Tennis Industry magazine


Player Relations: Great Expectations

To create a positive customer experience, examine how you interact and know what you have to offer.

By Dr. Michelle Cleere

As a tennis provider, you have a huge influence on people. That’s why the attitudes and behaviors you and your staff adopt, and how you communicate with customers and players, will greatly affect whether or not a person chooses to return to your facility for another lesson, clinic or coaching session — and even whether they will choose to continue playing tennis.

Likewise, your facility is an important element of the client experience. How clean and inviting your facility is has a significant impact on guests.

The key is to do everything you can to create a positive experience for your players, members and customers, both on and off the court. You need to exceed your customers’ expectations.

Expectations Of Your Coaches

For tennis-facility owners and managers, hiring the right people may be the most important decisions you’ll make in business. You want your tennis pros and coaches to be able to keep players happy and improving their games, so they’ll keep coming back to play at your facility. When you and your staff meet a new customer, you have 20 seconds to make a good first impression. Always remember this window.

Your coaches have an obligation to design effective programs and give advice appropriate for individual clients. They must coach clients in positive ways. This will not only continue to generate revenue for your teaching pros and your facility, but it also can lead to referrals, so you’ll garner even more business.

Think about your own personal experiences as a client or consumer. Which do you remember more vividly, positive experiences or negative ones? Which did you share with others? It’s human nature to remember negative experiences more vividly and to share them, and they tend to spread quickly by word of mouth. Ultimately, these poor experiences can threaten your business.

You should also focus on the positive interactions you’ve had as a consumer. What made them so nice? What were the attitudes and behaviors involved? What was the communication like?

Chances are that with your positive customer experiences, you noticed some of the following characteristics and qualities to the interactions. Make sure you and your teaching pros pay attention to these, too:

Expectations Of Your Facility

Another important factor in meeting clients’ expectations are your courts and the facility. The environment you provide will be a reflection of your tennis coaches and who you are as a provider, and it can determine the customers you attract — and whether they want to come back.

How inviting is your facility? Obviously, you must make sure your facility is clean, neat and up to date. No one wants to change in a locker room that is dirty or moldy, play on courts with cracks and ripped nets, or deal with a cluttered front desk or pro shop area.

But client expectations aren’t just about appearance. For example:

It doesn’t take much for a dissatisfied customer to move to another tennis facility or change to another teaching professional. How you and your staff interact with customers, along with having the right environment for players, will have a huge impact on your customers’ expectations and experiences, and can keep your business moving in the right direction.



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