For years, we used calls, mails/letters, in-person meetings to communicate with our golf club members.
Then came the social media and significantly changed the way how our golf club members, guests and visitors want to communicate with a golf club or learn about its services.
In parallel, we can see a growing demand for personalized:
- products and services etc.
The advanced golf clubs and resorts have already started to combine data and content to deliver on the notion of one-to-one marketing.
Chatbots & Real-time messaging
Another interesting milestone in communication between marketers and customers is the rise of live chats and chatbots.
People learnt very quickly that by using live chat service or chatbots they can get answers to their most urgent questions.
Why should we pick up the phone to book a tee time or a table in the restaurant of the golf club or even golf lesson if we can arrange it through a chat?
8 benefits of using chatbots in golf club marketing strategy:
- There will be no unanswered questions;
- Quick response to complaints;
- 24-hour service;
- Easy communication;
- 1-on-1 communication;
- Good customer experience;
- Getting expert answers;
- Always-on engagement: real-time, on-demand experience.
Chatbots can be attractive not only for Millennials, but also for Baby Boomers.
The 2018 State of Chatbots Report found that the TOP 3 frustrations of website visitors were:
- Hard to navigate on websites;
- Can’t get answers to simple questions;
- Basic details about a business is hard to find.
What we have to understand that not only offline experience (e.g. turf conditioning, golf course design, clubhouse, etc.) have got an impact on customer experience, but also online experiences.
Facebook said last year, that:
- by end of 2018, 78% of the world’s smartphone users will message every month;
- by 2021, it’s predicted that the global user base for mobile messaging apps will have risen by a further 23%.
- 56% of people would rather message than call customer service
I am not saying that chatbots and online chat services will replace face-to-face communication.
My prediction is that they will have an even bigger role in golf club marketing and communication:
- Golf club membership sales (See: Leigh Golf Club case study),
- Tee times sales,
- Customer service,
- Gaining better insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and pain points. —> this can lead to higher engagement and sales.
This might not be on your top of mind, but chatbots can be an attractive alternative to mobile applications.
A ComScore study found in 2017 that we don’t rush to download new mobile applications.
Only 37% of respondents ages 35-54 had any interest in new apps. Consumers are saturated with apps.
This is also contributing to the popularity of chatbot usage.
I think chatbots are winning at least in 4 areas vs mobile apps, emails, and phone:
- 24-hour service,
- instant responses,
- answers to simple questions,
- getting answers from experts.
I have not highlighted above, but by using chatbots you can use your qualified employees in other areas of golf club operations.
Do you know that you can embed the Facebook Messenger application into your website to serve as live chat service?
Here are some golf clubs who are using Facebook Messenger:
- Leigh Golf Club (UK),
- Woodhall Spa Golf,
- Mission Hills China,
- Mount Juliet Estate,
- BurgGolf De Haverleij (The Netherlands),
- Redlibbets Golf Club,
- Abu Dhabi Golf Club Community Events,
- Desert Mountain Club,
- Alpine Golf Resort, Chiangmai, Thailand etc.