Warren Webb, the senior vice president of sales for Hapana, North America, shares what a true partnership looks like.
Technological innovation has done downright amazing things for the improvement of the club industry over the past 25 years. I’ve had the good fortune of working with many clubs across this great nation where the improvements have been game-changing.
But for all the technological improvements, there is one area in the industry that remains a constant: a true desire for partnership — built off of a handshake that means something — which is still the most important part of that service promise.
As the internet has made our professional lives more readily available, it’s become commonplace for technology companies to move to a model of “automated” support. Do you know the type I’m referring to? You need help and instead of getting to chat with a human, you’re filtered through multiple layers of automated prompts. The goal of that support model? Low to practically no actual humans are needed to reduce costs.
On the surface, a box has been checked. “Partnership” has been delivered. The customer has the information they need, and they will need to figure it out for themselves. Right?
As a man of conviction, like many in this industry know, I was born and raised in West Texas, where a handshake is a binding deal. This approach to partnership doesn’t sit right with me.
From my point of view, partnerships are an investment, one where the ROI is built on camaraderie, trust and a business relationship that lasts decades, not years. Frankly, I believe automation of helping your partner succeed is not in the spirit of what builds lasting relationships.
Fellow senior executives, I ask you: Are you being treated like a sale? Or a partner?
A partnership doesn’t just give you a dedicated account representative. Partnerships come with a collaborative team, and a service where multiple layers within the organization are visible to you and your team so the right person is always available for the issue at hand.
How does a partner build a relationship that delivers on a personal-touch promise? It’s about the ability to be empathetic to others and the pressures they are under.
They truly understand what it means to do the job in the club when it’s busy and can quickly navigate to the information that will answer the customers’ questions.
It’s the delivery of an exemplary customer success experience. One where your customers truly feel the partnership in your actions.
It’s someone in your corner who has a vested interest in your organization’s success and growth.
I believe this is the partnership experience you should expect. One where you work to build a truly valuable partnership driven by your personal conviction to deliver on what you’ve said you will.
What are the good platform partners doing that makes all the difference? Is yours a transactional arrangement with your sales vendor, or are they a true business platform partner?
I hope you have a true partnership with someone you can reach quickly and who understands your business. Otherwise, press six to repeat the options or continue to hold.