In the last five years, I saw at least 5 great initiatives at Burhill Group that can explain their latest success at the 22nd annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 awards. I appreciate especially these initiatives:
- Investing in employee experience;
- Strengthening its apprenticeship program: invested £60,000 in it in 2020;
- At least 5 Burhill Golf & Leisure venues were recertified by the Golf Environment Organization (GEO).
- Understood the need to improve the driving range experience in its venues. E.g. Hoebridge Golf Centre (based in Woking, Surrey) and Redbourn Golf Club (near St Albans) – These are the first golf facilities in England to offer TrackMan Range technology at their driving ranges.
- Last, but not least promoting women to leadership positions. E.g. Sarah Blunden: general manager at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre. Can you imagine that only 20% of golf club managers were women in the UK in 2015 (Source: GCME).
22nd annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 awards
Burhill Group Limited has ranked in 7th place in the 22nd annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 awards. Actually, they are the only golf course owner and operator company among the listed companies. Junkyard Golf Club (has ranked 55th) is a totally different story.
Profit Track 100 ranks private companies based on operating profit growth over their latest 3 years. Details on financials and staff relate to before Covid-19 struck for 77 companies, with 23 having financial years ending after March 2020.
This year’s 100 companies achieved, on average, profit growth of 59% a year over their last three years of accounts, to a combined total of £931m in 2019/20, having grown from a combined £250m three years ago.
Customer experience is the next battlefield
It seems like Burhill Group’s investment in creating welcoming and high-quality golf, leisure, and entertainment destinations for every occasion are paying the dividend.
We can already see and feel that customer experience overtook price and product/service. I told in one of my keynote presentations (CMAE, CNIG, ADGF) that 84% of customers are ready to pay more for an exceptional customer experience.
I don’t know the exact motive of Burhill Group why do they invest in CX but I would not surprise if it would be at least one of these:
- To improve customer retention;
- To improve cross-selling & up-selling;
- To improve customer satisfaction.
My 6 recommendations for 2021
- Try to truly understand your customers’ and employees’ preferences. In other words, stop asking what they like.
- Pay attention to small signals too!
- Improve your qualitative mechanisms like open-ended questions, learning from journey mapping, focus groups, etc.
- Prioritize “moments that matter” in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty correlation.
- Design experience for your most valuable golf club customers. Have you ever used the ‘customer lifetime value‘ method?
- Not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in general, you must put your employees first to be able to deliver your customer experience strategy and impress your golf club members and guests.