around 85—far surpassing most health and fitness industry NPS benchmarks.

Taking feedback-driven action

Almost immediately after launching AskNicely, The Camp TC began gleaning insights from customer feedback. Three primary drivers of customer satisfaction became quickly apparent: pricing, accountability, and people. To their credit, The Camp TC wasted no time in taking steps to deliver what their customers were asking for.

Pricing for every customer

“We were getting a lot of survey responses that indicated dissatisfaction with our pricing,” said Brandon. “So we realized, number one, maybe we’re charging too much and need to look at our pricing model. And number two, maybe we’re just not providing enough value for the pricing.” “Even when our customers were canceling, they were saying, ‘I love you guys. I just can’t afford it. But I love everything you’ve done for me.’,” added Catia. “That kind of really cut us to the core. So we had to create something for our clients that really loved what we were doing and needed to be there.”

Based on their customers’ feedback, The Camp TC rolled out a lower-priced membership option with a longer commitment. “It’s one of the primary business decisions we’ve made off these surveys,” said Brandon. “And we had a lot of new clients sign up.”

The Camp trainers leading a group of members

Accountability for longtime members

The Camp TC also heard from longtime members who were itching for more accountability. “We do the six-week challenge, and that’s obviously our biggest program,” said Brandon. “But to hear from our long-term members that they didn’t feel they had the same accountability? That’s really been eye-opening for us and has changed the way we operate.” The Camp TC responded swiftly.

Within a few months, they developed and launched a new tiered ranking program that allows members to measure their own progress and advance through Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels. “We put a big ranking board up so participants can see each other’s scores,” said Brandon. “And that came directly from hearing that we don’t provide enough accountability, or that they didn't feel like they were progressing enough anymore.” And since The Camp TC took action, they were able to respond to feedback in the most effective way: by communicating that real change.

“We had one customer that really wasn’t happy with our accountability, and was about to cancel,” said Brandon. “I responded to her survey comment and let her know about our new program coming out, and that we’d extend her membership for another month to let her try it out for free. And the cool thing is, after she did that, we ran a promotion for year paid-in-full membership. And she and her husband both bought one! So what could have been a lost customer ended up giving us another $2,000 in revenue."

The power of good people

“NPS helps you understand what clients care most about,” said Brandon. “We see with our franchise partners and corporate-owned locations that when there’s high turnover with staff, the Net Promoter Score drastically drops. It makes you realize how important it is to hire and develop your trainers, and keep them happy and make sure turnover is kept as low as possible.”

In addition to paying trainers above the industry average, The Camp TC implemented a new hire program. “Before, we didn’t have a structured plan. Now, we have a new 14-day training plan to train our trainers, and we’re offering our staff trainers bonuses to help us train new hires as well.” Catia agreed. “I like to see the numbers of how our trainers are doing. It’s really important to go to my franchisees and say, ‘Look, your trainers are what makes your business work so well. Eighty percent of your customers love your trainers—so you’d better treat them good!’”

The Camp staff in matching hoodies

Coaching and communicating with franchisees

In her role, Catia can use the customer experience reporting from AskNicely to communicate proactively with franchisees. “The leaderboard lets me see where everyone’s at, and filter through whatever I want to look at that day,” said Catia. “I like to see the breakdown of numbers across the board, and if anything’s going on, I can reach out to my franchisees and ask if they’ve seen the recent numbers or comments. It’s a good way to start those conversations.”

Even within corporate-owned locations, NPS plays a major role in coaching and accountability. “We’ve seen a correlation between the overall NPS and the overall health of the business,” said Brandon. “That score translates to higher member retention and client health, so we’re making it a focal point for our general managers and part of their bonus structure.”

Bottom line: it’s all about the customer

“The better we serve our members, the better we serve our community, the more successful we’re going to be as a business,” said Brandon. “Our primary goal is to transform lives through a fitness community. The reason we bought AskNicely is to learn more about that community and how supported our members feel, because serving our clients better is the thing we care most about.”

We couldn’t be prouder of the amazing work The Camp TC is doing for their clients! If you’d like to understand your own customers’ wants and needs, let’s talk. We’d love to help equip you with the customer experience tools you need to transform your own business.

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About the author

Sara Gates

Sara is AskNicely's Senior Content Strategist, and a passionate advocate for customer experience and storytelling. When she's not geeking out on all things content, you'll find her road-tripping throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Other posts by Sara Gates

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