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Delivering exceptional service

Yesterday we looked at how your club might be organised in order to fulfil the expectations of its target audience and we boiled that down to a very distinct goal that any club would do well to work towards:

Deliver a little bit more than you promised!

We then went on to look at how this might be achieved consistently. We discussed how the seemingly endless task of business strategy development could be boiled down to its essence, making it a lot more tangible and do-able in the process.

Business strategy for me is about three things; three mini strategies if you like and these are people, finance and innovation.

Today, I wanted to briefly fill out these 3 bullet points to give you a clearer picture of how you can use them to your advantage and guarantee that your club members, user groups, customers or what have you, will always experience exceptional service and want to keep coming back.

  1. People: make sure that everyone involved in delivering your promises knows what the promises are and how important it is that they deliver them well. Also make sure that these people have all of the support that they need to do their work well. This includes leadership, coaching, training and supporting them with the right tools and resources to do the job well. Crucially it means you must have A1 communication within the club, which means that all front line staff or volunteers must know what’s going on and preferably be involved with the formulation of plans for delivering the services you provide.
  2. Finance: make sure that your financial strategy supports the delivery of your promises; you can’t deliver fillet steak on corned beef money, but if you are aware of your limitations, corned beef is fine as long as your promises reflect this; remember the goal is to always over deliver. If you are trying to deliver an upmarket experience you must do this at every step; don’t tell me that I’m getting top of the range and then deliver it poorly. If it’s upmarket I’ll expect that to be reflected in everything I see. For example, if you hand me a scruffy home made menu with brown sauce stains on it, I will expect that the kitchen, the staff, the ingredients, the hygiene and the customer care are all of the same low standard even if the text on the menu tells me otherwise.
  3. Innovation: if you ever feel like your work is done, its time to hand over to someone else, because club turnaround is a journey and not a destination. A thriving club will eat up new ideas faster than you can think them up; you must keep improving what you deliver and the way in which you deliver it. Innovation in products (what you do) and processes (how you do it) is at the heart of Continuous Improvement.

And that is where we will pick it up tomorrow.

This article is an extract from my forthcoming eBook, titled: Bowling Club Membership Retention and Growth, which will be available here from 14th November 2011 onwards.  This builds upon the concepts of the “customer” or club “user” as discussed in Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround.

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