Rather than share my own ideas today, I’m going to do something of much greater value. I’m going to share some wisdom from my friend and fellow Virtual Fitness Mastermind member – Wisdom that is proven. I’m not sure I can add much to this brilliant idea but I’ll try to add some insight.

This is a post written a while back by Doug Spurling. Here’s what Doug said. This might be the most valuable post I’ve seen shared in the Virtual Fitness Mastermind Facebook Group.



I’m writing this in a coffee shop where I’m about to meet with 5 of my 230 clients. It’s a small sample size, but they each come at different times, each has their own little circle within our circle, and each will bring something different to the table.

I treat feedback as a gift.


I never say no, no matter how unrealistic it is. I say thank you. Just like you wouldn’t say anything mean when you got a gift during the holidays you don’t like. You would just say thank you. Good or bad, feedback is a gift.


Your clients will tell you exactly what you need to do. Now, we know we can scrap out the 20% that are unrealistic like the requests for a pool on the roof. We also have to forget about the 20% at the top, who no matter what you do will always be happy. Don’t forget about them, just realize, that they are always happy, and may not see through the eyes of the other clients. However, that 60% in the middle is gold.

I hold a focus group each month where I buy my clients coffee and ask them some open-ended questions.


Does every piece of feedback get implemented? Of course not! But there is always a few pieces of gold that we would have never thought of had we not had that group.


Quite often, it’s not what we’re NOT doing. It’s very rarely doing MORE. It’s realizing what they actually find value in, and really dialing in those 1-2 things, and not wasting time on the things they don’t find value in. We have a consistent feedback loop within our doors every single day.


Unlike retail businesses, where they may never have a chance to talk to that person again, we have the ability to get 1% better every single day with our customer base right in front of you.


I challenge you to set up a focus group. I like monthly, but maybe quarterly works better for you. Forget about that for now, just do ONE. Just take action. Send out an e-mail to your clients, pick a date, and have a sign-up form.


My thoughts on Doug’s post…

I knew it was a great post when I first read it but I didn’t do the only thing that matters, take action. I figured I was already doing enough in this area. After all, I was:

  • Doing one-on-one interviews with clients
  • Sending out surveys
  • Asking for feedback through e-mail and our private FB group


After a recent turn of events, I became more motivated than ever to get better. I set up my first group coffee meeting this past Saturday.

Everything Doug said would happen did. The ideas that were mentioned were great. They were also simple. So simple I may not have thought of them. I learned more about what we were doing well.


The meeting itself improved connections and trust. It made me realize the difference we are making and how much I love my job.


As Doug suggests, pick a date, e-mail your members, and make it happen! You won’t regret it. There is power in the group. I’d love to hear about your experience if you decide to take action.


Here are some of the questions I asked my group:

  • Why did you initially join? What was your “problem” that you needed help with?
  • How is your life different and better since joining?
  • What do you really like about what we do? What do we do well?
  • In what ways can the experience be better? What other ways can we help you with your goals?
  • Tell me about your experience with us. What is keeping you going?


I’d recommend you keep it as casual as possible. A couple of other things I did you might want to consider.

  • I started off with giving them a little coaching. I wanted them to get some additional value out of the time together. I think it would have been fine not doing this but it went well.
  • One of the guys who was meeting with us has had a very rough past couple of weeks. I got him a nice gift and he opened it in front of everyone. It was a “feel good” moment.
  • Just to reiterate one of Doug’s points, be thankful for all feedback. If you’re like me, if something is mentioned that you don’t agree is a good idea, you may get defensive. Fight that urge. Just listen, be thankful, and later on you can get rid of the bad or find ways to make it better.


There is no better time than now to get some feedback from your members. How sad would it be if you worked really hard at something that won’t actually help or be appreciated by your clients? The best organizations in the world value feedback tremendously. If you want to be great, you need to keep a pulse on and constantly improve your customer experience.


By William Hofacker and Doug Spurling

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