Digital transformation is about more than technology — it’s about delighting your customer during every stage of their journey with you. Even when they leave.

It felt like I was living the lyrics of one of my all-time favorite songs.

As I sat there staring at the four rows of idle ‘sales counselors’ at LA Fitness, the words from “Hotel California” by the Eagles rang in my head:

‘Relax’ said the night man,

We are programmed to receive.

You can check out any time you like,

But you can never leave!’

When we signed up with LA Fitness just a few months earlier, we knew that it would be for only a short time. We were about to move to New York but didn’t want to wait any longer to begin ‘getting fit.’ So, knowing that we would lose our initiation fee and that we would need to give a thirty-day notice to cancel, we signed up anyway.

As an industry analyst, author and frequent speaker on all things related to digital transformation, I was pleasantly surprised by the company’s completely-on-line sign-up process (I didn’t need to talk to a sales counselor!) and digitally-enabled customer engagement. We could view class schedules, book time with a trainer, and do almost everything online or on our phones. They even had an Apple Watch app so that I could sign-in without bringing either a key tag or my phone to the gym!

It was fantastic — or so I thought.

It was only as the sales manager explained, however, that neither she nor any of the idle counselors could help me, and that only the manager could cancel our membership (and, of course, she was gone for the day), that I realized just how badly LA Fitness had missed the mark with their digital transformation initiative.

And it made me wonder how many other enterprise leaders were making the same mistake.

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