Friday, November 11, 2016

Three One-a-Days

A number of years ago I worked the Golf Show in Denver and attended a seminar given by Russ Miller, Director of Golf at the Broadmoor, entitled “Five Tips for Running a Successful Golf Operation.” The presentation was great and the reputation the Broadmoor has for service is well documented. I would suggest taking advantage of any opportunity you may have to listen to Russ speak. One of the main themes of this particular program was the importance of quality staff – hiring exceptional people and training them to provide exceptional service. He also stressed promoting the staff to be creative and challenging the staff to create ways to grow the business. These phrases have stuck with me over the years and I use them often as I’m doing here to preface what I want to nickname “Three One-A-Days”.

Vero Beach Country Club

 Here’s a story I often tell at service presentations:

A few Octobers ago, 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're 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:
Why would I ever want to buy a car anywhere else?
Do the shops I work with make this type of call?
I’d better get my wife something for her birthday.

Prestonwood Country Club

At a golf shop consider the following two scenarios.

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,

Hound's Ear Club

Mr. Chicago immediately forwards the email to the member who invited him to the club with a note praising Jeff. “The staff at your club are the best, no question about it.”  He then tells the story every time the subject of service at golf clubs comes up.

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.

“If there is ever anything I can do for you” implies that you know your business and the products associated with it. As I have mentioned many times in this space when referencing product knowledge and staff training, it is human nature to want to talk about something you are familiar with and to try to avert a conversation about things unfamiliar. Part of the following challenge program (‘Three One-A-Days”) is the acceptance of the philosophy that ‘Salesmanship is Service” and that every round is an opportunity to create word of mouth advertising because of “WOW” service.

By the end of the season each staff member should be well versed about all categories in inventory. They should have each wowed about 200 customers and had fun doing it and thank-you calls or emails can only enhance the culture you are creating as a differentiator.