The Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club was the host venue of 59Club’s 10th annual Service Excellence Awards on March 12, 2020.
On the night, 59Club presented 64 awards across 27 categories, recognizing ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses – sales, service, operations, retail, golf course, food & beverage, and management.
Stoke Park and The Belfry Hotel & Resort picked up the highest prized awards of the evening, The Ultimate Members’ Club, and The Ultimate Golf Resort respectively.
The Belfry retained their title for a second consecutive year and Stoke Park having claimed The Ultimate accolade previously in 2015.
59club’s Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Designations, are always a highlight of proceedings.
This year, these 14 golf clubs won ‘Gold Flags’:
- Celtic Manor Resort,
- Club de Golf Alcanada,
- Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club,
- Foxhills Club & Resort,
- Golf Son Muntaner,
- Los Naranjos Golf Club,
- Monte Rei Golf & Country Club,
- Mount Juliet Estate,
- Rockliffe Hall,
- Roehampton Club,
- Stoke Park,
- The Belfry Hotel & Resort and
- The Grove.
The Foxhills Collection was left reveling on the night having been awarded for:
- Golf Group of the year,
- with Foxhills Club & Resort achieving Gold Flag status,
- Golf Operations Team of the Year (> £75 category), and
- Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year.
- Sophie Whitmore honored for her Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance, and Sean Graham crowned Golf Retail Manager of the Year (>£75 category).
Marriott Golf did not go home with empty hands either:
- with Forest of Arden seeing Fraser Liston crowned Golf Manager of the Year (<£75 category),
- with 2 further team awards recognizing their Golf Operations and Golf Sales departments, the latter having been retained for the 4th consecutive year, as well as the venue retaining their Gold Flag status.
- Tudor Park’s Rachel Palmer was honored for her Leading Individual Group Golf Sales Performance. St Pierre continued the winning streak having scooped the Golf Membership Sales Team accolade, with Hanbury Manor achieving Silver Flag Status.
5-time winner, The Vale Resort was awarded Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year, and Alice Cox-Cooper from The Mere was recognized for her Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance.
The 8 winners of Silver Flags were:
- Golf Club Castelconturbia,
- Frilford Heath Golf Club,
- Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club,
- La Manga Club,
- Le Golf National,
- The Duke’s, St Andrews,
- The North Berwick Golf Club and
- Woodhall Spa.
7 ‘Bronze Flag’ Awards were presented to
- Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club,
- Gullane Golf Club,
- Porters Park Golf Club,
- Royal Automobile Club,
- Royal Dornoch Golf Club,
- Sandy Lodge Golf Club and
- Slaley Hall.
Customer Experience Trends in 2020
I am expecting the following CX trends in 2020:
- We’ll continue to prefer experiences over products.
- Build a trusting and thoughtful relationship with your guests and members….instead of focusing solely on technology solutions.
- Employee experience will gain momentum. It will be the most important differentiating factor and smart golf clubs/resorts will compete based on it.
- We should not neglect our golf business’ B2B dimension! It is as important as the B2C.
- Proactive solutions and two-way communication with customers is the end game.
- These technologies will be really important for your businesses: Artificial Intelligence, chatbots, omnichannel engagement solutions.
- Don’t stop personalizing your services! Relevancy is still very important for most customers/guests. Hiring a business analyst(s) is rewarding.
- 1-on-1 communication (see personalization): Dare to add Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp as communication channels. Check out the German Öschberghof‘s example!
- Company values (e.g. environment conscious, equal opportunities, etc.) matter to 55% of customers.