Stay Connected to Your Customers!
We all know that the relationship between a tennis facility and its players is special. Since the COVID-19 virus forced so many facilities to close their doors, tennis players around the world are suffering from a serious case of tennis withdrawal.
Those who love the game will go to great lengths to get their tennis “fix.” They’ll set up mini-nets in their driveways, hit off their basement walls and sometimes even break the law to satisfy their craving. I recently got a phone call from the local police about a late-night trespasser on my club’s property. It turns out it was one of my members, who was trying to sneak in some time on the backboard—in the dark! Our members miss their tennis, they miss their tennis friends, and they miss us!
For those of us who work in this industry, now is the perfect time to remind ourselves that, though tennis is our vehicle, we’re really in the customer-service business. It doesn’t matter if you own the club, run the programs or are a teaching pro trying to build your clientele, customer service must be a priority—now more than ever.
Though our facility’s doors are closed, we can take our customer service to the next level and, in the process, keep our players’ spirits up until they can get back to the courts. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
During the crisis, keep your players engaged with the club by sending one or two e-mails a week. Include tennis-related articles, videos, tips or book suggestions. Post on Facebook and other social media. Encourage your pros to stay in touch with their students through texts, phone calls or email. Just be careful not to bombard them with constant communication. You want them to look forward to hearing from you, not say, “Oh geez, here’s another one.”
I’ve reached out to several of the pay-for tennis websites, and they’ve graciously offered to give my members free access to their instructional content. Other companies are offering special pricing on their products during this crisis. I’ve personally delivered four training aids to my members’ homes—left on the driveway, of course.
The key is to keep the relationship active. Jack Mitchell is a leader in the world of customer service, and he is also one of our club members. Jack is the author of the bestselling “Hug Your Customers” books, and he says, “It’s so very important to commit to staying in touch with your clients. It’s all about treating them like family. Send heartfelt notes, emails and texts. Wish them well during these trying times and tell them that you can't wait to see them when things return to normal.”
Bottom line: Stay engaged with your players. It’s good for your business, it’s good for your players, and it’s good for you.
Greg Moran is the Owner/Director of Tennis at Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, Conn.