At the start of the golf season, there will likely be some new staff taking care of the needs of customers and members. Perhaps there is a new assistant professional, new golf shop staff or new outside service staff.

It is best to assume that they may not know how best to handle the basic s such as greeting customers, answering the phone, taking messages, etc. So it is a good time to make sure both new and established employees are up to speed with basic golf shop procedures and know how best to handle the various situations that can arise in a typical day. Here are some ideas:

  • Discuss customer service standards and philosophies with the staff so they understand the overall experience that customers desire and expect.
  • Train them on how to greet customers and thank them after transactions. They should know how to handle tee time reservations, ring up sales, deal with returns and refunds and check on special orders. In addition, they should know the details for upcoming events and player development opportunities and how to promote them.
  • Each staff person needs clear direction on telephone procedures such as by when to answer the phone, how to take messages, how to work with calls when there are customers at the counter, etc. They also need to know how to respond to calls for those who are out of the shop or unavailable.
  • All need to know how to handle difficult situations like customer complaints, defective merchandise, violations of policies, pace of play issues and how to make rulings on the golf course.
  • Keep key staff members abreast of upcoming events and activities, changes in facility policies and procedures, new products, sales and promotions.
  • As the outside service staff are the first to greet customers and can have a big impact, make sure they are aware of how to do so, how to handle the golf bags, how best to give directions to different areas on the property, etc.

There is nothing that makes a better impression than a friendly, well-trained and knowledgeable staff. Make it a priority to convey your expectations to your employees and provide them with the training they need. It will pay great dividends in increased customer service, satisfaction and loyalty.

Contact Carol Pence by calling (510) 706-1583 or via e-mail at CPence@pgahq.com.