Archive for the ‘pet peeves’ Category

Pet Peeves – Discovering and Correcting the Details of Service

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Every club manager has pet peeves – those things, seemingly small and inconsequential, that drive him or her crazy.  Here’s my short list:

Cigarette butts – nasty and unsightly, they are usually found on the ground at club entrances or sticking up like porcupine quills in butt cans.  They can also be found littering the ground after out-of-door parties or around tees and greens on the golf course.  I make picking up cigarette butts a focus for all employees – managers and line staff alike – by training, constant reminder, and example – I have no problem picking them up wherever I find them.

Hand-lettered signs – anywhere on the property, these signs are usually prompted by some last minute management concern – out of order equipment, temporary situation, or directions to staff or members.  With the ease of making more professional looking signs with computers and laser printers, there’s no excuse for any hand-written sign.

Out of date items on bulletin boards or other displays – I expect subordinate managers to pay sufficient attention to detail to ensure this doesn’t happen and I regularly check bulletin boards during club walkabouts.

Dog-eared, dirty menus – unappealing, unsightly, unappetizing, these menus are a turn-off to diners and are a prominent sign of a poorly-run operation.  Again, with the ready availability of computers and laser printers, there’s no excuse for this.  Food and beverage managers shouldn’t allow it to happen and servers should know better than to hand such a menu to members and guests.

Trashed restrooms – this usually happens when the club is hosting a large party or event.  In short order, heavy usage will turn restrooms into disaster areas that are seen by lots of people – certainly no way to foster a reputation as a well-run club.  The solution is to schedule housekeeping coverage whenever large events are held and to require that managers check restrooms frequently during events.

“You guys” – these dreaded words greet me more than I care to count and drive me nuts.  To my mind there is no quicker way to show the world that your club has no standards and training for dining room servers, pro shop clerks, or bag and range attendants than to address members and guests as “you guys.”

So these are my pet peeves.  I’m sure every club general manager has his or her own list of similar items.  But regardless of managements’ aggravations, they are meaningless compared to the members’ pet peeves.

Without knowing what drives your members crazy about your operation, you’re asking for trouble.  I recommend asking your members what their pet peeves are in periodic surveys.  Then use the feedback to better train employees and focus their attention on these seemingly small details of the operation.  I would even go so far as to compile a list of all pet peeves brought to management’s attention to create a class to teach all new hires, as well as for periodic refresher training.

Pet peeves – everyone has them, but discovering and correcting what’s bugging your members is an important step on the road to service excellence.

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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