Sunday, March 20, 2011

The best things in life are free

It’s a wonderful sentiment, isn’t it! Personally, I don’t really believe it. I tend to lean the other way: ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’.

But there is one thing that’s free… and that’s manners. Golf is one of those games where etiquette and manners are, allegedly, sacrosanct. But you and I know that’s a load of rubbish because we’ve all experienced atrocious manners in the course of our golfing lives. Kirkistown Castle and Donabate are at the top of my list after a couple of very unpleasant encounters, but there’s something else that has always frustrated me… and it’s so very Irish.

It’s the inability to reply to a request, in any shape or form. I mean, how hard is it to respond to someone who has emailed you a couple of times, phoned and left a voicemail and also left messages with colleagues? This was at one of my favourite golf courses and I was trying to reach their marketing person.

I worked in Marketing for years, and one thing I learned very quickly was that you deal with customers quickly and efficiently… in other words, you respond to them. This person clearly didn’t think she needed to and that left a very bitter taste in this customer’s mouth.

I was not asking for the world. I wasn’t expecting special treatment. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would have been enough, but not replying is simply rude. And in a time when customers need to be treated courteously in an attempt to maintain business, you’d think such an attitude would have been beaten out of these so-called communication specialists. I imagine that many golfers treated this way would simply phone another course to sate their golfing appetite, and spend their money elsewhere.

But I persevered and after two weeks of trying to get in touch, I tried calling someone else. I got the response I needed in about 20 seconds and went happily on my way. Is it any wonder people by-pass ‘official’ channels!

Manners cost you nothing, so please use them as often as possible.

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