Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., shares her views on how clubs should deal with rude members. She encourages employees to be kind to disgruntled members and to turn to their colleagues for support after experiencing a difficult interaction.
“Ask Max” is a regular feature of C+RB’s monthly Membership + Marketing column, where Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., answers questions sent in by readers.
(Have a question you want to “Ask Max”? Send it to [email protected])
The Club at Mediterra is a Distinguished Elite, Platinum Club inside the community of Mediterra, which has been named Community of the Year in Naples 12 times in 16 years.
Max is a veteran hospitality leader with a 15-year hotel career followed by an almost 20-year club career, the last 13 at Mediterra. Max is a proud member of the Membership Directors Association of Southwest Florida, whose program for exchanging ideas and information is unmatched.
Max’s passion is being helpful, so… let’s “Ask Max”!
I find it difficult to deal with rude members, and it feels like rudeness is on the rise. How do you manage it?
It’s not always easy. But here are two things to try. Killing them with kindness really works and can be very satisfying. When you have the maturity to be overly nice to someone who is being rude, you have not only provided exceptional service, but you can take pride in your exceptional character. You probably shocked the member, too! Bonus!
If being kind in the face of disrespect is difficult for you, try to imagine that the member just got unwelcome news and they are taking it out on you, and you have the power to turn their day around.
Also, don’t hold your feelings inside after you’ve had these situations. Your feelings are valid, and sometimes if you hold them in and deny they exist, you get stressed. Turn your experience into a funny story to share with others and vent your frustration with your peers. This weakens the negativity of the situation and connects you with your co-workers.
And remember, no matter how it feels, rude members are the minority, not the majority—it just doesn’t seem that way because rudeness is louder than kindness.
Pay it forward,