4. Dealing with Emergencies

Believe it or not, people do have tennis emergencies. Though they’re usually not life-threatening, they are important to your customer, which means they must be important to you. 

Here’s an example: Recently, one of our junior players came running into the club at 7:30 in the evening with a true tennis emergency: all of his racket’s strings had broken and he had a big tournament the next day.

Our stringer had gone home for the day, but we called him, and he came back to the club, strung the rackets and then personally drove them over to the boy’s house. You should have seen the look on the family’s faces when he refused the tip they offered him for making the house call.  Of course, he also called the boy the next day to see how his tournament went.

“There are times when what a customer considers an emergency is hardly what we would regard as an emergency, but it doesn’t matter. We do whatever it takes.” Jack Mitchell

Tennis emergencies can come in all forms. We’ve all had players come to the court having forgotten their rackets. That’s an easy one to fix---give them one of yours or a demo from the Pro Shop---at no charge, of course.

We’ve also seen players arrive to play having forgotten their tennis shoes. More than once, I’ve seen a customer-oriented pro solve this emergency by taking the shoes off their own feet and loaning them to the player. One club in the Northeast even has a spare set of men’s and lady’s shoes in every size, available to their forgetful customers.

A player’s partner fails to show up: grab your racket and fill in. Someone forgets their tennis shirt and doesn’t want to buy one from the Pro Shop? Give them one of your club’s logo shirts. They’ll appreciate your generosity, and it will be great advertising for your club when he wears the shirt around town.

If you’re teaching outside, bring bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, tissue and maybe even a hat or two for your students who may have forgotten something. Of course, you must always have the injury essentials on hand: ice, bandages and Advil as well as a fully stocked first aid kit.

The key is to always be alert to ways in which you can help your customer and make their experience with you more enjoyable.