Provide Exceptional Service

steve-volpicelliStephen Volpicelli, the 2008 Central New York PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities and 2010 Central New York PGA Section Youth Player Development Award winner, is the PGA head professional at Soaring Eagles Golf Course in Horseheads, New York.

When players show up to play golf, and especially to play in a tournament, it is important to make sure that all they have to think about is playing golf. We have a very nice facility, and golfers should be able to come out and simply enjoy playing the course. Ever since I arrived at this facility, my staff and I have made sure that all behind-the-scenes work is completed entirely on time. We want to make sure that even the smallest details are tended to. I want to provide an experience to the golfers in our tournaments that I would want in tournaments I play in, so we try to add something to our events each year. In past years, we have done small things, such as adding a bag drop area in the parking lot that is staffed to help load golf bags onto the golf cars. I keep registration quick and convenient by setting up a tent at the end of the parking lot, making registration the first thing they get to. I have also given donations for contests within the tournament, like the longest drive or closest to the pin. This year, we have added a P.A. system to help the players hear announcements more clearly. The services we provide allow us to rise above the expectations of our customers and create an atmosphere that tournament coordinators want to provide their participants. We are able to have loyal relationships with tournament coordinators because even if our prices increase, we may not have to increase the price for their tournament each year. We are able to continuously draw in tournaments due to the great service we provide allowing the customer to focus solely on golf.

Stephen Volpicelli on the business impact of providing exceptional service:
We know that providing exceptional service can lead to repeat business and high customer satisfaction. Eight years ago, when I became the PGA head professional at our facility, we had approximately 10 golf tournaments. Since then, the word has spread about the services we provide and we have increased our tournament program to roughly 30 per year. These events have as few as 28 participants, and as many as 144. This past year, we were able to add eight new members because of our tournament program, which accounts for tens of thousands of dollars in extra revenue for the club. Even with the tournament participants who do not join the facility, 20 to 30 percent of them make repeat visits to the facility to play golf. Another success story involves a 36-team golf tournament that recently left a golf course they had been playing for a long period of time. Individuals on their tournament committee had played in tournaments at our facility before and seen the exceptional services that we provided. The tournament has now committed to host their event at our course.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.