Facility Operations: Simple Secrets to Superior Service and Sales
By Holly Chomyn
I work at the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla. — a member-owned club with 18 Har-Tru tennis courts, a 1,200-square-foot tennis pro shop, five golf courses, golf pro shop, and fitness and spa facilities. We always strive to deliver excellent customer service, high-quality products and an enjoyable tennis experience every time a member comes to our facility.
We are constantly trying to find ways that set our pro shop apart from the rest while also staying within a budget. In the day of small pro shops versus the larger chain stores and online retailers, we can only compete by offering top-quality service along with specialty products.
In the retail world we all know that a welcoming greeting is key, followed by having the products that our clientele wants and having the knowledge about those products. We’ve found a few extra tips to enhance our pro shop sales and the deliver quality customer service.
Warm and Welcoming
We offer complimentary cookies. The aroma of “home-baked” goods offers a warm and welcoming sense. We bake cookies each morning in our Otis Spunkmeyer oven and they are ready by 9:30 a.m. To my surprise, we cannot bake enough cookies. The service of offering members free cookies seems to attract buyers into the shop.
Another pro shop extra that we do for our members is to have volunteers model tennis outfits and we take their picture. We display the 11” x 25” framed photos in our fitting rooms. Our members feel like they are helping the shop while at the same time they are trying on the new tennis fashions. It shows off our clothing lines while allowing our members to be involved in the promotion of “their” pro shop. These photos are also used in our email blasts to members.
We are always trying to find ways to get our members to come into the pro shop. We understand that they can go to the big chain stores and get good deals, so we’ve worked on ways to personally invite them to shop in “their” store. We offer birthday discounts — they receive a 35 percent off gift card to use in the month of their birthday. We have had members come in only for their birthday month and then we don’t see them all year. We also give gift cards to our league captains in appreciation for their work. We try to keep our members “at home” and supporting the club pro shop.
On the courts, we offer two unique and low-cost benefits to members and guests. We have more than 20 teams that play out of our facility and every day we host at least two home matches. We have a bulletin board that displays the team matchups (home team and visiting team) and which courts they are playing on. Once out on the courts, we have placards with the name of the visiting team to display on the scorecard. These placards are made on the computer, printed out on 11” x 17” paper, laminated, and folded over. Then we slide them over the VISITOR arm. They are interchangeable and we can use them for several years. It seems like a small gesture, but we continually get compliments by our visiting teams on how welcome it makes them feel. We also offer a 20 percent discount in the shop for all visiting league players.
Another low-cost item we offer for cooling down after play is an iced cold-water bowl infused with mint, with paper hand towels to dip into it. It is a relaxing and refreshing way to cool off, and we receive many compliments on this “luxury.”
These may be small things, but they enhance our members’ experience at “their” club and attract others to our club. You never know what may attract a visitor to becoming a member.
Holly Chomyn is the Head Tennis Professional at the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla. She is a
USPTA Master Pro, USRSA Master Racquet Technician and a USTA High Performance Coach.
See all articles by Holly Chomyn
About the Author
Holly Chomyn is a Master Professional with the USPTA, the highest professional rating in the organization. She has coached USTA and ALTA teams, USTA Junior Zonal teams and been a USTA High Performance coach. She also has coached the men's and women's teams at the University of Delaware for 12 years.
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