Last week I had Rachel Zabonick, the assistant editor for Club Solutions, write my blog. I had flown down to Atlanta, Ga. on Tuesday afternoon for the University of Kentucky versus Duke University basketball game in the Georgia Dome. I did a quick turnaround and flew back on Wednesday morning. However, while sitting in Midway Airport in Chicago — that’s right, I flew from Atlanta, to Chicago to finally arrive at Louisville, Ky. — I received a phone call from a major hardware store concerning some flooring I’m having installed in my home.
About three months ago I had a water pipe bust in my bathroom that ruined the majority of the floors in my house. Everything has worked smoothly in terms of getting my life back together, except for the customer service of the major hardware store, which I refuse to mention by name.
They worked extremely hard at getting my money, but after they made the sell, phone calls fell through the cracks, and I didn’t receive timely service in getting the product installed in my house. Therefore, on Wednesday, I was led to believe that my flooring was about to be installed, after my fiancé and I have lived on a concrete slab for a little over a month, and a house in disarray for about three. And, I know, at least I have a roof over my head. I agree, but when that roof used to have carpet and typical flooring, and now it’s a concrete slab with the means to an end already paid for, I just want to finish the job.
Now, to make a longer story short, and get to the point, the job isn’t complete and I spent my entire Wednesday inside the major hardware store complaining about service. To my point: SERVICE IS EVERYTHING TO YOUR MEMBERS!
As entrepreneurs, we all love to see the money roll in. However, making money doesn’t mean a business is successful. If your members hate you and you spend more time selling new members than elevating the current member’s experience, I would contest that your company isn’t successful. Just because you can sell a product, doesn’t mean it’s a quality product.
In my case, I probably took the cheaper way out. However, I never will again, and I’m writing a full blog on my horrible experience. Just imagine that if your club was the major hardware store, and instead of me refusing to bash the company by name, I was a member bashing your club to my readers by name. That doesn’t need to be the case for your club, but you’ve got to care about the current member. It’s easy to simply create a product (a t-shirt for example), sell the product and never have to maintenance that product. However, you sell a product, but you are essentially selling a service as well. Once the product is purchased, the service must continue to be exceptional, or the person will feel cheated. No one likes to be cheated.
Remember, even if you are the big dog on the street, you have to garner respect by way of showing respect. Strive to be the club with the greatest member experience. Work for the members you already have in order to be successful. Trust me, if you make your current members raving fans, they will bring in more raving fans that will be easier for you to sell. Lesson learned: DON’T BE LIKE THE MAJOR HARDWARE STORE!
Tyler Montgomery is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org