In these days, I am working on the next presentation that I will give at the 4th National Conference on Residential Tourism & Golf in Estoril, Portugal on 11th April. I was invited by Vanessa Velosa, the secretary general of the Portuguese Golf Course Owners Association. They asked me to give a presentation on customer experience as the differentiating factor for golf clubs and resorts.
So, now I am thinking about what shall I highlight in this presentation. This is how came to my mind, that there are many golf clubs and resorts who promise more than they can actually deliver and provide to their customers.
Let me give you an example, you claim that your golf club is a top-notch golf club. However, in reality, what you are able to provide to your members and guests are basic golf club services and amenity facilities. In short, a sub-baseline experience.
Customer experience, in general, is part of the marketing department tasks. When we are so eager to promote our golf club/resort, sometimes we forget to keep in mind the importance of aligning our brand promises with the actual customer experience available in our golf club.
There should not be any difference between the advertised customer experience and the actual, delivered customer experience!! You can be sure that future guests will anyway check your golf club on golf club review sites (e.g. Leadingcourses.com) and in social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, All Square Golf, etc.).
When there is a significant gap between the promised customer experience and the reality, then you can be 100% sure they will not come back to you. Even worse, they will share their negative experience in social media that I believe you don’t wish for yourself.
My recommendation is to design such customer experience that you can deliver through every single channel and touchpoint that you have (offline, online). Don’t forget customer experience is all about consistency across every channel, including marketing and advertising.
Customer experience vs expectations
Everybody arrives at your golf club or resort with a perceived expectation of the experience they are about to have. If you deliver the service below their expectations, then you fail. This failure is just a question of time. To prevent this unpleasant situation golf clubs should discover their customers’ expectations.
It is interesting to consider price/value expectations. Will they consider a higher price relative to your competitors’ price as a “better quality”?
You can have the best golf club in town, in the country if your services are not in line with your potential customers’ expectations. Therefore, you have to discover which customer types are the most relevant to your golf club. Don’t focus only on socio-demographic specifics, but also on what these people like or hate.
Let’s pay attention not only WHAT are customers, but also WHO they are!
Today it is not enough to deliver a baseline customer experience (=what customers expect) to succeed. We must exceed our customers’ expectations in a pleasant and relevant way.
When your “armchair golfer” guests (=not active golfers) will learn about your outstanding customer experience, then they will more likely to consider to get back to the game.
The best way to measure and systematically improve the customer experience you deliver is by monitoring your success.
This not only requires reporting tools, real-time intelligent guidance, analytics to understand your performance, but also an analytics expert who will turn data into information. He will also tell you what is the most important information for your decision making and planning.
Finally, the global Customer Experience Management Market is expected to grow from USD 5.06 Billion in 2016 to USD 13.18 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 21.1%.