Q&A: Offering More To Your Members and Front of the House Employees

To most clubs and resorts, front of the house employees represent the face of your business –– they’re the ambassadors to your property and have the potential to transform the member experience. Because these employees play such an important role, the clubs they work for should be not only be paying attention to, but strongly investing in, their satisfaction, engagement, and performance.

Forbes Travel Guide is one of the leading companies that provides luxury and full-service hotels with tools and platforms to energize and enrich the lives of their team members through goal setting, professional coaching, and ongoing training which can help drive engagement, and therefore, higher sales. And recently, they expanded beyond hotels and into private clubs.

Private Club Marketing spoke with David Tyson CCM, Vice President, Private Clubs of Forbes Travel Guide, about the company’s belief that greater engagement of front of the house staff translates to greater member/guest experience and increased incremental revenue, as well as how Forbes Travel Guide makes that happen.

PCM: Can you provide a basic summary of what Forbes Travel Guide’s Private Club division does?

David Tyson: Forbes Travel Guide is the global expert on genuine Five-Star service. We’ve been providing training at the most prestigious hotels around the globe for more than 15 years, and it’s because of this reputation that private club owners and managers regularly approach us. They want to replicate the same exceptional service found in Five-Star hotels, so we created our Private Clubs division.

We offer a variety of services tailored to clubs:

Our approach starts with Forbes Travel Guide standards – more than 500 clearly defined guidelines that are a roadmap for member expectations at clubs and provide structure for staff and management.

Our expert in-person training helps staff understand the “why” behind the standards, and how to apply our guidelines in a variety of situations, while engaging and motivating front-line teams and managers alike. We can extend that learning through online training, which is scalable to large teams and helpful for onboarding new employees.

Further, clubs can engage in Custom Standards Development, where our experts collaborate with club leadership to identify the fundamentals of the club’s culture and codify service guidelines specific to that club.

And for clubs that want to benchmark and track their performance on Forbes Travel Guide or custom standards, we also provide Quality Assessments – a detailed service and facility audit to provide clear, independent perspective on what’s happening at the club.

PCM: Many private clubs already run similar employee training and management programs internally. What makes Forbes Travel Guide’s Private Clubs services different from these internal programs?

Tyson: We’ve been defining luxury hospitality for more than 60 years and currently provide support services in 74 countries. We also work with other service-oriented industries, such as luxury residential, cruise lines, private aviation, and event venues. As a result, we have unrivaled expertise and enjoy a unique position in having global visibility of luxury service delivery. This gives us a great perspective when working with private clubs, something that is difficult to match with in-house training programs. It also helps for management and staff to hear a fresh perspective.

PCM: Some people might see what these incremental revenue programs as basic upselling 101. How would you respond to this?

Tyson: Upselling does not make service, but service can make or break upselling. Ultimately, we want to create an environment where the member feels special, where there is trust and rapport built between the member and staff, and where the staff is approaching interactions with thoughtfulness and anticipation of the member’s needs. All of those skills are of a much higher order than basic upselling. When you have them in place, upselling happens of its own accord, and more effectively than it would if it were approached purely from a transactional point of view. Establishing that kind of service culture ultimately supports bigger-ticket concerns such as member recruitment and retention.

PCM: What are some of the other elements beyond pay that hospitality leaders should focus on that contribute to running a strong team?

Tyson: Positive company culture is single-handedly the most important element for running a strong team, and it needs to be driven by strong leadership. Hospitality leaders must prioritize culture, as it is their key differentiator and can drive strong business outcomes. Culture informs how staff behave and perform, which is paramount in the hospitality industry. Additionally, the best staff want to work at the best organizations, which in turn fuels stronger teams.  Our tailored training solutions help to enhance and elevate company culture since we work closely with team leaders to maintain and sometimes even co-create great company culture.  Excellent service is always at the core.

PCM: How does this directly translate to higher property revenue?

Tyson:  It’s proven that organizations with a positive company culture perform best. It’s simple to see why — a great company culture equates to happier teams which results in happy customers, thus better guest retention and brand reputation. The end result is a contributing factor to higher club revenue.

PCM: Forbes Travel Guide puts a lot of emphasis on real-time data and insights to show what’s working and what’s not working. Can you talk about how Forbes Travel Guide thinks about data and metrics?

Tyson: Forbes Travel Guide’s super power is combining data and training. The results of our Quality Assessment – where we assess a club on more than 500 service and facility standards – give our trainers insight into each club’s unique strengths and opportunities, allowing them to target their training approach.

For club leaders, our Quality Assessments provide actionable insights through a combination of scoring and detailed evaluator observations that explain the hits or misses on each standard. Our online reports include tools to filter, sort and search results – all the way down to the level of tracking individual standards over time – so that club leaders can identify trends and examine their performance from a variety of perspectives.

PCM: Forbes Travel Guide works with hospitality clients in more than 72 countries. Can you talk about managing programs that drive employee and guest satisfaction on a global scale?

Tyson: Every engagement is unique, depending on the level of staff skill, management goals, and local environment. That would seem like a challenge on a global scale, but it’s not because we do not mandate a cookie-cutter approach to service. Instead, we strive to make service consistent, efficient, thoughtful and anticipatory within the personality and circumstances of each organization. We focus on helping staff see their actions through the eyes of the people they serve, and we give staff the guidelines and skills they need to provide intuitive and genuine Five-Star service.  In the end, the essentials are the same everywhere:  Committed leadership, clearly defined operating procedures, and well-trained staff focused on common goals. It’s a proven combination that we’ve seen succeed time and time again in the world’s most exceptional hotels.

PCM: Can you provide an example of a brand in the club industry you’ve partnered with that achieved higher incremental revenue and employee and guest satisfaction? 

Forbes Travel Guide is the ultimate training tool. The team is a dedicated, extremely knowledgeable group of hospitality professionals who have added tremendous value to my organization.” – RYAN M. DIONNE, GENERAL MANAGER-COONORTH JERSEY COUNTRY CLUB

I believe every club that would like to be “relevant” in today’s service and hospitality culture should be partnering with Forbes Travel Guide services. I am so glad that they decided to venture into the club business. Their trainings have been carefully crafted to deliver only the very best experience in member services.” – MICHAEL RIOS,CCM, GENERAL MANAGER-DORADO BEACH RESORT AND CLUB

Forbes Travel Guide has recently partnered with Distinguished Clubs to create a strategic partnership working together to improve the service values that members expect to receive.  This partnership is important as the two brands will work collaboratively to elevate service standards within private clubs. The aim is to broaden and further lift private clubs and their management in meeting expectations and demands of current and future members in the private club industry.

This content was created in collaboration with Forbes Travel Guide’s Private Club Division and published by Private Club Marketing’s branded content studio.

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By Peter Schlesinger

With miles of beachfront resorts and a slew of hotels in tony neighborhoods like Brickell and Downtown, you won’t have difficulty finding a room in Miami. Since many of the area’s hotels offer a winning combination of sun, sand, sleep, and repeat, the city's best luxury hotels have had to get creative to stand out. An ice rink in the tropics? Why not? Triple-decker spas? Of course. But above all, Miami’s best luxury hotels excel at providing stellar service and unwavering comfort. Here, our 10 VIP picks in Miami and Miami Beach.

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By Brandi Shaffer

Along with the rapid expansion of fitness centers, properties are investing in a sprawling, active spa facilities, and amenities that address modern health and wellness concerns.

As meditation and mindfulness practices go mainstream and their efficacy is backed up by scientific research, the perception of wellness these days is less patchouli oil and incense, and more stress management and mental health support.

Club and resort properties are responding to the increased public interest in methods designed to help de-clutter the mind and reinforce the mind-body connection by creating sprawling, serene spa facilities that appeal to all of the senses. Often paired with (or adjacent to) fitness centers, the spa amenity encourages all members and guests to step in and breathe a little easier.

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As more and more people and companies in the golfing space have started making noise about Instagram, we at Private Club Marketing have curated a list of accounts you should be following.

With golf looking for more ways to attract a younger demographic Instagram’s platform is perfect for getting your message out to the loyal young followers of your club and course.

Naturally, we decided to jump on and find out what the fuss was all about.

It’s fun, simple, visual and addictive. What’s more, it’s unlike any other social platform. It is unrehearsed and offers behind the scenes insight into the daily lives of golfers that the other platforms can’t replicate.

It feels very private and in the moment. This is what makes it so good. It’s also what makes it hard to find decent accounts to follow. Instagram is not designed to be a viral platform. Unless you know who to follow, it will be a ghost town for you.

Here’s a list of the best we’ve found make sure you check them out, and let us know if we should add anyone to the list.

Rory McIlroy

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I hit a little white ball around a field sometimes!

 
 
 
 
 
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Business Women Are Missing Out By Skipping The Golf Course

Jhaneel Lockhart

As more women move up to senior positions in the workplace, they might need to start spending some time on the golf course. 

“Golf is a great way to build relationships with clients, prospective clients, people within your company,” says Adrienne Wax, co-author of Even Par: How Golf helps Women Gain The Upper Hand In Business. “If you can talk about golf, all of the sudden, you have a reason to talk to the CEO or your boss two levels above you ( via The Glass Hammer).” 

Despite the fact that golfing can increase your relationships and possibly help you get ahead, there's a reason women aren't rushing to golf courses en masse.

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Golf & Entrepreneur Magazine Podcast Interview

Ryan Walker, Publisher of Golf & Entrepreneurship Magazine sat down with Zack Bates for the G&E podcast to talk about how Zack got his start in the golf and club business, and how Private Club Marketing came to be one of the most influential membership advisory firms to Top 100 private clubs and luxury brands throughout the U.S.

Listen to the podcast at the link below, or check it out on iTunesSpotify, or Stitcher.

Click Here to Listen

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6 Ways to Attract More Members Through Cross-Promotion this Easter

To stand out to your Members in a crowded advertising marketplace this Easter, cross-promotions have the potential for a big payoff both for increased usage by your Club, and member satisfaction by your Membership. Cross-promotions can gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to your Members more efficiently than traditional “solo” methods of advertising, or PR.

Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your first cross-promotion.

  1. Print joint promotional messages on your receipts.
  2. Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if Members make reservations at certain events, or buy products from you pro shop or fitness center.
  3. Hang signs or posters promoting your featured upcoming event, but also include a “save the date” section.
  4. Drop 5×7 postcard promotions in kid’s Easter Baskets.
  5. Send featured reminder emails about Easter Sunday, with 2 of your next events and promotions included below the feature.
  6. Encourage your staff to mention your upcoming events and ask Members if they are planning to attend.

Jordan Spieth House: Tour Golf’s Best Player’s $7.1 million Dallas mansion

One of the best golfers in the world is living large in Dallas. See Inside Jordan Spieth's New $7.1 Million Mansion. The house originally listed for $8.5 Million.

The 22-year-old golfer, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, opened his 2016 season with a dominant win at the Hyundai Classic. In 2015, he made a whopping $53 million. Last April, he bought a $2.3 million home in the affluent Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas.

Now, he's added a second Preston Hollow mansion to his collection — this one for $7.1 million.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Spieth purchased the five-bedroom, six-full- and two-half-bathroom house in an exclusive gated community within Preston Hollow from fellow Under Armour PGA golfer Hunter Mahan, who originally listed the house for $9.5 million in 2014.

Click the images above to take a tour of Spieth's new house:

 

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