Tennis Industry magazine

 

Flaunt Your Customization By Creating a Racquet Service Center

By Bob Patterson

Most tennis retailers know that racquet stringing is their highest profit category, yet it is often relegated to “second-class” status in the shop layout. The stringing machine is crammed into an out-of-the way corner, or even in a back room completely out of sight.

Instead of hiding your stringing operation, flaunt it! Make the stringing operation the center of attention in your pro shop or store. Create adequate room for the stringing machine or machines, as well as space to perform all racquet service tasks.

Creating a “Racquet Service Center” will project a professional image for your entire operation. Whether your RSC is in the front corner of the shop or in a large defined area will depend on the size of your overall space, but don’t be stingy. Having a professional-looking space for racquet service will draw attention to the operation and increase your business, and of course, your bottom line.

If your stringing machine is old or outdated, consider investing in a new modern machine. Often equipment purchases like stringing machines are not considered as investments, but they should be. A quality machine will last for several years. Considering the potential revenue produced by this one piece of equipment makes it a no-brainer. Spending $2,000 to $5,000 on something that can make you a tenfold return in short order is a good investment by anyone’s standard. If your shop strings more than a dozen racquets a week, a professional-quality stringing machine is definitely an investment, and a worthwhile one at that.

Another worthy investment to consider is diagnostic equipment. The Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center is the ultimate in this category, but if your budget can’t handle one, at least consider an accurate scale and a balance board. If you have a good scale and balance board, consider adding a swing-weight scale such as the AccuSwing from Alpha.

Even with a minimal amount of equipment, by utilizing the calculators and other tools available at RacquetTech.com (for U.S. Racquet Stringers Association members), you can perform all sorts of analysis on your customer’s racquets. And, in addition to dazzling your customers, you’ll be offering them services that they likely can’t get from your competitors.

By establishing a Racquet Service Center in your shop and offering a complete menu of services, you will separate yourself from the rest of the competition. Not only will it increase your racquet service business, it will also lend credibility to your overall operation, especially your racquet sales. By establishing your operation as the “racquet experts” in your area, customers will rely on your expertise in buying racquets, as well as having them serviced.

Of course, this only works if you provide quality work and great service. No matter how much glitz you show, if you don’t back it up with quality, it won’t last. Make sure that every racquet that comes through your shop gets the very best service possible. If you are not already a Master Racquet Technician, consider taking the necessary steps to earn that designation. If you have other technicians, have them certified as well.

Establishing your shop as the place to go for racquet service will pay huge dividends.

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About the Author

Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005.

 

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