In my latest article (“Reality of Measuring Customer Experience”, page 26-27.) about customer experience in Golf Management Europe, I have highlighted that if golf clubs want to achieve customer-centricity then first they have to make an internal transformation. This includes empowering employees to improve those experiences and relationships.
In the very same article I also recommended to golf clubs that if they want to achieve a high level of customer experience they should perform a set of sound practices:
- strategy (that describes the intended customer experience),
- customer understanding,
- design (align the strategy with overall company strategy),
- governance and culture (share the strategy with all employees).
Crown Golf – creating the Golf Development Professional role
It seems like Crown Golf made the first step in the internal transformation when they created the Golf Development Professional role for the most experienced PGA professionals. In this initiative, Crown Golf has invested over £300k to enable its most experienced PGA professionals to have maximum ‘face time’ with golfers by creating the Golf Development Professional (GDP) role.
Crown Golf is expecting:
- Improvement in customer and member retention. They believe that if a selected senior PGA professional is working closer with the golfers on their game and help them to socialise in their golf club then they will more likely to remain in the club. I think this is the minimum of the minimum that we can expect from PGA Professionals. It would help a lot for Crown Golf if they could embrace the changes in the society:
- There are many women who are raising their kids alone. This is one of the reasons why childcare service could be/is a highly appreciated service in a golf club. I have not found such service on their website among the membership benefits.
- Truly embracing women. Syngenta found in their “Growing Golf in the UK” report in 2013 that the 4th most important off-course issue is: the club is welcoming regardless of gender.
- Due to the growing time constraints, families have to plan how to spend their very limited spare time. Let’s think about how can golf be a true quality family program/time. But where are the family activities and programs??? The Troon Family Golf initiative is much more promising: Juniors golf for free after 3 p.m. when playing with a paying adult.
- Provide a membership experience that people want. Such membership is more and more personal. Crown Golf should pay more attention to the Millennials who will make up one-quarter of the entire U.K. population and are projected to hit 17 million by 2019. For them, lifestyle fit is a really important decision factor when they consider joining a golf club.
- Golf Development Professionals to be Crown Golf’s chief ambassadors to the local community, developing participation both at the club and throughout the area, and will also manage each club’s custom-fitting service following Crown Golf’s investment in the latest launch monitor technology across the group.
If I were them, I would think about:
- How could I develop an open, and engaged relationships with the club members and guests? We should express curiosity about our members and guests are doing inside and outside our golf club.
- How to facilitate dialogue with our guests and members instead of one-way messages? Golf Development Professionals should also think about how to reach out people in social media. Here are some social media monitoring tools that worth using: Hootsuite, Keyhole, Brandwatch, Buzzsumo, Klout, Mention, Sysomos etc.
- What should our relationship look like with our customers in 2 years from now?
- It is also well worth taking into consideration that our customers have got more power than before. If your designed customer experience meets their expectations then they are more likely to become your ambassadors. Such social proof worth a lot!!
The new roles have already started at Crown Golf venues in Surrey, Bristol, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex and Merseyside.
The measurement of the performance of these Golf Development Professionals should not be neglected.
You should start to solicit feedback from customers about their experience in the golf club and in its golf course(s) and other amenities (surveys, interviews). The usage of Net Promoter Score could be a good starting point to gauge customer satisfaction.
In the era of ‘connected customers,’ the new KPIs of social customer service are advocacy, referrals, reviews, positive endorsements and loyalty. You can be more proactive and collect insights from customers via emails, social media monitoring or even mining calls.
Your employees can provide you valuable insights about their experience with customers and their role in delivering the customer experience. To have a more customer-centric staff it is worth to share customer understanding with them.
As I hinted above this new position will not change the world if there is no change in the organizational culture toward customer-centricity.