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Private Clubs – Customer Obsessed Culture that breathes Entrepreneurialism

“Costumer Obsession” has become a management catchphrase as of late. Applying this phrase to the Club Industry, where “we” are in the business of satisfying our members without questions asked, it is sad to say that clubs are still missing out on significant opportunities to build deeper and long-lasting relationships with its members.

“Customer Obsession” simply translated means turning members into raving fans of the club’s product, by understanding what motivates them to be members on a personal level and how to partner with them to become the club’s one source for new members. Retention = Sales.

If there is one single action that a club can apply to building a “Customer Obsessed Culture,” then it is by Understanding its Members. Understanding what motivates them daily to come to the club and when leaving the club, they can’t wait to return. Walter Rogers, CEO of Global Holdings talked about building the 7 steps of customer obsession into an organizational culture via consistent reinforcement and strategies. Here is a brief take-away as to how these strategies may apply to the club world.

· Understanding the members’ personal goals and how a club’s offering can help, club management needs to go outside its basic thinking box. We need to approach it with an altruistic perspective. There is a way to demonstrate on a daily basis that we, the club, are committed to a long-term relationship with the member. It is what I call, unmasked service. Creating a service culture that truly comes from the heart, and our staff is here for no other reason other than to be of service.

· Let’s find out what motivates our members to come to the club often. (The original reason WHY the member joined.) Let’s find out what drives their own interests. The more we understand what is motivating our members at a personal level, the better we are able to partner. It will help us to adapt our style as to how we communicate with our members more effectively, especially if our style is different. It is called engineering a customer interaction towards meeting his/her goals.

· Keep in mind that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

· WE are committed to building raving fans at our club, just as WE are committed to building Clubs of the future. Where does commitment usually fail? If you don’t do in it real time. Staying in contact with your members in real-time shall be a commitment in practice, adhered to by all staff members.

· Rewards - Our members love rewards. It is a rewards driven culture today, and the more we do something, the more habitual it becomes. Let’s put rewards into practice, for our members and our staff.

· Management drives Customer Obsession from the top down. This needs to become a topic at each staff meeting. It must be modeled at the highest level, especially if we are asking staff to carry out the mission.

· Empowerment via education, rewards and role play. How many club managers have ever conducted a staff meeting with a role play scenario? In order to engage your staff, a customer obsessed mindset needs to be ingrained. “Customer Obsession” will become their day-to-day behavior. When do you know that you are on the right track? VERY SIMPLE – The staff can’t wait to get up in the morning to return to work – to be of SERVICE.


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