Every time I go into my inbox these days, there are three different types of e-mails waiting.
Besides the legitimate correspondence, there are the e-mails with an attachment they want me to click so they can hit my computer with malware, spyware, wash-and-ware or whatever kind of ware you can name.
The other kind of e-mail extols all of my virtues and those of GNN’s as a website, which are countless if I do say so myself, but it’s always good to hear, so these nameless, faceless senders are willing to provide that extra ego boost in an attempt to either sell you something or get you to click into one of those nasty viruses.
Both of those types of e-mails immediately get the delete treatment and while one is just annoying for trying to jerk me over and screw with my computer, the other is also insulting with some anonymous hack out there thinking all I need is an ego stroke to motivate me.
It must work on some lost and desperate souls out there or they wouldn’t keep bombarding people with such messages, so they’ll keep dropping those hooks in the water, waiting for a bite.
There’s a reason it’s called junk mail, but sadly, it’s a part of life these days. The same goes for robo-calls or automated answering.
There’s a rather amusing commercial from one of the banks on television right now in which the lady on the phone thinks she’s talking to a machine – and keeps insisting it is a machine – until the voice on the other end finally convinces her that it does come from someone made of flesh and blood.
The personal touch – what an idea!
The thing about that commercial, however, is that you never get a good read on the person on the other end of the phone. Is it truly someone helpful, or is it somebody who is programmed to push company services and products, with little regard for the customer’s personal situation?
The idea, of course, is that you’ll have to call to find out yourself.
Once you do, you may discover that even though that person is for real, that rep may have the same mission as the e-mails mentioned above, to cajole you and make you feel good about yourself, a kick in the butt disguised as a pat on the back to move you on to the next level of a transaction.
It’s little wonder then that consumers seek a form of escapism which, for the purposes of this contribution, is the golf course, where no e-mails or robo-calls can get to you on the seventh hole unless you’re paying too much attention to your smartphone.
As for the people who make their livings enhancing your experience on the golf course, as silly as it sounds, you don’t want them going overboard as if they’re programmed products of intense customer training.
Before we continue, let’s clarify.
Quality customer service is essential. Professional conduct and appearance sets you apart from other operations in the area, but how much is too much? Is there such a thing as too much customer training?
There’s a lot to be said for an employee’s natural personality and instincts that may set them apart to customers/members over a one-size-fits-all approach.
Here’s an example.
I used to meet a group of friends at a local breakfast place and the regular server would stop for a minute, sometimes longer, to chat and joke with us and her visits became as much a part of the experience as the bacon and eggs and coffee.
She eventually moved on to another restaurant and I remember meeting her on the street one day, where she told me the owners actually timed the amount of time she spent chatting with customers about her kids, family and other things going on in the world.
She would excuse herself if the restaurant was busy, and we understood, and while there may have been a few odd jobs for her to do in the back if it wasn’t so busy, it didn’t seem out of line when those chats stretched to two minutes instead of one.
She instinctively knew who to chat with and who not to and we fell into the first group. Still, it was customer training over customer enjoyment that won in this case, seemingly preferring that she operate as a robot instead of a person.
Employers will always encounter people who are working strictly for a paycheque, those who carry an attitude into the job, which puts a premium on the hiring process where you can weed that type of person out.
On the other hand, if an employee takes the time to stop and talk to an eight-year-old son or daughter of a member/customer about their games, ensure a newcomer to the game that the trepidation they feel is shared by countless others, or just chat about what happened at the Masters on the weekend, that’s gold.
Golfers are there to forget about work and escape the constant bombardment of junk e-mails, commercials and customer service reps who often seem more like robots. In the case of the latter group, they don’t want more of the same at your operation.