By Bridget Brennan
For many women, the decision to play at a specific club, or take lessons from a certain PGA Professional, comes down to how good she feels about the service experience. This means that your ability to deliver best-in-class customer service at your facility is one of the fastest routes to growing your business with women players and members. Here are three simple strategies to do just that:
1. Focus on the Details
All things being equal, women want to give their business to people whom they feel deserve it. Are you demonstrating that you deserve hers? From the way she’s greeted at your facility, to the way you communicate with her by phone or email, to the attitude displayed by the employees she encounters, women are noticing everything about the club and course environment.
Creating a welcoming environment for women means paying attention to details. I often say that for women, the little things are the big things. Details can mean things like whether there are healthy options available in the restaurant or snack shop; whether the bathrooms are clean and well maintained (if you’re a man, when was the last time you inspected the women’s bathrooms?); whether there is women’s merchandise in the golf shop (and not just a few pieces of token, exclusively pink merchandise); and whether there are pictures of women on the walls, to name just a few. Work alongside the women on your team to examine your club, course set up and practices through a female “lens.” When you do, you’ll no doubt discover multiple ways to create a more welcoming environment.
2. Become Easy and Efficient to Do Business With
Don’t you love it when people save you time by being efficient at their jobs? Everyone does. Because when you’re running 10 minutes late and have a list of “to do’s” a mile long, with non-stop incoming emails and texts, you truly appreciate the businesses that provide you with an easy and efficient experience. Sometimes, you flat out love them.
This is especially true for women, who are often balancing two jobs: one inside the home and one outside the home. Evaluate your own business for ease and efficiency by starting with your website. How well does it perform on a mobile phone? How easy is it for someone to find information, contact you and get an immediate response? If you do nothing else, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, because that’s how many of your potential members and players are now looking at it.
Then examine how efficiently your staff is handling customer interactions. Here’s an example: I conducted an experiment and called several clubs to ask about golf lessons, and typically I was asked to call back at a different time, because the PGA Professional was unavailable. The onus was put on me, the customer, to call back and try my luck at a different time. It goes without saying that the better way to handle those calls is to take the customer’s information and tell them that someone will call them back.
As consumers, we value our time so much these days that we actually feel an emotional connection to the businesses that make things easy for us. Just consider how removing any and all “friction” in the customer experience has catapulted Amazon to becoming one of the world’s most powerful retailers. What can you do in your own business?
3. Proactively Partner with Women’s Groups & Associations
It seems that every day there’s another news story about how different companies collaborate with one another to tap into new market segments. When it comes to recruiting women as players and members, why not apply this principle to your own business? Reach out to women’s groups and organizations to create events that bring them into your facility, and inspire their interest and participation in golf. This will require proactivity on your part, but the payoff could be substantial.
If you’re unfamiliar with these organizations, start by searching for “women’s organizations + your city name” online. There are so many women’s groups in virtually every city, and they are always looking for new events to bring to their members. This is a situation in which proactivity on your part could make a huge impact to your business, especially if you seek these groups’ feedback on your services and facilities.
When women enjoy a brand or business, they create a “multiplier” effect by recruiting their friends and family as customers, too. This multiplier effect has driven the success of many businesses, and it can drive yours, too.
Reprinted with permission, PGA Magazine
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