Secret Shopper in the Fitness Industry
Everyone has heard the term comparing Apples to Oranges. When considering the price of a service, product or experience, a consumer must ensure they are educated before making a purchase. Because they do not want to fall into the trap of comparing two seemingly similar items that are in fact no where close to the same. Re-apply the phrase comparing Apples to Oranges.
A Coach of ours, while contacting past leads, was informed that a couple had chosen a different program but would happily switch and join ours if we could price match their current membership cost. This scenario was a new concept and the thought came up what determines the cost of our service in comparison to the other? Why and how can they offer a “similar” product at such a reduced price?.
There are many factors that determine the cost of a service. In a world where everyone has their hand out looking for their piece of the pie, a business must pay rent, utilities, a landslide of taxes and fees all before you can count up equipment, education, licensing, and don’t forget payroll. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that with a “similar” business there are comparable rents, utilities, taxes, and licensing. That leaves equipment, education, and payroll. The biggest difference, however, is the experience you as a consumer has everytime you enter the business. The level of service you are provided will usually be a direct reflection of the cost of service, which comes from the expertise of the staff, their willingness to help you, the consistency and the excitement they have to perform their job. I have not too often witnessed a happy to help and excited employee at the Dollar General. As you step up to a WalMart it improves, but you if step into a high end retail store or service provider you can not get the staff to leave your side without asking you if you need anything. “Can I get you anything? Ice Water? Coffee?”
Apply the secret shopper and back to the story. So our Coach decides to drop in and see if we are Apples and Oranges. Without going into too many details, here is what was found and experienced. A run down appearance of the space and equipment, a “Coach” with little concern of the experience of fitness level of our “Drop in/Secret Shopper”. The Warm-up and WOD were written on a whiteboard with no further explanation, just a “Go Ahead and warm-up.” Our secret shopper intentionally did movements incorrect as the “Coach” watched to see if corrections would be made. None. After a near 30 minute workout with over 300 reps was prescribed and completed by a relative stranger, the “Coach” declared “well good job” and had no mention of a cool down or stretching routine. The lack of experience and caring by the “Coach” absolutely blew the mind of our secret shopper, and it was immediately concluded that our services are indeed apples and oranges.
So what can you do as a consumer? Frankly put, you need to form your own opinion, as they say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Too often we do not realize the piles of dog shit spread out on that green grass until we have already stepped in it, and suddenly wish we were back in the yard we started, without poop on our shoes. So, drop in, check out other places, then make your decision. But at the end of the day, in the service industry you are paying for a service which can only be as good as the money you pay for it. Experience, Knowledge, and the willingness to help can not be replaced at a lower cost. I thank everyone who has chosen us and I promise to continue on our pursuit of better everyday. #maxkanestrong