KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC): Make Relationship Building a Staff Effort

Recently, the PGA of America released the “Know Your Customer Tactics” booklet which is an action-based guide to compliment the “Know Your Customer Playbook”. Accessible through, or via the Know Your Customer Tactics booklet includes five action steps:

  1. Relationship-Building Tactics
  2. Customer Database Development Tactics
  3. Communicating with Your Customer Database Tactics
  4. Customer Database Segmentation Tactics
  5. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Marketing Plan Tactics

In this segment of our Golf 2.0 messaging, let’s focus on the first action step, “Relationship Building.”

Eleven tactics are listed in this first action step to help facilities improve relationships with their customers/members and each tactic involves one key component – the entire staff of the facility. Regardless of their positions on staff, all employees should be “in the know” of the facility’s customer service, or should we say customer relationship policies and procedures.

Tactic #2 – Train Staff to Proactively Greet and Welcome Every Customer

Nothing is more welcoming and refreshing than a simple, but sincere, hello from a staff member at your facility.  Granted, this assumes your facility has hired nice, engaging staff members.  For the legendary Nordstrom Department Store, originating right here in the Seattle market, “We can hire nice people and teach them to sell,” Bruce Nordstrom likes to say, “but we can’t hire salespeople and teach them to be nice.”

[Best Practice Alert] Another great way is to lead golf course employees’ training is by leading them to a “Stick Out Your Hand” program.  Simply put, for any employee is not currently behind the shop counter, they should shake hands and make eye contact with any customer they don’t already know.  From this simple, yet so effective “hello,” a line of communication opens and the guest feels more comfortable, more welcome to the facility

Tactic #6 – Improve the Quality and Reliability of Service Interactions from Staff to Customer

With an established line of communication between the employee and the customer, more detail can now be ascertained. What is the customer’s name? What features or characteristics will help the employee remember this customer in the future? If your computer system allows, be sure to record these details in the customer database.

In regards to “Reliability of Service”, employees should be aware of programs, specials, and important services that are offered at your facility. For example, if your facility is offering a Get Golf Ready in September, all members of your staff who interact with customers, (F&B staff, golf staff, administrative office, etc.,) should be able to communicate general information on the program, and who the customer may contact for additional details. A recent “Secret Shopper” study conducted by the PGA of America revealed that only 20% of the employees who answered the phone at greater Seattle area Get Golf Ready facilities were actually aware of the program name, price and schedule.

Unfortunately, this highlights the need for us as PGA professionals, to better define our player development activities, (including all our efforts aimed at core golf, novice golf, women, seniors, juniors, etc.,) and educate our own staffs with the knowledge and key components of not only what we’re doing, but why we are focusing on these activities AND how these activities contribute to the bottom line of the facility.

Too often, we tend to assume our key stakeholders, including our staff, our facility colleagues and owners and our customers, all know both WHAT (AND WHY) we are focused on specific programs…they don’t.  The bright side is that when these stakeholders do know both the WHY AND THE WHAT relative to each program, everybody wins!

To learn more about Know Your Customer and develop yourself, your staff and your facility strengths, check out these Important Links:

Know Your Customer Tactics – A great starting point for KYC and re-developing your role as a leader at your facility

Know Your Customer 101 – The Executive Summary on KYC Playbook

Know Your Customer Playbook – The ultimate resource for “diving deeper” on KYC

Know Your Customer Facility Plan – Assessing and Applying KYC at your facility, including creating a baseline starting point.

Looking for Player Development guidance, ideas and or even business planning help for 2013?  Do you have suggestions, Best Practices or great ideas to share?

Please contact PGA Player Development Regional Manager, Monte Koch, PGA –; (206) 335-5260.