Here is how you can understand better your golf club customers’ needs

By: March 21, 2022

Perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that the last two years have been outstanding for the golf industry. Wherever we look we can see significant growth in golf participation and golf equipment sales.

NGF’s participation research shows overall golf participation increased by 600,000 to 37.5M in the US in 2021 (+2%) with growth split evenly between on- and off-course. The R&A and Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS)’s study found golf participation grew at the following rate in 2021

  • Asia – 20.9 million to 23.3 million.
  • Europe – 7.9 million to 10.6 million, driven largely by Great Britain and Ireland going from 3.6 million to 5.7 million.

In the UK, golf clubs have started to use waiting lists again to manage the increased demand for golf club membership. Presumably, we can see a similar phenomenon in other golf countries too.

This is important to know because it is not enough to acquire new golf club members and introduce people to golf, but what is a much bigger challenge is their retention and strengthening their loyalty.

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Players 1st says they noticed a significant drop in interest and satisfaction among newcomer golfers during the pandemic. There is no doubt that transition moments are also important in our lives. For instance, first time in a new golf club.

Think about what would ignite these golfers and feel more comfortable and how to present your golf club in a compelling way. E.g. highlighting social proofs, awards, connecting them with like-minded people, etc.

At the same time, golf club members are struggling to get a tee time as per their preferences. They see less of the benefits and advantages of their club membership as a result of the increased number of golfers.

Retention and loyalty are particularly important now when people are actively reassessing their lives and preferences. Golf clubs need to start thinking about what matters most to their golf club members and guests.

This requires a precise understanding of these people’s expectations, needs, and customer journeys. Customer feedback has become one of the primary drivers of long-term growth. Feedback can be collected proactively by polling and surveying customers, interviewing them, or asking for reviews.

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Golf Clubs’ TOP 5 KPIs should be

  1. Churn Rate: The churn rate will help visualize the percentage of golf club customers who have stopped interacting with your business.
  2. Customer Retention Rate: It will provide a glimpse into how many loyal customers you have provided business to over a set time period.
  3. Existing Customer Revenue Growth Rate: This metric will measure the revenue generated from your customer success, retention, and loyalty efforts.
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS) – one of the most common customer experiences (CX) metrics. The NPS trend in 2022 is more emphasis on transaction than relational.
  5. Customer Lifetime Value: it is the most indicative sign of the effecitveness of your golf club’s customer experience (CX) strategy. The customer lifetime value is a predictive indicator that aims to quantify the total worth of a customer over their entire relationship with your golf club. Since it is based on historical data it will help you to predict future revenues and profit.

When you are designing the customer feedback collection system, make sure you are not following the “tyranny of the terrace” but have a holistic approach to member feedback and prioritize resources where they matter the most.

As a manager of a golf club, it is crucial to know whether you are on par with your most important stakeholders, the golf club members.

Let me give you a real-life example. With Players 1st Member Survey, you give your members the opportunity to voice their opinion about their membership and the services provided by you and your team.

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The survey template consists of an array of questions concerning the various touchpoints and service areas within a golf club’s offerings. Examples of service areas in the template are:

  • The course – Club life – Food & beverage – Clubhouse – Practice facilities – Pro shop – Training lessons – Club management Within the survey template, you can toggle touchpoints on/off and create your own questions to suit the needs of your club.

It is very good that Players 1st Membership Suite can also help you to target new members – Entry Survey – who have recently joined the club and former members (‘Exit Survey’).

Finally, remember, to listen to your audience and your frontline workers to learn more about what your audience wants in return for their loyalty. Consider where and how you will store the survey answers and who will analyze them.

Disclaimer: This article is brought to you by Players 1st.