Touch Point Tactics

In war the generals plan the strategy, unit commanders establish plans to shape the battle, and front line leaders set and direct the tactics to wage the fight.  In our business the board and General Manager set the direction and standards of the club, but it’s the department heads and front line supervisors who figure out how best to implement at the point of contact with members and guests.

The term “touch point” refers to those critical moments and events that shape and define a customer’s impression of service and service delivery.  Also called “moments of truth,” touch points are defined as “a critical or decisive time or event on which much depends; a crucial moment.”  But no matter what they are called, if a club is to be a service leader, it must consistently get the touch points right and it’s up to the club’s junior leaders to plan, train, and direct front line employees to flawlessly execute each of these service opportunities.

Most club departments have a limited number of touch points, probably less than ten.  The food and beverage department has considerably more due to the intensive interaction with members during food service.  Regardless of number, it’s up to department heads to identify and establish standards for each touch point – even to go so far as scripting and rehearsing employees’ touch point roles.

So what are the steps in planning touch point tactics?  Here’s a basic list for department heads:

  • Identify members’ needs and expectations from the club.
  • Carefully review departmental interfaces with members and identify all touch points.
  • Prioritize touch points based on service impact and impression.
  • Spell out in detail the optimum manner for employees to execute each touch point.
  • Script, train, and rehearse employees to consistently execute touch points.
  • Revise and refine touch point execution based on feedback from employees.

Points of caution:

  • Train employees to avoid robot-like, lockstep execution.  Employees must be comfortable enough in their roles to improvise according to the dictates of the moment and situation.  Everything they do must be comfortable and personal – that’s why it’s so important to empower your staff.
  • Managers must encourage and act upon feedback from employees.  The people who have direct service contact with members are in the best position to determine what works and what doesn’t.

Bottom Line:  As with managing any other critical aspect of the operation, touch point tactics must be well-developed and executed to achieve the desired effects.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

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