Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top Ten Ways Pros Can Grow Business: #6

"Top Ten Ways Pros Can Grow Business: #6 Improve Customer Service"
By Sean Mysel

This is going to sound ridiculously obvious, but you'll be surprised how common this is.  Recently I was looking for a new swing coach for myself to help get ready for tournament play. I looked up golf teachers who had experience playing in tournaments or played on a recognizable tour (LPGA, PGA, etc).  After determining my search parameters, I dialed up a list of 20 teaching pros who I believed could help me lower my 5 handicap down to scratch.  Price wasn't an issue nor was distance, just wanted to see how many responses I would get. Out of the 20 inquiries I sent out, two...count them, one....two got back to me.  Let me repeat, that's one less than three and two more than zero.

After getting only two responses, my wife and I began asking the question:  if business is supposedly so bad, why wouldn't people jump on the chance to add more revenue?  One thing was certain, if you are going to be in business for yourself, YOU HAVE TO RETURN CUSTOMER INQUIRIES.  This is a basic element of good customer service.  Most the time, business people have to go out and hunt new business or find new business out of existing customers.  Customers will not and should not chase us for business.  How do we leverage our time to return customer inquiries, it's actually fairly simple:

1) Technology - get an email address if you don't have one and get a smartphone.  Those pagers from the 90's...they don't work anymore you need something that carries the ability to deliver email wirelessly.

2)  Make time to return calls and emails.  Business can be hard enough to get, why miss out on the low hanging fruit?

3) If you are super busy and cannot return calls in a prompt manner, you can hire answering services for a marginal fee that will manage your calendar and messages.

I know that many of you are busy with running a course and a lesson calendar so please don't take this as being harsh.  A little customer service can take your business miles ahead of the competition.  I've worked in customer service for 10 years and making it efficient just takes practice and some training, believe me people come to appreciate a little attention.

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