By Bob Rawlings, Director of Business Development for Monaghan Golf Group
Every interaction with a golfer visiting your course is an opportunity to provide that person with the best customer service possible, whether they are seeking directions to the first tee, advice on lesson packages or to purchase products from your Pro Shop.
Your front-line staff sets the tone for this interaction and has a key decision to make: how will I satisfy this consumer and make this a positive human connection? It’s that simple. Unfortunately, many golf shop owners do not take enough time or commit sufficient resources to properly train and educate front-line staff.
Let’s expand on the above scenario. The first point of contact is an opportunity for the golf consumer to be met with a positive, open-ended greeting. Encouraging staff to engage customers with: “Did you catch the playoff yesterday on the PGA tour?”, “How can we help you get prepared for your golf today?" or “What a great day for golf!” establishes rapport and opens communication channels.
Here is your opportunity for ‘cross-selling’ or ‘extended selling.’ Once engaged with the golfer, this is the natural place for your staff to ask further questions: “Do you require a power cart or pull cart?”, “Do you want to warm up and hit a few balls?”, “If you require golf balls or a glove today we have brand A and B on sale.” This is not time-consuming, and flows as a natural part of conversation. As most golfers are primarily concerned with making sure their clubs and shoes are ready to go, your staff is enhancing the customer service experience as most golfers have not thought about balls, gloves, or tees. Don’t assume that customers read signage either – they may have missed that 40% OFF sale sign and it is up to your staff to make them aware.
Cross-selling is a very basic service expectation for all successful retailers. Think about it – you already have a customer that has decided to make a purchase – what better opportunity to make them aware of the dozen discount on golf balls or the savings on a two-glove purchase?
Every purchase is an occasion to upsell: a customer buying shoes should be advised of the three packs sock sale or your current golf cap promotion. If it’s a sunny summer day don’t forget to mention sunscreen. When someone is demonstrating a driver, mention the new wedges that just arrived. All opportunities for cross-selling are part of delivering exceptional customer service.
Every time a golfer walks into your golf shop, it is a customer service opportunity. Your attitude, your merchandizing, and your people express your customer service commitment.