First impressions of a tennis club
A private enterprise should already be customer driven and understand the importance of building a relationship with someone new to your facility or even to the sport. That new visitor may be a 10 year customer to a coaching business, club competition or general club membership. Therefore their first experience should be wrapped up in cotton wool and treated with a smile to at least open the opportunity that they become more regular tennis players.
A good committee or committee member will have great customer service to new players and guests to the club. An attitude of ‘Welcome to our Club’ is the key and if some one is playing on the wrong court, wrong day or they are not a member, its important to remember the lifelong value of that potential member. Rather than enforcing the rules of correct footwear, etiquette and schedule, understand that those who break the most rules are the ones that need the most education and persuasion of what the normal expectations of a tennis facility or club are.
A fictional story about a young couple who have a hit of tennis…..
Sally and Mick are in a relatively new relationship together and in their conversations they have discovered that both of them used to do tennis lessons when they were kids. They have driven past the club and decided that that afternoon they should play some tennis. They dust off their old racquets with no tension in their strings, find a couple of old balls and head down to play tennis at the local courts.
They don’t see anybody and see the courts are open. Mick in an attempt to impress Sally, says, lets play on these grass courts, it will be easier on your feet. Sally only had a skate type of shoe but thought that playing in bare feet was a nice idea on the grass. They start to awkwardly hit to each other and have some rallies and then stop for a drink and say “This is great, we should do this all the time, how great is it to have these courts just down the road from us!”
Then a member of the club or perhaps even a committee member spots them on the court back hitting again. Mick has his tshirt off by this stage and Sally is playing in bare feet while she takes a phone call from a friend. Balls are being hit everywhere and they are having fun. The well intentioned member or committee member thinks about what they should do. They know what rules they have to follow and see that it is unjust that someone else can wander in and do whatever they like. So the conversation may go like this:
“Are you members?
“Sorry but your not allowed to play on these courts and your also not wearing correct footwear and on the grass courts you must have your shirt on”
“Ok, we will go, sorry”
“Hey, great shot!”
“Thanks! It was a lucky one”
” Is this your first time playing here?”
” Yes! We haven’t played for years but live down the road, this place is great!”
” Yes it is, you should consider membership here, it works out to be really cheap per week”
” Oh really? Yeah if you have any information on that I would love to have a read?”
” Sure, here is a flyer with information and our web address. Do you know our coaching team do free assessment sessions? I can arrange for them to give you a call if your interested?”
” Ok wow, great. Thanks, sure, my mobile is 0411 111 111″
” Ok Super. Ill arrange for them to call or text you. Also just FYI these grasscourts are kept for members use only, I understand you didn’t know that as its your first time here so no problems. You can hire our hard courts even if your not a member. But finish your hit no problems and there will be no court hire charge, consider it a welcome hit to the club”
“Oh so sorry, we didn’t realise. We were nearly finished anyway, thanks alot for your help”
” No problems, our coaching team will be in touch and look forward to seeing you down again soon!”
“Ok great, have a nice day”
Maybe and hopefully, this positive experience will result in two new members at the tennis club.