Why empathy, details, and data mean better business.
New York Magazine - a media feature favorite!
In my 10 years as the founder of Molly Winter Fitness, a fitness start-up focused on the luxury wedding market, I wore many hats: personal trainer, market research director, CFO, program designer and brand identity guru, to name a few.
But my favorite part were getting to know my clients.
From the excitement of the engagement through their first month as newlyweds, these conversations served as a direct link to unlocking valuable insights on what they truly needed during the process of planning a wedding. Yes, everyone wants to look their best on such a big day. Well... why? What else is at stake?
Excellence in service design, particularly for a luxury brand, requires unearthing touch-points along their journey that might look invisible on the surface. When you pay attention to the details and you dig deep, you find more opportunities to satisfy your clients and stand out in the market. Catering to those touch-points means you can deliver an experience that goes beyond expectations, and that means better business.
Let's not forget about results. Fitness is not. instantly. gratifying. It takes time, a lot of qualitative and quantitative feedback, and major communication skills.
As I coach, I relied on regular verbal check-ins with my clients to get a sense of how they were feeling, physically and emotionally. Combining verbal feedback with direct observation of non-verbal cues also helped me better understand how a client was performing, so I could decide the best way to move forward at any given point (sometimes regardless of what I had planned).
Tracking quantitative data - how long a plank can be held, number of reps, or body measurements - gave me a way to track progress over a longer period of time. It also helped me understand when a client was ready to jump into more challenging work.
To design an effective and holistic training program,
you need to analyze data and feedback.
Understanding users during sessions helped me iterate on and design programs that were customized and appropriate to each client's goals and abilities; getting feedback from clients at different points of their journey, studying market competitors, and delivering a crystal clear brand story helped ensure that I was delivering a service and features that not only met user needs, it exceeded them.
Empathy, details, and data are powerful tools. By regularly conducting and analyzing different types of UX research about my customers and business, I was able to make data-driven decisions in order to optimize the user experience and make the business more successful.