Is Your Course ‘Selectively Sociable’?

My wife Betsy and I spent the first half of September on the East Coast helping with some family business, so the 2nd most important family member (our dog Beckett, who ranks just below Betsy and just above me in the family pecking order) needed some accommodations for a few weeks.

When I glanced at the receipt that they gave us when we picked Beckett up, I got a good chuckle… Betsy had chosen the accommodations that the kennel referred to as “Selectively Sociable”.  It is a perfect description of Becket… she is frequently friendly and playful but there are social situations… most noticeably when another dog gets a nose too near her backside… that the claws come out, the fangs are bared and things get ugly fast.

I often feel that many public golf course operators could also be described as ‘selectively sociable’ in their interactions with their customers.

Consider the case of my friends Joe and Josie Golfer, who are frequent customers of Green Fee Golf Course in Anywhere, USA.  On days when the Green Fee tee sheet is not full and Joe and Josie show up to play, the Green Fee employees are welcoming and friendly… particularly when Joe or Josie is inserting a credit card into the Green Fee payment processor.

But what about those days when Joe and/or Josie is itching to play some golf but Green Fee has a large outing filling up the course or has its tee sheet already sold out?  How much help can Joe and Josie expect to get in finding a place to play?  The word ‘bupkus’ springs to mind.

Now you might be thinking… why on earth should Green Fee help Joe and Josie arrange to play a round of golf on another golf course?  It would generate no revenue for Green Fee and might even result in Joe and Josie spending more time in the future on other courses?

But think a little harder about what is really going on here.  Even if you have no way to accommodate Joe and Josie on your course today, you might benefit by lending a helping hand.

If they really want to play, they’re going to find a place to play.

If you offer a helping hand:

  • You could potentially influence where they play… you may have a preference.
  • You could gain important marketing intelligence by knowing where they are going to play as opposed to having them completely off your radar for the day.
  • But most importantly, you will deepen your customer relationship by making it clear to them that you are their ‘home course’ and are there to help them whenever they are looking to play.  They are likely to reward that behavior with an increased sense of loyalty and that will produce a return that far exceeds the cost.

I know… you don’t have time to help every Joe and Josie that is trying to organize a round of golf.  But there are tools you could use to provide this kind of help with no effort by your staff and in a way that gives you the marketing intelligence on where your customers have wandered off to for the day.

Want to know more?  Let’s talk.

Want to weight in on the topic?  Post a comment.



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