About a month ago, I issued a challenge to Affiliate owners: choose 10 random members, and let me call them. Nine answered the call.
Our survey went like this:
"Good morning. It's Chris Cooper, and I'm calling on behalf of CrossFit WetBlanket. Can you spare a couple of seconds for a quick satisfaction survey?"
- Yes -
"Great, thanks. Your name was randomly drawn, and anything you say will be carefully considered, but your identity will be kept a secret."
If a member couldn't be reached by phone, we left this message:
"...I'd like to send you an email with a quick survey on it; if you'd like to fill it out, that would be terrific. If not, no problem; just keep CrossFitting!"
Our questions (narrowed to four, upon recommendation by an expert)
1) Would you say you're completely satisfied by the service at CrossFit RipTorn?
2) How often are you able to attend?
3) Any changes you'd like to see at the box?
4) Any comments you'd like to leave (anonymously) for the coaches/owners?
The comments were overwhelmingly positive, of course. There exists a built-in bias in any type of survey: people who answer are more likely to give positive responses than people who don't. Even more so, people who are disinterested or "in the middle" - neither overjoyed, nor upset - are the least likely to answer the survey; email, especially, seems to encourage participations by the extremes.
Given those constraints, there were a few responses that will really help Affiliates improve their Boxes, keep their clients, and make better first impressions.
Some of the most helpful comments, unedited:
"Mood and attitude is (sic) contagious. Trainers should be aware of this at all times. I think trainers should be aware of this at all times. Sometimes their mood can affect the members perception of the business."
"I'd love to see us tighten up the wam-ups - maybe add some practice of the Oly lift moves and fewer reps of more varied exercises to warm up. Also specify "5 minutes to practice things you suck at." 'Cause we all have something. :)"
"more stretching or guidance on what to do on our own before class to warm up"
"All floors should be cleaned more often. Dog hair is a problem."
"I'd love to bring my friends, but I'm too embarrassed" (to show them the bathrooms)
"I'm worried about the heat situation in the winter. I hope it's not too expensive for them to heat the place properly."
"Yes, I hate the online schedule thing. It takes too long and I come the same time every week. I thought I did a recurring appointment but no one new I was coming."
"I think coaches have to be more consistent. Some allow people to show up late, or do different warmups than the rest of us."
"The only thing that comes to mind are the hours. Although they work for me, I think a 7:00AM (after the 5:45AM) and a 5 or 5:30 PM session might be appealing to current or prospective members. "
"I think we should be allowed to come in and do our own workout while the CrossFit group is going on."
Conversely: "People should have to leave the gym completely when the group time is on."
...and, just to make everyone feel good, the positivity stuff:
"love it! Cold turkey to crossfit!"
"Besides the awesome workout and very helpful staff, there's a great feeling of community within the walls of CrossFit X. I think that's what draws me back""
"I love the coaches! Especially M! I wish she was there full time. The guys are great too. R is awesome and I am really starting to like JD. They are all very knowledgeable and interested in individual goals."
"They do a great job—they make a point to get to know us so they can encourage us in meaningful, personal ways. They need to continue to pay attention to our form and make sure we’re doing exercises right before we do more, faster, with more weight. But they keep learning, offering more options, and trying new things with us—good people."
"Overall though workouts are always challenging and the trainers are great. I've had private trainers and paid as much as $75/hour -- this is a far better value. "
"You guys have literally saved my life. I was depressed and spiralling out of control. Then I found (CFX) and I feel like a different person now."