All About That “WOW”

Third Place

A great social experience can happen anywhere: in a garage, backroom or backyard.

Not because of the place or its surroundings, but because of the people, their interactions and experiences with one another that create enjoyment and a sense of belonging that lures them to return. Over time, these experiences of happiness and contentment become woven into the fabric of a person’s social wellbeing. A club’s social aspects have the ability to become powerful, emotional forces in its members’ lives that are then anchors to their social community. Clubs are members’ retreat and respite from their otherwise busy, chaotic and overly regulated external lives. What makes clubs so is that they are places where members feel welcome, equal, can contribute and, most importantly, have input that shape their anticipated desires of outcomes.

 The challenge and fun of managing private clubs is that they are the retreats of the achievers in our society.

Private clubs attract and are inhabited by those who like the best things and experiences. These achievers seek reliability, consistency, quality and personalized attention. Successful clubs consistently deliver experiences their members cannot get anywhere else, and tomorrow must be better than today. Consistently being “new and improved” while protecting the core of a club’s culture, traditions and values is the challenge.

Delivering more than what was asked for, planned for and/or anticipated is how “WOW” is relevant to this discussion. Webster defines an exclamation of “WOW” as “an expression of astonishment, admiration and of sensational success.” “WOW” doesn’t occur by happenstance, it is achieved through a manufactured process. They are experiences created by people (you and your staff) not things. Golf courses, tennis courts, fitness/wellness centers, etc., don’t “WOW” you. They challenge you or are places where you challenge yourself.

Wanting to “WOW” isn’t enough to make it happen. There needs to be a system for how to embed it in your club’s operational ethos. There are five fundamental pillars that support your service team creating “WOW” experiences.

Five fundamental pillars that support your service team creating “WOW” experiences

  1. Anticipate the needs and wants of members
  2. Be prepared to serve
  3. Execute flawlessly
  4. Be continuously enthusiastic
  5. Do it now – have a sense of urgency in all you do

The most significant outcome of “WOW” at your club is that it strengthens and drives positive, familial relationships between your members and frontline staff. These are key components in establishing your club as a “Favorite Place”, thus sustaining membership at your club.

I’d love to share my passion for creating “WOW” at your club with you. Please take advantage of McMahon’s complimentary First Impressions Visit. Your club’s only cost is our travel expenses. Please click here and fill out the First Impressions Form today!

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About Richard Lareau

Director of Member Experience

Richard has worked in private club management since 1992. His more than 24 years of experience as a Club Manager and Chief Operating Officer, achieving the highest levels of success in Board relations and as an operations specialist has garnered him well-earned acclaim in the industry. Successful management systems in team building, food and beverage, human resources, communications, marketing, golf, fitness, aquatics, and youth programming are all in the tool bag he carries with him when visiting clubs seeking help.

He has proven success in developing and implementing strategic plans along with master facility planning, kitchen and dining room design development, and construction management.

Richard is a Certified Club Manager (CCM) and Certified Chief Executive (CCE). He is the winner of the 2009 Mel Rex Award from the Excellence in Club Management® Awards (ECM); and, was awarded Club Manager of the Year by the Texas Lone Star Chapter in 2013 for his achievements and contributions to the private club industry. Richard is an active member of Les Amis des Escoffier, Chaine des Rotisserie, The International Wine Society and a lifetime honorary member of the Catering Executives Club of America.

More articles by Richard Lareau
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