I just returned from a family vacation to the Caribbean. My entire family had a great time, lots of fun, beach, pool, golf and meals. In addition there were many great conversations about life, family, the state of the world and business, with the family as well as friends, both old and new.
Near the end of the vacation, the subject of customer service was brought up after a round of golf with my wife and grandson. Upon arriving at the clubhouse we were delayed for more than 30 minutes waiting for both my grandson’s and my golf clubs. It seems that both golf bags were misplaced after our round of golf two days prior.
After the delay, we were offered loaner clubs and a couple of balls. When I mentioned that I had no golf golf glove to the person behind the counter in the pro shop, I was answered with a blank stare. We started our round of golf and after a few holes the very apologetic starter delivered our clubs. He explained that they had some new employees who were putting golf bags anywhere they felt like, rather than the bins assigned to them. Did this golf club miss an opportunity to wow me? Did they fail to gain positive comments from me when my friends, associates and clients ask me how my trip was? You bet they did! They could have offered to credit my round of golf, but they didn’t. They could have offered me a golf glove in addition to the two balls I was given, but they didn’t. Any of these offers would have had much more perceived value to me than they would have cost the club to provide. Instead, they offered me lame excuses and demonstrated that they do not properly train their employees. More importantly, they failed to give me a reason to recommend their facility to my golfing community. Simply put, they do not understand how to deliver true customer service.
We are all human. We all make mistakes, as individuals and as organizations. It is how we respond to our mistakes that distinguishes us from our competition.