Customer Service Is About Sharing

In these unprecedented times of COVID 19 and working from home, one of the industries [or pastimes] that has seen a resurgence is golf.

Because many people are working from home, there is a lot of people experiencing less travel time to and from work. As a result of this, since the pandemic began, we’ve seen golf clubs enjoying an increase in the number of members, as well as an increase in playing rates.

Which has created some challenges, but on the whole has seen a welcome resurgence for the sport.

In 2021, the latest lockdown regulations have created some new difficulties for golf. But out of these difficulties has arisen a wonderful opportunity of “sharing”.

In Sydney, exercise for the community is permitted so long as people do not travel more than 10 kilometres from their home to partake in that exercise.

And golf is considered a safe form of exercise.

However, if your golf club where you are a member is more than ten kilometres from your home, you are not permitted to travel to that club to play golf there.

So the golf clubs of Sydney came up with this plan:

If you live further than 10kms from your golf club but there is another golf club that is located within 10kms of your home, you may be allowed to play at that golf club under a “swap” arrangement during these times of travel restriction.

What we have seen is a network of golf clubs across Sydney opening their doors to members of other clubs who just happen to be geographically located nearby to those courses.

In a barter system of sorts.

All organised officially through each golfer’s home club in the first instance.

This “sharing” of members between golf clubs has allowed golf clubs to maintain financial viability during these difficult times. And of course, this in turn allows those clubs to maintain more staff in employment than they may have otherwise been able to.

And of course, the golfers are able to get their exercise and also get more use of their membership than they might otherwise have been able to.

It’s a feel-good story.

It’s a win-win-win story.

Because it’s not often that businesses that compete for customers come up with a win-win-win scenario.

How could something like this work in dentistry?

How could a win-win-win scenario like this be created in dentistry?

I know that in my practice, we used to have times we kept available every day for emergency appointments for people who would call wanting same day treatment.

And some of my neighbouring dentists would sometimes ask us if we could sometimes help them out and see their patients, if those dentists were jammed up themselves.

When this happened, we’d always oblige in getting our colleagues’ patients out of trouble, and would always send the patient back to their dentist, often with the instruction:

“Make sure you book back in to see Joe ASAP and get him to put a crown on that tooth to protect it.”

….or something along those lines.

We’d also offer our neighbouring colleagues the courtesy of referring their patients to our practice over their Christmas vacations [if they were closing], with the same proviso that we would be happy to help their patients with any immediate dental need, and would send the patient back to their original dentist for any follow-up required.

In your industry, does this happen?

In your industry, where are your opportunities to serve the customers of your competitors without the expectation of favour?


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