Browsing Mikes Space ArticlesVIEW ALL

The customer is always right…. well, almost always…

POSTED ON February 27, 2019 @ 9:10 am

No matter how hard we try, we are bound to receive complaints about our facility, service, products or management style. The human factor plays a major part in this occurring, since we all make mistakes and we all have staff that make mistakes. What makes a good manager is how this complaint, big or small, is dealt with through the proper use of Service Recovery techniques.

A complaint is a great opportunity to create a loyal client, instead of someone you just regard as a pain in the butt.

Complaints define what customers want and they also tell you who your most loyal customers are. However, you will occasionally get some odd issue that is out of your control, such as “it took too long to play today” (when the group finished in 3 hours 15 minutes), or “the course didn’t look like the courses on TV”.

Use the 98% rule and manage to the needs of the 98% in the middle of your market-base. The 2% located on the outside fringes are worth listening to the first few times, but you soon realise you will never make them happy, no matter what you do. So be cordial, but don’t get bogged down in servicing them too much.

Based on a negative service experience, a recent US study found 80% of people said they would not return, 74% complained and told others, 47% swore and/or shouted at the service staff and 13% fought back by posting negative online reviews, Facebook posts, or Tweets.

I would rather have someone complain to me about their experience than have them leave the property without saying a word as the latter issues happen more often than you realise. If they complain to you, then you will at least have a chance to win them over as a long-term, loyal client or member. If you are wondering where all your players went, have a hard look at your Service Recovery procedures for all areas of the club and discuss them during your next committee or staff meeting.

By treating complaints as opportunities and putting the right service recovery program in place, you not only reduce negative word of mouth, but you also have a chance to build closer relationships with customers who care enough about you in the first place to complain. How you recover is critical to how you uncover the secret to long-lasting, profitable relationships.

5 Service Recovery techniques:

1) If they had an incredibly slow round, offer a free round of golf during an offpeak period. Usually people don’t play alone and they may bring a paying guest along next time. Use this opportunity as a marketing tool.

2) Put a Service Recovery diary in all locations that are highly trafficked areas, such as your pro shop. Have staff list all the issues they hear about, as well as the merchandise people request that you don’t have, and check the list regularly to make sure all complaints are followed up immediately.

3) If they had a terrible meal, offer a discount or free bottle of wine, or a main meal on their next visit (same idea as #1 above). A small offer goes a long way.

4) Negotiate – ask them what they think is fair compensation for whatever happened. If you agree it is fair, do it immediately. The customer cannot then change their mind. If you don’t agree it’s fair, offer an alternative solution.

5) Make a follow-up telephone call after the solution has been implemented. This simple step demonstrates you care and shows how important the customer’s business is to you and to your company.

It is sometimes difficult to look a whining customer or member in the face and say, “Thank you for your complaint. Have a free round on us!”

Every opportunity will have to be assessed on its own merit as to what is feasible to offer. Sometimes complaining customers just want to be heard, other times they insist to talk to the highest ranking person (just to be heard), and in the infrequent times, a simple offer or small discount will suffice. Just the fact you offered a solution goes a long way.

You can empower your staff to address complaints quickly by giving them authority to make decisions and to take appropriate actions without first seeking approval from others. This in itself will improve customer satisfaction and boost staff morale.

So the customer is always right – well almost always right. Manage your business to the 98% of your market base that are truly legitimate customers and not to the 2% on the fringes of your market base who are just looking for a “freebie” or a chance to have a general whinge which you cannot resolve.

If you may need some assistance with your service standards or other marketing items please give me a call for a free consultation. Contact Mike or  (+61) 415 682 259

Comments are closed.


CLICK HERE TO Sign Up for the GIC Newsletter for all the latest Industry News.

Grow the Game Central Golf Recruitment Central Golf Marketing Central

Royal Queensland confirmed as the chosen host venue for the 2032 Olympics

The Royal Queensland Golf Club has confirmed its...

JOB: Customer Service Representative – Mizuno (Melbourne)

Our Company Throughout our history, Mizuno has believed...

100+ Golf Facilities Protected by Golf Business Australia– Australia’s #1 Golf Insurance Specialist

Australia’s leading golf-specific insurance and finance provider Golf...

JOB: Marketing Coordinator – MiClub Services (Perth)

miClub

About miclub MiClub is an innovative Perth-based company providing management software/solutions to over 500 golf venues in 5 countries. With over 40...

Introducing MYGIG VAULT: A better way to train your team members

Do you want faster onboarding, more consistent processes, and increased accountability for all employees at your club? Online golf education provider Golf...

Warringah Golf Club selling North Manly clubhouse and carpark

One of the northern beaches’ oldest golf clubs is selling its clubhouse and carpark and already a range of buyers are circling....

NZ: Flood-ravaged Hororata Golf Club's remarkable resurrection

John Morton surveyed the devastation at his beloved Hororata Golf Club and took a philosophical view: “I went ‘Oh yes, OK. Well,...

Korean clothing company F&F joins $1.8 billion deal for TaylorMade

South Korean clothing company F&F, founded and led by billionaire Kim Chang-soo, is joining in a $1.8 billion acquisition...

Introducing MYGIG VAULT: A better way to train your team members

Do you want faster onboarding, more consistent processes, and increased accountability for all employees at your club? Online golf...

ASIA: The R&A continues support of AGIF’s Certificate in Greenkeeping

Representatives from Malaysia’s leading golfing establishments participated in the AGIF’s Certificate in Greenkeeping programme.

The R&A, the game’s ruling golf organisation, has confirmed its continued backing for the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF)...

ASIA: Mees Appointed GM at Aquella Golf and Country Club

Simon Mees has assumed the role of General Manager at Aquella Golf and Country Club.

Scotsman Simon Mees has been appointed as General Manager at Aquella Golf and Country Club, Thailand’s newest golfing establishment....

Royal Queensland confirmed as the chosen host venue for the 2032 Olympics

The Royal Queensland Golf Club has confirmed its position as the chosen host venue for golf for Brisbane’s bid...

AGIC backs golf ball recycling program

recycling golf balls

The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) is backing an exciting new venture aimed at reducing golf’s carbon footprint. Under...