My next-door neighbor’s daughter works at one of the better club’s in town as the restaurant manger. Her attention to detail as it relates to the member experience is unmatched in the club world.
Knowing her Father well, she was taught from a young age the importance of remembering names. It is something this blog focuses on continually, because frankly, many people weren’t taught the magic of it.
I asked Sarah how she trains employees to remember names, even when they are new:
- “It’s unacceptable to address or even ask for a member’s number”. They aren’t numbers, they are people. She believes it is imperative to remember names quickly because of the inherent competitive advantage it places the club ahead of the other restaurants members pass on the way to the club. A simple technique for a new employee is, “Hello, my name is _______________ and I know I have served you before… I am trying hard to remember everyone at the club. Could you give me your name once again and I’ll be right back with your drink order”. This is 1,000 times better than, “what can I get you to drink…great, what’s that number again”.
- “Have pictures of members in your computer data base. Another simple solution. What about pictures after the Saturday or Sunday morning games of the members in the 19th hole…with tagged pictures on Facebook? I would actually have staff look at these to cement the member names in their minds.
- Always have a senior employee present. I have actually seen Sarah point out members many times to new hires as they are walking in. “That’s Mr. and Mrs. So and So, she usually gets Tea with two lemons, he likes Diet Coke”. Having a seasoned employee around to point out and teach new hires who and what (the member likes) is valuable.
- Strike up simple, but genuine conversations. “How was your round today Mr. Smith, it was certainly a beautiful day for golf?
- Use the members name several times throughout their time in the dining room. Repetition takes effort, not skill. This the quickest way to remember names quickly.