Companies that sell “luxury” like designer handbags, travel and country club memberships tend to make customer service a top priority. These brands target an affluent demographic that expects nothing but the best, especially when they’re spending a lot of money on your services and products.
Private Club Marketing is known for working with exclusive golf, city and yacht clubs, as well as luxury brands like Macallan, Aston Martin and Four Seasons Hotels, has learned a lot about what the luxury market wants from the businesses they patronize.
“When dealing with high-net-worth individuals (and families), it is important to portray trust and professionalism. Excellent customer service is the best way to put a customer at ease. Successful customer service representatives will portray empathy and will make the customer feel comfortable engaging with your brand and invite their friends to do so as well.“
Below we’ve included John DiJulius’ 5-E’s of Customer engagement for your enjoyment.
FAB FIVE – We hate platitudes. Don’t tell your team to be present or to make or exceed expectations. Tell them how, make it black & white, and make it measurable. One of my new favorite systems for making a member connection are the “5-E’s.”
Why? – We love these for five reasons:
They are so simple to do
They can be effective with every member
The first four take zero time to execute
They demonstrate genuine hospitality
No one else is doing them
Eye Contact – This eliminates the head down, uncaring, robotic feeling when the front-line just asks, “next?” A great training method for this is to audit the employees by periodically asking them, “What was the color of the member’s eyes?” (maybe a bit too creepy, though).
Ear-to-Ear – Smile. A smile is part of the uniform, and a smile has teeth. Demonstrate a positive attitude and tell the member that you are happy to serve them.
Enthusiastic Greeting – Your greeting must demonstrate genuine warmth and not just a trained greeting. It should be one that shows enthusiasm in the voice coupled with a smile and eye contact. You are now giving genuine hospitality as if the member was an old friend visiting at your home.
Engage – THIS IS THE ONE, the secret ingredient that most clubs do a poor job of mandating, training, showing its importance, and hence they provide little direction to employees on how to execute. This doesn’t have to be a ten-minute conversation. Every single member can be engaged within the time it typically takes to serve them, be it 90 seconds in a grab-and-go environment or a 45-minute meeting. This action demonstrates that they are not a herd of cattle, or one of a hundred member. It eliminates the “too task focused on the transaction” versus having an “interaction” with someone. In the incidences where you know the member — make that known. Utilize any member intelligence you can, from info in a database to recognizing their bagtag, or a picture of their twins on the desk, a hat, college shirt, tie, glasses, or anything else you can point out.
Educate – This is the one that may slightly affect time of service in industries that are built around rapid pace (fast food) and may have to have an above & beyond action when it is warranted, i.e. a new member unfamiliar with a menu. For the rest of us it should have zero impact on productivity and be demonstrated every single time. Think of companies like Ritz-Carlton and Apple stores. Their employees are brilliant about their products and application.
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Private Club Marketing, recognized as Platinum Clubs of America‘s preferred Membership Marketing Firm, is a luxury marketing, branding and membership sales consulting firm specializing in private clubs, golf communities, resort destinations, boutique hotels, estates and unique lifestyle environments. We help Developers, Owners, Financial Institutions, and Management Companies make big decisions on envisioning, strategy, marketing, sales, and organization.