I am a certified golf course superintendent but my business isn’t golf. This may sound odd until you take a moment to consider. My business is people, more specifically, customer service. Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This is true in every aspect of life, but can particularly be applied in business to achieve results. Providing exemplary customer service through a set of standards and expectations is what I do each and every day. These standards and expectations of service ensure that our business, customer service, is always providing the highest quality of our product, golf. When I say golf I am referring to several things; the course, the restaurant, the locker rooms, the pro shop, the practice facilities, the clubhouse, extra events, and much more. There is a concentric relationship between golf and customer service. The golf brings them in but it is the service that will have them returning for more.
Providing exemplary customer service is of utmost importance when you are in the business of people. There are three key areas that I focus on to achieve this.
High Standards; having clearly defined goals and expectations and developing plans to achieve them are crucial first steps in building a successful business. These foundational concepts allow businesses to purposefully craft their products and services.
Quality Employees; recruiting and developing people who are knowledgeable, service minded and dedicated to the business is essential. Experience is a plus but enthusiasm and a willingness to learn can always supplement this. Talent development is a powerful tool. A successful team must be built on a strong foundation and have a strong leader with strong expectations. People don’t quit companies, they quit leaders. My philosophy is that a leader should always be willing to do whatever they ask their employees to do. The old saying “There is no I in team” may seem cliche but it is actually pretty profound.
Quality Product; the goal is to provide a course that creates memorable playing experiences and gives guest the best value for their money. These two things create relationships with members which in turn creates loyalty. Loyalty allows a business to increase the ability to retain members and grow repeat visitors. Members and guests, the customers, are what puts the course in the top, or the bottom.
The old addage “If you build it they will come” doesn’t hold true in today’s world of over abundance. You have to stand out from the crowd in order to build a successful business. By focusing on providing exemplary customer service and building relationships you are ensuring that you’re product is memorable and that your guests will want to keep coming back for more.