Highfives: People are your competitive advantage

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By Jack Dillon

Every golf course property continues to search for ways to build rounds, build customers, and enhance loyalty. Every business is searching for ways to enhance their service to the customer.

So many businesses try, yet so many fall short. Why? As a service economy, shouldn’t it be easy? Why aren’t we leading the world in treating customers right?

I will provide five thoughts to how to improve the service score. Look at your own service record as a golf property. Where are your high points, low points, and where does good service never come out to play? Here are my highfives:

1. Rethink your entire hiring process. For any role that connects to the customer, hire only nice people. Be interviewing all of the time, not only when there is an opening. Keep a active file of 6-10 nice people, by position, ready to go at all times

2. Build the most thorough service training you can. From day one show your team members what is critical to you, critical to the member and critical to their position. Creating a service story that people rave about should be the mission

3. Reward what you want to see more of. When you witness great acts of service treat the act as a major event. Reward the team member during a meeting with the entire team. Embellish rewards so all on the team will want to be part of the same success

4. Be out talking with your members and guests every day. Be the best example for your team. Being out there with the members and guests is the way you spread your mission to the staff. You cannot talk about a strategic service mission from behind your desk. Being out and about, listening to members should be the rule — not the exception

5. Service development meetings should be on the calendar every month. When staff members have a bad service day, find out why. If staff members stop being nice, it is time for a replacement. It should be vital to never allow a less than great day of service

At the same time, it is important to treat your team members as well as you expect them to serve the members and guests.

Service can be the differentiator for you. It can be what people brag about. Standards must be high. They should be written down and should be discussed at every meeting.

You can teach the critical skills necessary to succeed in the golf business, but you cannot teach nice. People must bring that with them. Only hire nice people, tolerate no less, and recognize & reward as never before.

You can succeed as long as you hold true to that standard, and hold that bar high for all.

Jack Dillon writes the Highfives series. Jack has been in golf for 46 years. He is a speaker, merchant, consultant and expert on being nice. Reach Jack at 407-973-6136. For more information on building a better golf shop call Jack.

 

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