I was very sad to turn down the invitation to 59Club’s European Service Excellence Awards due to family reasons (with my wife we are expecting a baby on March 16).
This year Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club will host the event between 12-13 March.
Like last year, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club is nominated across 8 award titles:
- Justine Friedrich nominated for her Individual Group Golf Sales Performance,
- Simon Howell nominated for Retail Manager of the Year,
- Rob Rowson for Greenkeeper of the Year, and
- Fraser Liston (here is his guest post about customer journey mapping) for Golf Manager of the Year
- as well as 3 further nominations within Golf Sales & Golf Operation Team categories.
I can see 5 other resorts who try to succeed in as many categories as possible:
- Foxhills Club & Resort is nominated 7 times, with
- The Belfry Resort, Rockliffe Hall and Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club each up for 6 awards, with the four-time Ryder Cup venue returning to defend their title ‘Ultimate Golf Resort’, after claiming one of the highest prized accolades of the evening last year in St Andrews.
- Another Ryder Cup venue, this time Celtic Manor Resort, are in contention for 4 awards, which sees Jim McKenzie MBE in the running for Greenkeeper of the year, and Brian Duncan nominated for Golf Manager of the Year. Hannah Howells is nominated for her Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance and Celtic Manor’s Leisure team up for the Membership Sales Team of the year.
Other European venues to receive multiple award nominations include:
- Barnham Broom,
- Belton Woods,
- Club de Golf Alcanada,
- Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club,
- Herons Reach,
- Ladybank Golf Club,
- La Manga Club,
- Monte Rei,
- Stirling Golf Club,
- Stoke Park,
- St Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club,
- The Grove,
- The Mere,
- The Vale Resort and
- Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
Customer experience trends in 2020
59Club’s European Service Excellence Awards gives us a very good chance not just to recognize the best performers in customer experience development, but also think about the challenges we will face in 2020.
I am expecting the following customer experience challenges in 2020:
- Omnichannel Customer Engagement: Meeting guests & members when and where they want to be engaged. Customers use many channels when they interact with organizations. Recommendation: try to utilize the potential of AI (artificial intelligence). Evaluate which tasks can be replaced or improved by AI solutions. Analyze and improve customer-facing processes and touchpoints. Consider using chatbots!
- Real-time event-driven solutions: we are living in the real-time, on-demand world. We simply cannot afford that luxury not to utilize conversational marketing.
- Conscious consumerism is gaining momentum. Golf club guests and members will judge you based on your values (e.g. eco-friendly, inclusive, etc.). They want to collect experiences over consumer goods. This is especially true about Millennials and Generation Z. We need to develop thoughtful relationships with our golf club guests and members.
- Collect guest feedback proactively. Try to find new channels to collect CX survey answers! E.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, etc. If your golf club already has a mobile application, then you can try to utilize in-app messaging as well.
- Invest in employee experience NOW! Many organizations, among them golf clubs fail to focus on the experiences of their most important competitive advantage: EMPLOYEEs. The value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction is primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.