Monday, November 29, 2010
A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public
well has nothing to fear from the competition.
- James Cash Penney
This will be the last of the Extra Mile series but perhaps the most compelling. "Follow-Up" is perhaps my favorite service topic and probably the easiest to institute.
Once you have bought into pre-service, post-service becomes an automatic. The phone and email skills are the same. The industry wide problem is many facilities do neither. However, if you are reading this and realize that every day is an opportunity to enhance the experience your facility provides, you will find it easy to compete and your customer will tell the story for you.
Near the end of last October, I received a phone call from the General Manager at Martin Honda Dealership in Newark, Delaware which is where I purchased my last car. It is, by the way, a very busy dealership with an incredible service department. Here was the message.
“Mr. Kirchner, this is Ron Applegate from Martin Honda. I’m calling to ask you to do me a favor.”
“Sure Ron, what can I do for you?”
“Please tell your wife that everyone here at Martin wishes her a happy birthday and thanks to both of you for your business. I notice you are on our maintenance schedule and I want to make sure you happy with our service department.”
“Yes, they are great in fact.”
“Thanks again and anytime you need anything or just want to talk about cars call me – my personal number is 555-5555 and I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again.”
I hung up the phone thinking three things:
1. Why would I ever want to buy a car anywhere else?
2. Do the shops I work with make this type of call?
3. I’d better get my wife something for her birthday.
At a golf shop consider the following two scenarios.
1. A club member at an east-coast high-end club has a guest in from Chicago. He buys a Peter Millar shirt in the shop. The assistant at the counter introduces himself as Jeff, thanks him and asks him for a business card. A week later the young man sends our Chicagoan an email.
“We hoped you enjoyed your day with us last week and are happy with the Peter Millar shirt you purchased. If I can ever do anything for you including gift wrap and ship some similar logoed shirts to your friends please let me know. My number here at the shop is 555-5555.
All the best,
from high-end club.”
Mr. Chicago immediately forwards the email to the member who invited him to the club with a note praising Jeff, “The golf staff at your club is the best in the country, no question.” He then tells the story every time the subject of service at golf clubs comes up.
2. A customer buys a new driver, a rain jacket, two new shirts and a hat, spends $1000. It is two weeks later and no one has even thought about calling him to see if he’s hitting the ball further. There is no Jeff at this Shop.
The golf industry and your facility in particular should take heed. The successful, as we have been discussing, are those who are trying harder, much like the more I practice the luckier I get.
I don’t know if I have ever heard anyone in any shop make this type of personalized thank you and “anything I can do for you” call or email but it should be standard operating procedure and is almost guaranteed to create business. When the customer with the new driver is called with an inquiry as to his satisfaction and the comment is made to close the call “if there is anything I can ever do for you” the new-driver-guy is already thinking about what that could be.
In summary the Extra Mile entries have stressed wanting to increase sales by providing better service and taking advantage of the intimacy of our repeating customer base.
Some specific actions to take to accomplish this:
- Contact any scheduled group play to offer all available services.
- Prepare for arriving customers by making it Standard Operating Procedure for your staff to familiarize themselves with profiles when they exist.
- Challenge your staff to learn three things that aren’t apparent about every item in your shop.
- Role play approaching customers in the shop.
- Challenge your staff to pick one customer a day who they will totally wow to the point where they have to tell the story.
- Thank the customer before they leave the shop and when possible walk them to the door.
- Challenge each staff member to make three follow-up thank you calls per day.
I am currently writing a monthly article for PGAMagazine.com called The Upscale Golf Shop. The opportunity to work as part of the PGA Magazine team and to provide editorial that hopefully will inspire ideas that will help with the management of your facility’s retail is for me an honor that I will value and undertake with all the knowledge and experience that I can bring to the table.