Friday, August 10, 2012

Genius idea #1

Imagine if the first thing your customer saw was this?

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Thirty Foot Rule

Whether you work for a private or public course, nothing says “service” more to your customer or member than recognition, even in its simplest form.

Have you ever been to a business where everyone speaks to you as you walk by?  And then visited their competitor down the street...and felt as if you were invisible?

In almost every case, the first place to look is the top.  Those businesses that train for days instead of minutes.  Who understand the power of a simple hello, a name remembered each time they visit, and that little extra that makes the customer want to come back.

If you don’t already have this kind of atmosphere at your club, your customer or member will tolerate it, but only for so long.  

I visited Camargo Golf Club last week to try my hand at qualifying for the U.S. Amateur.  The club is a perfectly preserved Seth Raynor gem, with an equally impressive staff that understands the power of exceptional service.  When you consider the club has few members (by choice) and still acts as if everyone on the property is a valued member, the only conclusion one can draw is that everything is being done on purpose. 

I’m not sure if Head Professional, Tom Cecil actually has a formal “thirty foot rule” written policy, but his staff certainly practices it.  What is the “thirty foot rule”?  It simply says, “if you are within thirty feet of a guest or member, speak”.

Simple.  Right?  But you would be shocked to find the number of pro shops I visit where employees barely lift their heads from their phones, as if you are a nuance that doesn’t pay their checks each week.

Saying “hello” should be the bare minimum you should accept from your employees (by the way), but better, would be an actual conversation like:

·      Great to see you out here today Mr. Smith, I hope you play well.
·      How are your kids doing, I saw they participated in the junior event last week?
·      How is your golf game coming since you started taking lessons with John?
·      We just got in a few new shirts in your size, can you tell me your honest opinion on them?

One of the things that struck me about my visit at Camargo was EVERYONE, not just the Pro Shop staff, followed the “thirty foot rule” when: 

·    The Head Chef brought my sandwich to me personally and after my last round asked how I played (wow!).
·    The cart attendant asked how I played having taken several minutes the day before my round to explain where to hit certain shots.
·    The Head Professional introduced himself in person (removing his hat of course), after hearing the starter announce my name and then later asking how I got along with my caddie Steve.

The difference in a warm welcome and a cold one often comes down to the intentionality of the employees and their desire to create an experience each time they come in contact with a member or guest. 

If your members were issued a grade card to determine well your staff created a “Wow” experience, how do you think they would perform?