Successful Pro Shop entrepreneurs are always looking for new ways to enhance the ambiance of their shop, their product selection and their level of customer service. This blog will serve to facilitate that process by providing entries that address basic retail principles; new ideas in pro shop retailing and interviews with leaders in the industry. Stop by often, send a friend. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
“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
“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
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
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
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