I played golf recently with my dad at a place called the International Club in Murrells Inlet SC. It’s not far from our house. Check out the accompanying Golf Viking post about the course HERE for info about the course. What I’d like to dwell on here are the customer service aspects of our experience.
On the day we played, we were the ONLY people to play all day. It was windy, cloudy, and about 33 degrees all day. As a matter of fact, they delayed our play until the temperature got above freezing. Because of that, I expected better customer service, or at least service that wasn’t diluted by delivering it to dozens of other golfers. Despite the manager being very friendly, the service was horrible, so I came up with 10 ways they could have delivered awesome service without hurting themselves instead of offering no service.
For those of you not in the golf business, think about how you can apply these ideas when you find yourself with just a few customers to please instead of a mob of them. For example, sometimes I teach classes of over a thousand people at a keynote lecture. There’s little chance for interaction in that setting. At other times I’ll teach a class where only four people sign up. In a class like that, I get the chance to spend a lot of time with each student and really personalize the experience.
Here we go. Ten ways to overdeliver great customer service…
- Warm up some hot dogs. I can understand not opening the snack bar when no one else is playing, but the manager could’ve simply asked how many hot dogs we’d like at the turn to the back nine. Just so he knows, it would’ve been 6.
- Make some coffee or hot chocolate. We played and romped around for 5 hours since we weren’t in a hurry. Five hours in 33 degree weather. Would driving out a few cups of coffee killed someone?
- Show some personal attention. With no one else around, the manager or a pro could’ve offered to hit a hole or two with us.
- Invite more people. Just to get a few more plays out of our group, the manager could’ve asked for a referral and suggested we call a few more friends and make a party of it. With no one else there, we could’ve easily created a six-some without causing trouble.
- Create a contest. Walk over to hole 3, a par three near the clubhouse and host a quick closest to the pin contest.
- Loan some new equipment. The pro shop can’t loan out rental clubs pro bono when it’s crowded, but why not loan out some clubs for us to try to encourage a few new sales.
- Offer a replay. Give away a coupon or even a free play to come back and try out the course on a prettier day.
- Free food. How about a free beer or soda to the player with the best score?
- Discounted clothing from the pro shop. It was so cold we were all wearing at least four layers. The pro shop has some really nice inclement weather gear. Why not offer a wholesale price to try out a some new clothing. I say this because I was eye-balling a nice anorak before we played.
- Apologize. If at any point you realize you could’ve done better, just apologize and start over.
This was an opportunity for a course staff with absolutely no other customers to please to create a group of 4 stark raving fans. But they didn’t. Make sure it’s something you don’t do with your customers.
This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!