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Lesson #3: Make Your Product As Personal As Possible
When Craig first launched her own business, she decided to implement twice-weekly meetings between clients and counselors. Counselors would monitor the progress of each and every individual client, advise them accordingly, and of course, sell them prepared foods from Jenny’s Cuisine. This way, not only did clients feel accountable to someone, but they were also more motivated and encouraged by the belief that their regimen was being tailored specifically for them. From Craig herself to the counselor they met with, many clients felt for the first time that there was finally someone who cared about them and their progress.
Craig’s strategy was to engage her customers and make the program as personal as possible. In addition to the individual meetings clients would have with a certified counselor, they would also take part in supportive group meetings. Here, clients would attend classes where they were given lessons on everything from how to eat out without ruining their progress thus far, how to diet as a team, and how to assert themselves. Craig made sure that her clients never felt alone in their mission to lose weight.
Added to the individual and group support sessions were video programs in 1989. Videos on related topics could be watched in counseling classes. Not only was this meant to ensure consistency in Jenny Craig centres across the board, but it also helped to stimulate discussion amongst the clients and create a more interactive dialogue.
Craig’s attempt to create as personal and participatory a program as possible continued in 1997, when the company restructured its program. Instead of lengthy workbooks and rigid menu plans, Craig introduced the ABC Program, which consisted of a short, interactive pocketbook guide and flexible menu options. Clients could now choose their food from an A, B, or C category, instead of having to count calories. As Craig said, “Life should be enjoyed, not wasted counting fat grams and calories.”
Craig understood the challenges that people trying to lose weight faced not only from her years in the industry, but from her own personal experience. She knew people needed support, motivation, and guidance along the way and that is what she sought to give them. Today, Jenny Craig continues that tradition by providing a support message board for clients on its website, as well as establishing a Jenny care line, a 24 hours a day support line for clients to call whenever they need.
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