Tennis Industry magazine


Racquet Tech: Looking Good

Your racquets are a reflection of your business, and only top-notch craftsmanship will suffice.

By Bob Patterson

If you are an experienced racquet technician who takes pride in your work, nothing makes your skin crawl more than receiving a frame for service and seeing signs of shoddy work performed by a predecessor. A malformed knot, a misweave, a crossover, a haphazardly placed piece of lead tape — there are so many things that can drive a skilled technician crazy. At least you can take comfort in knowing that your customer is about to receive a serious boost in workmanship.

The aesthetics of your work says a lot about you, and a crossover or misweave may not be the end of the world is certainly a reflection on you and your business. It tells your customer: I am not careful. I am not concerned with your racquet or your game.

Your work should be a direct reflection of your priorities, which should be to provide every customer with the best service possible every time they come into your shop.

Sloppy work is perceived as bad work. If you don’t care enough to make your work the best possible, then it will never come close to actually being the best. Even if you think it’s OK to allow for mistakes or cut corners only when there is a time crunch or to save on expenses, the perception and the reality is all the same.

When I ran a stringing team at pro tournaments, I told team members that it was only a mistake if it made it to the customer. In the fast-paced, high-stress environment of a tour stringing room, mistakes are going to happen, but if you catch the mistake and correct it — even if that means starting over — it never reflects negatively on you or your work. However, if you let a mistake get to a player or coach, it will destroy confidence and credibility, and that may take years to regain.

Your customers deserve that same respect. We all know consistency is vital to racquet service. Your customers should always have confidence that their racquet is going to come back to them better than it was when they dropped it off.

Service and craftsmanship should always be your highest priority, even if you have to eat a mistake every now and then. Go the extra mile and clean up each customers’ frame, and while you’re at it, put on a fresh overgrip — do whatever it takes to exceed the customer’s expectations. If you do, you will have loyal customers, and clients who will spread the word to others.

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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. He is Executive Director for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.



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