Friday, March 17, 2017

Develop True Customer Loyalty - 1 - Language and Tone

Customers who have a personal loyalty to your business should be every golf facility's primary goal. Patrons with this connection with your brand provide word of mouth marketing and piece of mind that pricing wars among the competition will not be your concern. Maintaining an ardent customer base relieves that anxiety while it creates both repeat and new business.

"The Winning Golf Culture" examines the importance of developing a customer-centric service culture and explores per chapter areas such as:
  • The role of the Leader.
  • The importance of the Wow factor.
  • The Intimacy that exists in pro shop retail that differentiates it from typical retail because of mutual respect for the game.
  • The emphasis that should be placed on professional Salesmanship.
  • Hiring to this Culture to create a memorable team.

Fountain Head Country Club

In an effort to further develope this all-important theme there are five areas to look at that will help refine this culture.

  • The Empathy that your staff projects to the customer's desired experience.
  • The First Impression that the customer has of your facility - both visual and emotional.
  • The Anticipation and fulfillment of customer's needs.
  • This entry will look at the Language and Tone of your brand.
  • Hiring to the Culture will be revisited.

The words, the language, the brand vocabulary and the tone that your staff employs is the underlying characteristic of their commitment to the culture that is probaly the most memorable albeit somewhat subliminal.

This is a concept often mentioned and referred to as the Chick-Fil-A (CFA) way. The "My Pleasure" story (as opposed to "You're Welcome") is attributed to the company's founder, S. Truett Cathy, who was inspired by the Ritz Carlton to treat his customers as though they were at a luxury establishment. The tone created by this attitude is mentioned almost whenever the CFA brand comes up in conversation which, because of their service reputation, is often. If I had to name it for marketing purposes I would call it a "smiling tone." A staff field trip to the local CFA would not be a bad idea even if you don't eat.

The entire area of vocabulary and tone should be discussed as part of the culture and perhaps role-played at staff service meetings. The desire should be to not be scripted but to instill staff with an altruistically personal and conversational tone.

Columnist Michael Hess at CBS news Money Watch focuses on wordplay in his article "The Six Best Words in Customer Service":

  • Delighted
  • Absolutely
  • Pleasure
  • Happy
  • Sorry
  • Yes
Hess points out that these words are active, genuine and upbeat. They won't be misconstued as the robotic delivery of a company script.

Flavo Martins in an article on writing about "The Language of Customer Service" lists the following:

  • Positive customer service language focuses on actions that can be done.
  • Positive customer service language offers choices instead of roadblocks.
  • Positive customer service language is helpful and encouraging.
  • Positive customer service language includes positive consequences that can be expected.
  • Positive customer service language is timely and time bound so customers know when to expect service results.

Your brand should have a language that sets a level of empowerment to the staff member and confidence in the customer.

  • Welcome to our facility.
  • How can I help?
  • I can help you with that.
  • Let's get you set up with a locker.
  • Let's get you set up for the range.
  • I don't know, but I'll find out
  • I'll take responsibility for that.
  • We appreciate your business.
Create the tone through attitude and training that you want patrons to remember and then own it; keep raising the bar!

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